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New Jersey Escapes Direct Hit from Hurricane Joaquin

Joaquin will move northward much of this weekend, roughly paralleling the East coast. There is now a much lower possibility of a landfall along the mid-Atlantic coast and a greater chance the storm will veer out to sea.

Storm Preparation Websites
Storm Preparedness

As you may be aware, Hurricane Joaquin is currently churning in the Atlantic Ocean. While meteorologists have yet to determine this storm's exact path, it is important that you and your family are prepared for what could happen.

Cash Sales Fall Again: in New Jersey, 41% Are Cash

CoreLogic reported that real estate cash transactions comprised 31.3% of total home sales in June 2015.

This figure is down nearly 8% from the 33.9% reported in June 2014.

This represents a continuing trend in which the year-over-year share has fallen each month since January 2013.

On the month-over-month basis, the cash sales share fell by 0.7% in June 2015 compared with May 2015.

Pending Home Sales Index Drifts Lower

The National Association of Realtors® reported that its Pending Home Sale Index fell slightly by 1.4% to 109.4 in August from a robust 110.9 in July.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, referred to the recent slippage as "a retreat, modest and healthy."

All told, the association views the recent trend as " healthy level of activity which now have now risen year–over–year for 12 consecutive months."

YourTube: The New Real Estate Contract - Form 118

The NJ REALTORS® Form 118 - Standard Form of Real Estate Contract has been updated to bring it into the modern age. This contract includes all required updates to conform to the October 3, 2015 Regulations Changes

If you have any questions about this post or title insurance, please contact Ralph Aponte at 732.914.1400.

Ralph Aponte
President & Founder

Reminder: New CFPB Mortgage Disclosures Start October 3

The real estate industry is poised for the most dramatic change in mortgage disclosures protocols and rules in decades.

The new rules and forms will require loan officers/mortgage lenders to make new disclosures to borrowers after an application for a loan and prior to the closing date.

The new CFPB guidelines will also give borrowers two disclosure forms instead of the current four.

More Good News: Housing May Be Driver for the Economy

We've all seen the trend and the momentum of the housing and real estate market. It continues to take new ground, without a lot of strain or stress. As compared with the last housing bubble of 2007, in which there was unbridled exuberance, this leg of the market seems to take steps forward instead of leap-frogging it.

The recent story from used the headline: "Housing's Strength May Drive Economy As Factories Cool" to frame what they believe portends for a positive 2016 outlook.

Underwater Mortgages Slowly Drying Up

Zillow reported that by Q2, 2015, its data showed that 14.4 percent of homeowners with a mortgage had negative equity, compared with 31.4 percent in the first quarter of 2012, the peak.

The contributing factors given for this encouraging news is attributed to:
• The continued low mortgage rates
• The consistent improvement of the real estate market
• The slow improvement in the jobs market

This figure continues to shadow the Fed obviously which made a comment about the improved but challenged real estate market.

Existing Homes Sales Drop 4.8% from July, Up 6.2% from 2014

The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of previously owned homes fell in August from July 4.8%. This represents the first drop in four months.

Market Stats
• Over the past 12 months sales have risen 6.2%
• 2.29 million homes were on the market in August, representing 5.2 months of supply
• The median price of existing homes is $228,700 in August
• Prices fell off slightly in August, but have risen 4.7% from the same month of 2014
• First-time buyers accounted for 32% of sales in August, an increase from July

20 Industry Groups Ask CFPB for Enforcement Protocols

Nearly 20 real estate industry groups and associations that represent, among others lenders, banks, credit unions, and title companies are encouraging the federal regulators to provide guidance on how they plan to enforce the new mortgage disclosure protocols which go into effect on October 3, 2015.

The TRID [Truth in Lending Act/Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act] which integrate disclosures will pose significant "challenges" for mortgage lenders, according to a letter signed by the 18 groups, according to a Housing Wire article.