Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Post Properties Sells Post Lenox Park® in Atlanta for $22.7 Million

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Post Properties, Inc. (NYSE: PPS) announced today the sale of its Post Lenox Park® apartment community located in Atlanta, GA for a gross sales price of approximately $22.7 million, net of escrow reserves to the buyer. Post Lenox Park® is a garden-style apartment community located in the Buckhead area of Atlanta and consists of 206 units with an average unit size of approximately 964 square feet. The community was completed in 1995. The buyer was an entity formed by Greensboro, NC based Steven D. Bell & Company. Post expects to report a gain of approximately $12 million relating to this sale.

Certain statements made in this press release and other written or oral statements made by or on behalf of the Company, may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Statements regarding future events and developments and the Company's future performance, as well as management's expectations, beliefs, plans, estimates or projections relating to the future, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of these laws. Examples of such statements in this press release include expectations with respect to the gain on sale of Post Lenox Park®. All forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events to differ materially from those projected, including the risk factors included under the caption "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K dated December 31, 2007, as amended, which are specifically incorporated by reference into this press release. Management believes that these forward-looking statements are reasonable; however, you should not place undue reliance on such statements. These statements are based on current expectations and speak only as of the date of such statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of future events, new information or otherwise.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Home Price Declines Worsen As We Enter the Fourth Quarter of 2008 According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices

/PRNewswire/ -- Data through October 2008, released today by Standard & Poor's for its S&P/Case-Shiller(1) Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, shows continued broad based declines in the prices of existing single family homes across the United States, with 14 of the 20 metro areas showing record rates of annual decline and 14 now reporting declines in excess of 10% versus October 2007.

"The bear market continues; home prices are back to their March, 2004 levels," says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor's. "Both composite indices and 14 of the 20 metro areas are reporting new record rates of decline. As of October 2008, the 10-City Composite is down 25.0% from its mid-2006 peak, and the 20-City Composite is down 23.4%. In October, we also saw three new markets enter the 'double-digit' club. Atlanta, Seattle and Portland are reporting annual rates of decline of 10.5%, 10.2% and 10.1%, respectively. While not yet experiencing as severe a contraction as in the Sunbelt, it seems the Pacific Northwest and Mid-Atlantic South is not immune to the overall demise in the housing market."

Three of the metro areas have given back, on average, more than 30% of the value of homes since October of last year. Phoenix remains the weakest market, reporting an annual decline of 32.7%, followed by Las Vegas, down 31.7%, and San Francisco down 31.0%. Miami, Los Angeles, and San Diego were close behind with annual declines of 29.0%, 27.9% and 26.7%, respectively.

Monthly data also do not show much improvement in the national housing market. All 20 metro areas, and the two composites, posted their second consecutive monthly decline. In addition, six of the MSAs had their largest monthly decline on record -- Atlanta, Charlotte, Detroit, Minneapolis, Tampa and Washington. Most of the positive monthly data recorded in the spring and summer months, merely reflects seasonal patterns in home prices, as opposed to a turnaround in the downward spiral in national home prices.

Dallas and Charlotte faired the best in October in terms of relative year-over-year returns. Still in negative territory, their declines remained in low single digits of -3.0% and -4.4%, respectively. It should be noted, however, that both of these values are worse than those reported in the September data. In addition, Charlotte also reported its second consecutive largest monthly decline on record, down 1.8%. Cleveland and Denver were the only markets that showed any improvement in its year-over-year returns compared to last month's report.

The table below summarizes the results for October 2008. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are revised for the 24 prior months, based on the receipt of additional source data. More than 21 years of history for these data series is available, and can be accessed in full by going to www.homeprice.standardandpoors.com

October/ September/
October September August
2008 Change Change 1-Year
Metropolitan Area Level (%) (%) Change (%)
----------------- ----- ------- ------- ----------
Atlanta 119.77 -2.4% -1.3% -10.5%
Boston 159.17 -1.1% -1.1% -6.0%
Charlotte 128.02 -1.8% -1.3% -4.4%
Chicago 145.49 -1.6% -1.1% -10.8%
Cleveland 108.76 -1.0% -0.6% -6.2%
Dallas 120.60 -1.1% -0.7% -3.0%
Denver 129.05 -1.5% -1.3% -5.2%
Detroit 86.10 -4.5% -2.5% -20.4%
Las Vegas 142.57 -2.7% -2.6% -31.7%
Los Angeles 179.82 -2.6% -2.5% -27.9%
Miami 173.42 -3.0% -2.6% -29.0%
Minneapolis 135.71 -3.4% -1.0% -16.3%
New York 190.04 -0.9% -0.9% -7.5%
Phoenix 135.18 -3.3% -3.5% -32.7%
Portland 166.44 -1.9% -1.3% -10.1%
San Diego 159.12 -3.0% -2.4% -26.7%
San Francisco 139.44 -4.2% -3.9% -31.0%
Seattle 170.45 -1.4% -1.4% -10.2%
Tampa 165.44 -3.4% -1.8% -19.8%
Washington 184.92 -2.7% -2.1% -18.7%
Composite-10 169.78 -2.1% -1.9% -19.1%
Composite-20 158.16 -2.2% -1.8% -18.0%
------------ ------ ---- ---- -----
Source: Standard & Poor's and Fiserv
Data through October 2008


The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are published on the last Tuesday of each month at 9:00 am ET. They are constructed to accurately track the price path of typical single-family homes located in each metropolitan area provided. Each index combines matched price pairs for thousands of individual houses from the available universe of arms-length sales data. The S&P/Case-Shiller National U.S. Home Price Index tracks the value of single-family housing within the United States. The index is a composite of single-family home price indices for the nine U.S. Census divisions and is calculated quarterly. The S&P/Case-Shiller Composite of 10 Home Price Index is a value-weighted average of the 10 original metro area indices. The S&P/Case-Shiller Composite of 20 Home Price Index is a value-weighted average of the 20 metro area indices. The indices have a base value of 100 in January 2000; thus, for example, a current index value of 150 translates to a 50% appreciation rate since January 2000 for a typical home located within the subject market.

These indices are generated and published under agreements between Standard & Poor's and Fiserv, Inc.

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are produced by Fiserv, Inc. In addition to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, Fiserv also offers home price index sets covering thousands of zip codes, counties, metro areas, and state markets. The indices, published by Standard & Poor's, represent just a small subset of the broader data available through Fiserv.

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Real Estate Course in Jackson Begins on Monday, Feb. 2

The Coldwell Banker Bullard Advantage School of Real Estate in cooperation with Griffin Technical College will conduct the 75-hour real estate salesperson's course in Jackson beginning Monday, Feb. 2.

The eight-week course is required by the Georgia Real Estate Commission for a person to take the state real estate salesperson's licensing exam. Held in conjunction with Griffin Technical College, it will take place at the college's Butts County campus at 1578 Hwy. 16 West in Jackson.

Classes will be held on Monday and Tuesday evenings from 6 until 9:15 p.m. The instructor will be Joe T. Lane.

The cost of the course is $450.00 plus books, and payment must be made in full upon registration. Those interested in taking the course should call Stephanie Fenton, director of career development for Coldwell Banker Bullard, at 770-477-6400, Ext. 229, for information about registration and materials

Monday, December 22, 2008

Foreclosure Prevention Hotline Helps Over 1 Million Homeowners

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) today announced that the Homeowner's HOPE(TM) Hotline (1-888-995-4673) received over 1,000,000 calls to date in 2008. An average of 87,000 calls was received each month, from January to November, this year.

The Homeowner's HOPE(TM) Hotline, provided by the Homeownership Preservation Foundation, is a national 24/7 hotline offering free, bilingual, personalized assistance to homeowners struggling to avoid foreclosure.

"That we have reached over 1 million homeowners in just one year is both staggering and humbling," stated Colleen Hernandez, President and Executive Director of the Homeownership Preservation Foundation. "It is exciting that the Hotline is available to help so many Americans struggling to hold onto their homes. However, I am also humbled by the reality of the current economic situation of our country, leaving yet many more that still need our help."

Almost 300,000 of those who called 1-888-995-HOPE(TM) in 2008 participated in counseling sessions. Counseling sessions connect homeowners with counselors at HUD-certified housing counseling agencies who listen to the details of a caller's difficult and sometimes complicated homeownership situation. Counselors guide callers through a thorough analysis of their financial situation, set goals for moving forward, develop a plan of action for accomplishing homeownership goals, and make a recommendation of the best options for each homeowner's unique situation. If appropriate and with the homeowners consent, Hotline counselors help to connect struggling homeowners with a dedicated team of servicers who will work through the caller's unique mortgage difficulties.

"When someone calls the Homeowner's HOPE Hotline, our goal is to leave him or her better off than before they reached out to us, to help them be more financially secure and to help them avoid foreclosure whenever possible," continued Hernandez. "We have a dedicated team of network partner agencies and Hotline counselors who work with thousands of callers each day to work through the details of their mortgage difficulties, connecting callers with local resources to assist them during difficult times. Our goal has always been to enable individuals and families to avoid foreclosure - and we are succeeding every day."

"A recent study performed by our network partner agency the CCCS Atlanta found that almost 70 percent of counseled homeowners had avoided foreclosure and remained in their homes one year after receiving counseling from the Homeowner's HOPE(TM) Hotline," stated Hernandez. "We have helped over 1 million people and will continue to be the resource to which struggling homeowners can turn."

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Data: Mortgage 'Foreclosure Prevention' Fixes Failing to Work, U.S. Home Foreclosure Toll Now Expected to Rise Even Higher to Eight Million

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Much hyped "foreclosure prevention programs" relying on voluntary loan modifications are failing to reach a significant number of troubled homeowners and are often backfiring when they do so, according to newly updated research released today by the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA). The across-the-board failure of these much ballyhooed "fixes" for the foreclosure crisis are expected to result in the new President and Congress facing considerable new pressure to clear the way for court-supervised loan modifications that will prove more beneficial for homeowners.

The findings released today by NACBA come on the heels of a dire new projection from Credit Suisse that "over 8 million foreclosures (are now) expected" over the next four years in the U.S. That astounding level accounts for 16 percent of all mortgages -- including 59 percent of all subprime mortgages and more than 11 percent of all other mortgages, including Alt-A, options ARMS and even those in the prime category. This new forecast from Credit Suisse is up sharply from the two to six million foreclosure range cited in previous estimates from industry sources.

The new data presented today from Professor Alan White, Valparaiso University School of Law, Valparaiso, IN, is updated through November 2008 (http://www.hastingsgroup.com/Whiteupdate.pdf) and shows that:

-- Less than 10 percent of the time do the voluntary programs result in a
reduced principal loan balance with more than half of modifications
capitalizing unpaid interest and fees into larger and more drawn out
debt on the back end of the mortgage; and

-- Only about a third (35 percent) of voluntary mortgage modifications
reduce monthly payment burdens for homeowners, with nearly half (45
percent) actually saddling distressed homeowners with increased
payments under the modifications.


Just how badly are the voluntary modification programs flopping? To answer that question NACBA reviewed the publicly available data about the reach to date of the much-hyped programs. In one prominent case - the Hope for Homeowners Act FHA refinancing program passed by Congress with much fanfare earlier this year on the strength of forecasts that 400,000 homeowners would be aided - there have been only 312 applications to date -- and no mortgage modifications whatsoever have taken place. This is consistent with the most recent estimates from the National Association of Attorneys General that "nearly 8 out of 10 seriously delinquent homeowners are not on track for any loss mitigation outcome ... up from 7 in 10 in previous reports."

Henry Sommer, president, National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, Philadelphia PA., said: "Court-supervised loan modification is urgently needed to deal with this problem. We call on the incoming Obama administration and the new Congress to adopt this solution without delay. The American home mortgage foreclosure crisis has gone from the danger zone to the full-blown crisis stage. The number of foreclosures is growing rapidly and is reaching well beyond the subprime world to the American middle class. Despite a proliferation of voluntary programs, we are not seeing evidence of a meaningful number of sustainable loan modifications."

Professor Alan White, Valparaiso University School of Law, Valparaiso, IN, said: "American homeowners are carrying 10.5 trillion dollars in mortgage debt, a number that has risen by 250 percent in the past decade. While banks have written down more than half a trillion in mortgages and mortgage-related securities, homeowners have gotten little or no relief. A broad range of economists from Nouriel Roubini to Ben Bernanke to Martin Feldstein have recognized the need to deleverage the American homeowner. The excess mortgage debt is depressing home prices and consumer spending, and acting as a drag on the broader economy. Empirical evidence from mortgage servicer reports to investors shows that for the most part, the necessary deleveraging of homeowners is not happening."

Alys Cohen, staff attorney, National Consumer Law Center (NCLC), Washington, DC, said: "Sadly, the magnitude of the foreclosure crisis dwarfs the response to date from the financial services industry, regulators and lawmakers. The lack of aggressive and meaningful solutions from federal policymakers is baffling, particularly given that most economists, including the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board and the Chair of the FDIC, have recognized that the financial crisis can be resolved by only by dealing with its root cause - the escalating millions of mortgage foreclosures ... The foreclosure crisis will not be resolved through voluntary efforts on the part of the financial services industry alone. Despite widespread efforts to encourage voluntary loan modifications, it is clear that the financial services industry has failed to implement a loan modification strategy on a scale that matches the urgent crisis we are facing. Bankruptcy courts must be empowered to implement economically rational loan modifications where the parties are unwilling or unable to do so on their own. Loan modifications through the bankruptcy courts can help accomplish this on a sufficient scale and timeframe to have a meaningful impact. Congress should lift the ban on judicial modification of primary residence mortgages, as part of the solution to stemming the tide of avoidable foreclosures and stabilizing the housing market and the broader economy. The need is urgent. The time for action is now."

When NACBA, NCLC, Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) called on Congress in April 2007 to move aggressively to stem the growing flood of home foreclosures, it was estimated that some 2 million homeowners were at risk of foreclosure. And, at the time, the financial services industry accused the organizations of being overly pessimistic about the likely toll of foreclosures. However, it turns out we were low-balling quite significantly the number of foreclosures.

As of September 2008, a full 1.2 million homeowners with subprime loans already had lost their homes to foreclosure. Another 1.7 million families with subprime loans are seriously delinquent and at risk of losing their homes in the very near future. Credit Suisse ("Foreclosure Update: Over 8 million foreclosures expected," December 2008) now estimates that 8.1 million mortgages will be in foreclosure over the next four years, representing 16 percent of all mortgages. Disturbingly, Credit Suisse finds that the problem has spread from subprime loans to Alt-A, option ARMs, and even prime loans.

FAILURE OF "FORECLOSURE PREVENTION PROGRAMS"

Bowing to the demands of the financial services industry that created the foreclosure crisis in the first place, every program put in place to prevent foreclosures has relied on the voluntary cooperation of mortgage servicers who handle the mortgages that, in most cases, are owned by securitized trusts that have issued bonds to investors. It is painfully obvious that these voluntary programs have failed to stem the tide of foreclosures. The few successful attempts at mortgage modification, such as the FDIC efforts with IndyMac, have largely dealt with those rare mortgages that are still owned by a single lender, rather than securitized loans.

Voluntary programs are failing for a variety of reasons that cannot be changed without action by the Obama Administration and new Congress:

-- Multiple owners make voluntary modification impossible. Many borrowers
and even their servicers simply cannot locate the holders of the
mortgage to negotiate with, or there are multiple owners all of whom
would have to agree to modification; the loans have been sliced and
diced so many times that all of the owners cannot be found and brought
into the process.

-- Fear of investor lawsuits blocks voluntary modifications. The servicer
has obligations to the investors who have purchased the
mortgage-backed securities through pooling and servicing contracts,
and the interests of these investors conflict. Servicers are hesitant
to modify the loans because they are concerned that it will impact
different tranches of the security differently, and thereby raise the
risk of investor lawsuits when one or more tranche loses potential
income. At least one servicer has already been sued. Under the
current system, the legally safest course for the servicer clearly is
foreclosure.

-- Piggyback seconds block voluntary modifications. Perhaps the most
intractable problem is the fact that a third to a half of all 2006
subprime borrowers took out piggyback second mortgages on their homes
at the same time they took out their first mortgages. In these cases,
the holders of the first mortgages have no incentive to provide
modifications that would free up borrower resources to make payments
on the second mortgages. At the same time, the holders of the second
mortgages have no incentive to support effective modifications by
waiving their rights, which would likely cause them to face a 100
percent loss. The holders of the second mortgages are better off
waiting to see if a borrower can make a few payments before
foreclosure.

-- Overwhelmed servicers are not set up to negotiate modifications.
Hundreds of thousands of borrowers are asking for relief from
organizations that traditionally have had a "collections" mentality of
trying to foreclose as quickly as possible. They know how to
foreclose, and the foreclosure process has been increasingly automated
to maximize the fees the servicers receive. Many receive no extra
compensation for working on modifications. These servicers are not
disposed to postponing foreclosure or equipped to handle case-by-case
negotiations. Many also have monetary incentives to foreclose rather
than modify.


In practice, these roadblocks - all of which were warned of months ago by NACBA and other groups - have resulted in gridlock in the voluntary modification programs. Consider these examples:

-- Hope for Homeowners Act -- This law, passed with much fanfare last
spring, provides an FHA refinancing if the servicer agrees to accept
slightly less than the value of the home in satisfaction of the debt.
The thought was that servicers would agree to accept less than 100%
payment if that payment was guaranteed by the government. It was
expected that the program would help 400,000 homeowners but since it
opened in October, fewer than 312 people have applied for the program
and no loans have been modified. The result? As Credit Suisse notes
in its December 2008 report: "While loan modifications and similar
interventions (such as the Hope for Homeowners FHA refinancing
program) could help to reduce the march of foreclosures, the
proliferation of generally timid loan mod programs with confusing loan
features raises significant doubt as to whether the current loan mod
momentum is sufficient to reduce foreclosures materially ... modified
loans remain a small percentage of delinquent loans and loans in
foreclosure, even though servicers have ramped up their efforts in
recent months."

-- Hope Now -- This voluntary effort by the industry, promoted by the
Administration, has produced more public relations than real results.
Homeowners have great difficulties getting answers because the
services do not have adequate staff to deal with requests. When some
accommodation is reached, servicers virtually never reduce loan
principal and often enter into repayment agreements that do not even
reduce loan payments. Studies have shown that most of the workouts
negotiated through Hope Now provide at best temporary short-term
relief from foreclosure, and in a large percentage of cases, the
homeowner cannot keep up with payments because the agreement does not
adequately modify the loan. As of September 2008, Hope Now worked out
loan modifications resulting in lower monthly payments for 266,087
homeowners; loan modifications with the same or HIGHER monthly
payments for 226,667 families; and 780,000 short term repayment plans.

-- FDIC/IndyMac - This effort covers 65,000 borrowers who are more than
two months delinquent on their mortgage, but doesn't reduce the
outstanding debt in any meaningful way and therefore has not attracted
much interest. So far, 7,200 homeowners have modified their loans
under this program. And, after a two-month moratorium on foreclosures
pending the modification program, IndyMac foreclosures in November
skyrocketed 242 percent from October, according to Mark Hanson of the
Field Check Group.


Most recently, FDIC Chairwoman Bair has proposed a program that would, like Hope for Homeowners, provide government guarantees as a carrot to entice servicers to make modifications of interest rates and defer principal payments under a formula based on the debtor's ability to pay. If the payments are modified by at least 10 percent, (but only for five years) the government would guarantee 50 percent of the loan losses. The Treasury Department noted that this program could actually give servicers an incentive to make minimal modifications and then foreclose to collect the guarantees.

While NACBA applauds FDIC Chair Bair's commitment to homeowners, it fears that, other than in cases where a planned foreclosure would be more lucrative for the servicer, this program also would have few takers. It is likely that, for all the same reasons plaguing existing programs, servicers would be unwilling to make meaningful modifications of most loans voluntarily. Moreover, the program does nothing to deal with the problem of piggyback second mortgages, often the riskiest loans given by the most irresponsible lenders. Holders of second mortgages can block the modification of the first mortgage, even though the second mortgage typically would be wiped out in a foreclosure sale. Absent reductions in principal, the program will neither sufficiently reduce payments nor prevent later foreclosures when homeowners need to move or cannot refinance to resolve a financial problem. As even Federal Reserve Board Chairman Bernanke has noted, "With low or negative equity ... a stressed borrower has less ability (because there is no home equity to tap) and less financial incentive to try to remain in the home." At best, the Bair proposal would help only a small number of homeowners and, in most cases, only postpone the foreclosure problem - at considerable expense to taxpayers.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Prudential Georgia Realty President Dan Forsman Presents Georgia Housing Industry Proposal Before State Congress Joint Economic Development Committee

Prudential Georgia Realty President and CEO Dan Forsman addressed the Joint Economic Development Committee of the State of Georgia on Wednesday, December 10, 2008. Other speakers included Elliott Eisenberg, the economist for the National Association of Home Builders in Washington, D.C.; U.S Senator Johnny Isakson; Roger Tutterow, economics professor at Mercer University; and Kurt Cannon, the current president of the Home Builders Association of Georgia, to name a few.

Forsman was the sole representative of the Georgia real estate community. In his 20-minute allotted time, he outlined the root causes of the current housing industry crisis, the economic impact to Georgia, provided a market update on the latest numbers for Georgia and proposed specific recommendations to fix our problems and establish Georgia as a leader for our nation. He projected the impact to Georgia in 2009 could exceed $1.4 billion if immediate housing incentives are not put into place.

Forsman outlined what he called a “perfect storm” of real estate, credit problems, economic conditions and consumer sentiment. Forsman also explained that a set of new problems are brewing in the Georgia real estate market. Examples given included the growing number of construction and development foreclosures, oversupply of in-town condos; oversupply of Buckhead commercial real estate; decreased second home (mountain, lake and coastal) property sales; and seniors who feel trapped in their current homes but want to move to smaller, more maintenance-free lifestyles. He cited recent limitations of mortgage rules for real estate investors which charge them higher mortgage rates and limit investors to four properties with a single bank and total of 10-12 properties. Forsman stated, “By reversing these limitations, we could bring many qualified buyers back into the game.”

In his presentation, Dan Forsman emphatically stated, “We are not here today asking for a bailout. We can’t bail out everybody. As a business owner and entrepreneur, I understand that nothing is free in life. All my proposals today will pay for themselves with incremental new state revenues. Lack of action will cost the state far more than the short-term costs of these proposals. We need your support to enact these proposals quickly and then let the market work.”

Forsman’s proposals include a federal mortgage stimulus of a 4.5 % interest rate buy-down and raising the conforming loan limit to $1 million. “The minimum rate to be effective is 4.5 percent and this needs to be a top priority of all the housing incentives implemented.”

He supported this claim by mentioning the National Association of Realtors’ Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s educated estimates—each 1% decline in mortgage rates could generate between 500,000 and 800,000 home sales nationally.

Forsman’s multi-part federal and state stimulus solutions also include a federal real estate tax credit of 5 % of a home’s purchase price to be applied toward federal taxes; a new $7500 Georgia home tax credit; a $7500 Senior Tax Credit for current seniors living in Georgia and new senior residents moving from other states; a 50 % Utility Incentive for the first year to new residents and first-time home buyers; and a new Georgia marketing campaign focused on new residents (same concept as the one implemented to win the 1996 Olympic Games) that promotes our state, our new housing incentives and attracts new residents from all over the world.

Forsman stressed the need for immediate action so that laws could be enacted before the Spring 2009 real estate market as Spring through Summer is typically the busiest time of year for real estate sales. He stated adamantly that, “If we do not act before Spring, there will be as many as 70 % of local builders and 50 % of local real estate brokerages out of business before 2010.” He further emphasized that any stimulus or any housing incentives ultimately passed by the Georgia Congress, should apply across the board to resales, new home construction and all forms of foreclosures.

A whitepaper detailing Forsman’s presentation is available for download at PrudentialGa.com. Simply click on the “Whitepaper” icon near the top of the website’s home page. For other information which provides specific updates on metro Atlanta’s housing market, click on the AtlantaRealEstate2008 video report, also available on Prudential’s home page. In January 2009, this State of the Atlanta Real Estate Market video will be updated again and can be viewed directly at www.AtlantaRealEstate2009.com. We encourage all Georgia citizens to contact their state Senator or Representative to support these initiatives. Together, we can make Georgia the shining star of the South!
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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Foreclosure Activity Decreases 7 Percent in November According to RealtyTrac(R) U.S. Foreclosure Market Report

GHRE Note: Georgia ranks sixth in foreclosures.

/PRNewswire/ -- RealtyTrac(R) (www.realtytrac.com), the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its November 2008 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report(TM), which shows foreclosure filings -- default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions -- were reported on 259,085 U.S. properties during the month, a 7 percent decrease from the previous month but still up 28 percent from November 2007. The report also shows one in every 488 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing in November.

RealtyTrac publishes the largest and most comprehensive national database of foreclosure and bank-owned properties, with over 1.5 million properties from over 2,200 counties across the country, and is the foreclosure data provider to MSN Real Estate, Yahoo! Real Estate and The Wall Street Journal's Real Estate Journal.

"Foreclosure activity in November hit the lowest level we've seen since June thanks in part to recently enacted laws that have extended the foreclosure process in some states, along with more aggressive loan modification programs and self-imposed holiday foreclosure moratoriums introduced by some lenders," said James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. "There are several indications, however, that this lower activity is simply a temporary lull before another foreclosure storm hits in the coming months.

"Delinquencies on loans not yet in the foreclosure process jumped to nearly 7 percent in the third quarter, a record high, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association," Saccacio continued. "And more than half of the homeowners who received loan modifications to reduce monthly mortgage payments in the first half of 2008 are already delinquent on their loans again, according to the U.S. Office of Thrift Supervision. Many of these delinquencies could turn into foreclosures next year."

Nevada, Florida, Arizona post top state foreclosure rates

Nevada foreclosure activity in November decreased nearly 4 percent from the previous month, but the state maintained the nation's No. 1 foreclosure rate, with one in every 76 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing during the month -- more than six times the national average. Foreclosure filings were reported on 13,962 Nevada properties, up 109 percent from November 2007.

Florida foreclosure activity in November was also down from the previous month, but the state's foreclosure rate moved up to the No. 2 spot thanks to an even bigger monthly decrease in Arizona. One in every 173 Florida housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month, nearly three times the national average.

With one in every 198 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing, Arizona posted the nation's third highest foreclosure rate in November despite a nearly 25 percent decrease in foreclosure activity from the previous month. Foreclosure filings were reported on 13,136 Arizona properties during the month, up nearly 128 percent from November 2008.

Other states with foreclosure rates ranking among the top 10 were California, Michigan, Georgia, Ohio, Colorado, Utah and Idaho.

California, Florida, Michigan post highest foreclosure totals

Foreclosure filings were reported on 60,491 California properties in November, the most of any state and a 6 percent increase from the previous month following two consecutive monthly decreases. The state's foreclosure activity was up 51 percent from November 2007, and one in every 218 housing units received a foreclosure filing during the month -- more than twice the national average.

Despite a 9 percent decrease in foreclosure activity from the previous month, Florida continued to post the nation's second highest number of properties with foreclosure filings -- 49,190. The state's foreclosure activity was still up 68 percent from November 2007.

Michigan foreclosure activity in November increased 28 percent from the previous month, giving the state 14,594 properties with foreclosure filings during the month -- the nation's third highest state total. Michigan's foreclosure activity was up 27 percent from November 2007, and the state's foreclosure rate ranked fifth highest in the nation for the month.

Nevada, Arizona, Ohio, Georgia, Illinois, Texas and Virginia also reported foreclosure totals that were among the nation's 10 highest.

California and Florida cities account for nine of Top 10 metro foreclosure rates

With one in every 59 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing in November, Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., posted the highest metropolitan foreclosure rate among the 230 metro areas tracked in the report. Two other Florida cities ranked among the top 10 in terms of foreclosure rate: Fort Lauderdale at No. 7, with one in every 117 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing; and Port Lucie-Fort Pierce at No. 8, with one in every 118 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.

Las Vegas was the only city not in Florida or California with a foreclosure rate that ranked among the top 10. One in every 61 Las Vegas housing units received a foreclosure filing in November, the second highest metro foreclosure rate.

California accounted for the remainder of the top 10 metro foreclosure rates. Merced was at No. 3, with one in every 76 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing; Modesto was at No. 4, with one in every 93 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing; Stockton was at No. 5, with one in every 94 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing; Riverside-San Bernardino was at No. 6, with one in every 107 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing; Bakersfield was at No. 9, with one in every 129 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing; and Vallejo-Fairfield was at No. 10, with one in every 133 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing.

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HGTV’s FrontDoor.com Offers the Top 10 Things to Expect in the Housing Market in 2009

(BUSINESS WIRE)--After the too-good-to-be-true housing boom in the first half of this decade, 2008 was a dose of reality. The subprime mortgage crisis and the collapse of major financial institutions made this a tough year for real estate. Expect 2009 to be filled with more change and adjustment in home values and expectations. On a positive note, help is on the way from the Feds, and some experts say a slow recovery could begin in late 2009. Prepare yourself for the challenges -- and opportunities -- of 2009 by getting familiar with FrontDoor.com’s expectations in the housing market. (http://www.frontdoor.com/top10)

1. Continued market adjustments. With home prices in some markets having reached astronomical levels, it was inevitable a reset button be pushed. Sellers will continue to be challenged in 2009 as the inflated pricing of years past adjusts to normal levels. With banks and builders willing to slash prices to sell a backlog of foreclosures and new homes, individual sellers will have to price their homes competitively.

2. Action from the Obama administration. President-elect Barack Obama's plan to help the housing sector includes a 10 percent mortgage tax credit for homeowners who don't itemize their taxes and a crackdown on abusive lending practices.

3. More assistance programs for homeowners in danger of foreclosure. While the federal government is attempting to reduce foreclosures, a report released by the Joint Economic Committee predicts 2 million foreclosures in 2009. Homeowners who are at risk should take steps to avoid foreclosure.

4. Some calm to the chaos of the banks' restructuring. This should cause loan modifications and short sales to get easier, and it will also (eventually) decrease the number of bank-owned properties on the market.

5. Thorough reviews of mortgage applications. Before the subprime mortgage debacle, you didn't have to prove you could afford to borrow $200,000 for a home and you didn't need a down payment. Those days of sketchy lending practices are gone. Lenders now require potential borrowers to provide extensive income and expense documentation. Homebuyers with the best credit will get the lowest interest rates. Take steps now to get your finances in order and boost your credit score.

6. Low prices and low interest rates. 2009 could be the time for reluctant homebuyers to act, as this is perhaps the last year of the best buying opportunity in recorded economic history.

7. Cool tech tricks and tools for the real estate obsessed. As homebuyers turn to the Web more and more for their real estate needs, video, webcasts and mobile search tools are becoming more prevalent. Sellers should consider using these cutting-edge tools to make their homes stand out.

8. Wiser consumers. After facing this foreclosure crisis, buyers, sellers, real estate agents and even tenants will have a deeper understanding of real estate, mortgage and credit, which they can use to make better decisions and be more self-protective in the future.

9. Leaner, greener homebuying. Across the board, homebuying is becoming more eco-friendly, from transactions being conducted digitally to buyers opting for smaller homes within walking distance of school and work.

10. An increase in consumer confidence. As the year goes on and we near the projected end of the recession, sellers can breathe a sigh of relief as buyers regain confidence in the market.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

“HOPE for Homeowners” to Provide Foreclosure Relief

Homeowners feeling the pinch with the ongoing economic crisis and struggling with their current monthly mortgage payments can now get help. “HOPE for Homeowners” is a new program launched on October 1 to help families refinance under a more affordable loan insured by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

How Does It Work?

Under the program, lenders holding the troubled mortgage must agree to accept, as payment-in-full, an amount equal to 87 percent of the current value of the property. A new FHA-insured mortgage will be given to the borrower which represents 90 percent of the home's current value. The three percent difference is paid to FHA by the lender to cover the borrower's up-front FHA mortgage insurance premium.

The homeowner is then responsible for an annual mortgage insurance premium of one and one-half percent, which, like current FHA-insured loans, is paid monthly as part of the mortgage payment.

Other provisions in the plan include:

· The new FHA loan amount may not exceed a maximum of $550,440.

· Mortgage lenders must waive prepayment penalties and late payment fees.

· The borrower cannot take out a second mortgage for the first five years of the loan, except under certain circumstances for emergency repairs.

· Borrowers need to be aware, however, that in exchange for taking advantage of this program they must agree to share with FHA both the equity created at the beginning of this new mortgage and any future appreciation in the value of the home.

Do I Qualify?

According to HUD, borrowers are eligible if:

· The home is their primary residence, and they have no ownership interest in any other residential property, such as second homes.

· Their existing mortgage was originated on or before January 1, 2008, and they have made at least six payments.

· They are not able to pay their existing mortgage without help.

· As of March 2008, their total monthly mortgage payments due were more than 31 percent of their gross monthly income.

Homeowners should contact their lenders to be sure they meet these and other program qualifications. To apply, contact an FHA-approved lender or housing counselor. A list is available online at www.fha.gov.

"One year ago, FHA expanded refinancing into its FHASecure program. Since that time, we have helped more than 360,000 families keep their homes by refinancing with FHA, and we will assist a total of 500,000 families by the end of this year," said FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery.

For more information, including a consumer fact sheet and frequently asked questions, visit HUD’s Web site www.hud.gov/hopeforhomeowners.

Take advantage of the resources that are available to you to help you keep your family’s biggest asset. For more information on foreclosure help, go to the "Financing Your Home" link at www.nahb.org/forconsumers . The HBA of Midwest Georgia serves over 700 businesses in the building industry in Fayette, Coweta, Spalding, Meriwether, Heard, Pike, Upson, Lamar, Butts and Jasper Counties.

By Sandy Boda
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Find the Neighborhood That’s Right For You

Having a dream home in the wrong neighborhood can quickly become a nightmare. The community that you choose to call home can make a big difference in your quality of life.

Finding one that fits your family’s lifestyle and needs is just as important a factor as square footage and number of bedrooms. When searching for your next home, think about finding the right neighborhood first.

Create a checklist of things that are important to you in your new community. Here are some suggestions that may help narrow down the choices. The first three may seem obvious, but definitely bear repeating:

Quality of the school system. Standard & Poor’s hosts a Web site at www.schoolmatters.com which allows parents to research and compare schools within a city and state.

Crime rate. Make sure you know how safe your family members and home are with a crime rate comparison. Visit www.BestPlaces.net which rates a location on a scale of 1 to 10 on both violent and property crimes — the lower the number, the better.

Getting to work. If you want to spend less time getting to and from work and more time at home, consider a location much closer to your workplace.

Property taxes and homeowners’ association (HOA) fees. When you are buying a house, you aren’t just investing in the cost of the house. Depending on what city or county the neighborhood resides in, the property taxes you pay may vary.

Also, many neighborhoods have HOA fees that help pay to maintain common areas, such as a pool or nearby park. Make sure you are educated on what your future obligations will be on a monthly or yearly basis when you look at your budget.

Average housing costs and history. Look at the median or average cost of homes in a given neighborhood. This will help you to determine what you can expect a house might cost for that community. Also, be sure to look at the history of the community to make sure the values of the homes have grown so that you are investing in a community that will pay off for you in the long run.

Age of development. Determine what kind of neighborhood you are most comfortable living in. If you are a younger family newer developments may provide the chance to meet other families that share your life experiences and interests. More established communities, on the other hand, will likely have more mature landscaping and bigger lot sizes.

Neighborhood amenities. If you have children you might be most interested in one that has a community swimming pool or playground. Empty-nesters might prefer a clubhouse that provides social activities which will allow them to connect with others. Individuals who are in retirement age may be more interested in maintenance-free living which includes lifestyle amenities such as a golf course.

The HBA of Midwest Georgia serves over 700 businesses in the building industry in Fayette, Coweta, Spalding, Meriwether, Heard, Pike, Upson, Lamar, Butts and Jasper Counties.

By: John Cox
President, Home Builders Association of Midwest Georgia

Parks & Mottola Attends Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® Fall Workshop

Robin Stewart, Parks & Mottola Realty’s Marketing and Relocation Director, recently attended the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® Fall Workshop in Atlanta. The meeting attracted brokers, managers, and relocation professionals from LeadingRE member firms across the U.S., who gathered for educational sessions and networking opportunities.

The workshop gave attendees an opportunity to discuss real estate trends and share success strategies, from marketing properties on the network’s global home listings website, RELOHomeSearch.com, to implementing new ways to elevate a company’s performance.
“Our members are continuously raising the bar in terms of the services they offer, and our Fall Workshops provide an opportunity for them to come together to discuss market trends, the latest in technology and marketing tools and ways to best meet the needs of the home buyers and sellers they serve,” Pam O’Connor, president/CEO of LeadingRE said.
“The FutureTense Web 2.0 seminar was exciting,” Stewart commented. “Implementing what I learned about social networking, video, and other cutting-edge technology will enhance Parks & Mottola’s already comprehensive marketing program.”

As a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, Parks & Mottola Realty can assist individuals relocating to virtually any community in the U.S. or abroad, with services including comprehensive destination orientation programs, real estate sale/purchase assistance, spouse employment aid, mortgage assistance, household goods move management and more.

Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® is a global real estate network comprised of nearly 700 of the best-known local and regional real estate firms. With more than 5,500 offices and 170,000 sales associates in the United States and 38 countries abroad, LeadingRE affiliates sell nearly $370 billion in home sales representing 1.2 million transactions annually. Six of the United States’ top 10 real estate firms are LeadingRE affiliates, and our members are the Number One firms in 44% of the top 88 markets in the United States, representing a powerful force in American real estate.

Parks & Mottola Realty, LLC, is a Newnan-based real estate company serving Coweta, Fayette, Heard, South Fulton, Meriwether, Troup and other counties for more than 23 years. Founded in 1985, Parks & Mottola employs more than 30 licensed salespeople specializing in residential, land, commercial and investment properties. The company has a full-time marketing and relocation director and is a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, a global network of 145,000 associates assisting individuals and corporations in the relocation process. Parks & Mottola also offers land-planning services through a Certified Land Planner and Registered Landscape Architect. For more information on services or available properties, visit our Web site at www.ParksAndMottola.com or call 770.253.7005.
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Monday, December 8, 2008

Fannie Mae Provides New Servicer Flexibility to Help Borrowers Avoid Foreclosure

/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Fannie Mae (NYSE:FNM) announced a series of actions designed to help borrowers and loan servicers address potential mortgage problems and prevent unnecessary home foreclosures among the more than 18 million single-family loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae.

Fannie Mae said the actions are designed to build on and complement the recently announced streamlined loan modification program (SMP) that targets borrowers who have missed three full payments and meet certain other criteria. The steps announced today are meant to reach borrowers earlier with foreclosure prevention options, and include:

-- Specific direction to servicers to provide foreclosure prevention
assistance as soon as a borrower demonstrates the need for help --
even if a borrower is current but default is reasonably foreseeable.
-- Fannie Mae's new Early Workout program allowing servicers, in one
step, to pre-negotiate a loan modification that becomes effective and
permanent only after an initial trial period. The Early Workout
process can begin as soon as a borrower demonstrates the need for a
modification -- even if a borrower is current but a default is
reasonably foreseeable.
-- Doubling of the maximum forbearance and repayment plan periods for
most loans to borrowers in need of loan workouts.
-- A new 2009 Single-Family Master Trust Agreement and servicer guidance
that give Fannie Mae servicers the flexibility to remove a loan from
an MBS pool once the loan is one month delinquent for the purpose of a
loan modification. This applies only to loans backing securities
issued on or after January 1, 2009. Trust agreements for pools issued
before that date do not allow for this flexibility, but as described
above, Early Workout gives servicers the tools necessary to address
problem loans as early as necessary, regardless of MBS pool date.



These policy changes will enable Fannie Mae servicers to provide a uniform, consistent set of foreclosure prevention options for borrowers who demonstrate the need for help, whether a loan is owned by Fannie Mae or is included in a securitized Fannie Mae MBS pool.

"A borrower's best chance of avoiding foreclosure is to get help as quickly and efficiently as possible," said Herb Allison, president and chief executive officer of Fannie Mae. "These changes to our servicing policies are intended to remove administrative obstacles so that Fannie Mae borrowers can get the help they need and avoid foreclosure. It is important that all who have a stake in the recovery of the U.S. housing market -- including borrowers, investors and lenders -- work together to help limit foreclosures, which have both economic and human costs to communities across America. Investors in our MBS will continue to be entitled to receive the payments due on their investments, while Fannie Mae and servicers will have more tools to manage the risk of foreclosure during these unprecedented times."

These steps are the latest in a series of recent actions Fannie Mae has taken to help minimize home foreclosures. Fannie Mae is working with the Federal Housing Finance Agency and 27 lenders and servicers in the HOPE NOW alliance to launch SMP by December 15. Additionally, the company has directed servicers to suspend foreclosure sales and the completion of evictions on occupied single-family properties through January 9, 2009.

Today's announcements are more fully explained below.

New Servicer Guidance

Previously, Fannie Mae's foreclosure prevention efforts have generally been made available to a borrower only after a delinquency occurs. Under Fannie Mae's new guidance, loan servicers can and should use foreclosure prevention tools to assist distressed borrowers when a borrower demonstrates the need. As noted above, these guidelines apply to borrowers who are still current in their payments but whose default is reasonably foreseeable. This new guidance is effective immediately.

Early Workout(TM) Program

Under Fannie Mae's existing single-family workout practices, a borrower must sign documents to initiate a trial workout period during which time the servicer agrees to forbear from taking action against the borrower. When the trial workout period is over, the borrower must execute a new agreement to convert the workout to a permanent modification. Under Fannie Mae's Early Workout program, the borrower will sign a single document at the beginning of the process to establish a new monthly payment during a trial period. If the borrower successfully makes the new payments during the trial period, the workout will convert to a permanent modification. The Early Workout program can be used if a delinquency has either occurred or is confirmed to be reasonably foreseeable.

The Early Workout program adds to the efforts underway through the SMP, which will be the subject of a separate announcement to be released prior to the December 15, 2008 SMP implementation date. A modification under the SMP will be proactively offered to borrowers who have missed three payments and whose loans and financial conditions meet certain pre-set criteria. The Early Workout is an option available for any troubled Fannie Mae loan, regardless of delinquency status, when the borrower qualifies under our servicing guidelines. The terms of an Early Workout will depend on the servicer's assessment of an individual borrower's situation.

Longer Forbearance and Repayment Plan Periods

Servicers will now be able to offer forbearance and repayment plan arrangements for longer periods to most single-family borrowers. Whenever allowed by our MBS Trust documents, the maximum period of forbearance (when a borrower's payments are suspended or reduced) has been increased for most mortgages from 6 months to 12 months. Additionally, the maximum length of a repayment plan (when a borrower makes additional payments over an extended period to bring a loan current) has been increased for most mortgages from 18 months to 36 months, including any periods of forbearance.

New and Amended MBS Trust Documents

In connection with these changes, Fannie Mae issued a new 2009 Single-Family Master Trust Agreement, an Amended and Restated 2007 Single-Family Master Trust Agreement, a new Single-Family base Prospectus, and updates to its servicing guidelines.

Fannie Mae's MBS Trust agreements generally require that the servicer of an MBS mortgage loan remove the mortgage loan from the related MBS pool prior to modifying a loan. Generally, to facilitate a loan modification and avoid a foreclosure, servicers may request that Fannie Mae remove a loan from its MBS pool at any time after the loan has been in default for at least four consecutive monthly payments without a full cure of the delinquency.

The 2009 Single-Family Master Trust Agreement (MBS issued on or after January 1, 2009) and servicer guidance gives Fannie Mae servicers the flexibility, in extraordinary circumstances, to remove a loan from an MBS pool once the loan is one month delinquent for the purpose of a loan modification.

The MBS Trust documents, as well as the associated Single-Family base Prospectus that becomes effective January 1, 2009, have been posted online at:

Trust Documents: http://www.fanniemae.com/mbs/documents/mbs/trustindentures/index.jhtml?p=Mortg age-Backed+Securities&s=Prospectuses+%26+Related+Documents&t=MBS&q=Trust+Docum ents

Prospectus: http://www.fanniemae.com/mbs/documents/mbs/prospectus/index.jhtml?p=Mortgage-B acked+Securities&s=Prospectuses+%26+Related+Documents&t=MBS&q=Prospectuses

Investors should refer to the Trust agreements and the new base Prospectus for more detailed information. The current issue of MBSenger(R) also provides an overview of the changes described in this release.

Fannie Mae exists to expand affordable housing and bring global capital to local communities in order to serve the U.S. housing market. Fannie Mae has a federal charter and operates in America's secondary mortgage market to enhance the liquidity of the mortgage market by providing funds to mortgage bankers and other lenders so that they may lend to home buyers. In 2008, we mark our 70th year of service to America's housing market. Our job is to help those who house America.

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Housing Prices Continue to Decline Nationwide

(BUSINESS WIRE)--IHS Global Insight, the world's leading company for economic and financial analysis and forecasting, today released the third-quarter 2008 update of the U.S. housing valuation analysis, House Prices in America, showing that single-family U.S. home prices fell at a faster pace across a wide area of the country — after moderating earlier in the year — and are now 6.5% below their 2007 peak. House prices fell at a 6.9% annualized pace, affecting 241 of the 330 analyzed metropolitan areas, up from 150 metro areas in the second-quarter 2008. For the United States as a whole, the housing market is now slightly undervalued. When weighted by market value, the nation is 3.8% undervalued; when weighted by housing units, it is 5.7% undervalued.

While the contraction in residential real estate value is national in scope, it is most severe in the Southeast and Southwest, areas which were among the most overvalued in the country three years ago. According to the third-quarter analysis, extreme overvaluation is now "essentially nonexistent" — only three metro areas met the definition of extreme overvaluation, down from a peak of 52 metro areas in 2005. Only the Pacific Northwest remains overvalued.

According to the analysis, the overhang of unsold properties trending downward during the third quarter, and demand picking up slightly, the accelerated pace of depreciation likely reflects financing conditions that became increasingly stringent and expensive during this period. Recent policy responses, from the Federal Reserve in particular, to purchase mortgage-backed securities are not likely to have a significant impact until next year.

Home prices fell more than 10% in the third quarter in nine central California communities. The Central Valley communities of Merced, Stockton, and Modesto have seen property values fall to less than half their 2005 value. Twenty-nine metro areas in California, Florida, and Nevada — at one time among the most overvalued — have seen price declines in excess of 30%. Similar steep price drops are also occurring in Michigan, northeast Ohio, the southern metro areas from Charlotte to Atlanta, as well as in New England.

The incidence of extreme overvaluation has become negligible; only Atlantic City, New Jersey; Bend, Oregon; and St. George, Utah met the criteria. Overvalued markets are mainly located in the Pacific Northwest, extending to Utah. Southern metro areas from Mississippi to Texas remain generally undervalued.

Jeannine Cataldi, senior economist and manager of IHS Global Insight's Regional Real Estate Service, added, "Weak economic conditions and wary consumers continue to hold the housing market back. Although many areas are seeing home sales increase, it is largely due to foreclosure homes being snapped up at significantly discounted prices. As the inventory of these homes is removed from the market, prices will remain on a downward path."

James Diffley, group managing director of IHS Global Insight's Regional Services Group, said, "With no end in sight to the downward spiral of house prices, it is likely that long anticipated market correction will now overshoot fundamental valuations on the downside.”

The House Prices in America study, a joint effort by IHS Global Insight and National City Corporation, examines the top 330 U.S. real estate markets, representing 78% of all existing housing units and 86% of all related real estate value, to determine what home prices should be, accounting for differences in population density, relative income levels, interest rates, and historically observed market premiums or discounts. Markets with valuation premiums above 35% were deemed at risk for price corrections based on the typical degree of overvaluation that preceded the 79 known local market price declines observed since 1985.

House Prices in America combines a statistical model originally developed by Richard DeKaser, Chief Economist at National City Corporation (www.nationalcity.com/housevaluation) with data largely developed at IHS Global Insight. More information on IHS Global Insight's housing valuation analysis is available at www.globalinsight.com/housingvaluation.

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Mortgage Rates Drop to Lowest Level This Year

Georgia 30 Year Fixed Rate Drops 6.9% to 5.41%.

/PRNewswire/ -- Mortgage rates fell dramatically last week, due to the government's decision to purchase mortgage-backed securities. Rates for 30-year fixed mortgages declined to 5.53 percent, down from 5.92 percent the week prior, according to the Zillow Mortgage Rate Monitor, compiled by leading real estate Web site Zillow.com(R). Rates for 15-year fixed mortgages decreased to 5.34 percent, down from 5.69 percent and 5-1 adjustable rate mortgages rose to 6.01 percent from 5.87 percent.

Mortgage Type Average Rate Average Rate % Change
Week ending 11/30/08 Week ending 11/23/08
30-year fixed 5.53% 5.92% -6.5%
15-year fixed 5.34% 5.69% -6.1%
5-1 ARM 6.01% 5.87% 2.4%


Rates for 30-year fixed mortgages fell even further on Monday evening with the average rate on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace at 5.32 percent.

At a state level, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate in New York saw the biggest decrease, falling from 5.96 percent to 5.48 percent. Rates on 30-year fixed mortgages were lowest in the states of Georgia (5.41%) and Washington (5.46%), while Arizona (5.62%) and North Carolina (5.62%) had the highest rates.

The Zillow Mortgage Rate Monitor is compiled each week using thousands of mortgage rates quoted on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace (www.zillow.com/mortgage) by mortgage lenders to borrowers who have submitted loan requests. State-level data is gathered for the top 20 states with the highest quote volume on Zillow.

Zillow Mortgage Marketplace is an open and transparent lending marketplace, providing borrowers an anonymous and hassle-free way to receive an unlimited number of customized mortgage quotes directly from confirmed lenders.

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