Top Real Estate Articles of the Week; 9/7/2012

Investors Eye Profits From Single-Family Home Rentals

By JOE GOSE, FOR INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY

Institutional investors are raising billions of dollars to acquire distressed single-family homes and turn them into rentals. It’s a strategy fashioned on the idea that home “rentership” is increasingly replacing ownership following the housing market’s crash, amid stricter mortgage-lending standards and a struggling economy.

Renting out single-family homes has long been the province of mom-and-pop investors and traditional homeowners. But given the foreclosure crisis, institutional investors are now able to pay just pennies on the dollar for properties to amass thousands of homes. Read More at Investors.com

What’s up with the Housing Market?

by Irwin Kellner

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. (MarketWatch) — As the U.S. economy rounds the Labor Day turn, it appears that, after several false starts, the long-depressed housing market is finally climbing out of the basement.

It is nothing more mysterious than supply and demand. For the first time in a number of years, the supply of both new and used homes available for sale has dropped below demand.

No matter what the product or service, whenever demand exceeds supply, rising prices are sure to follow. Housing is no exception. Prices are rising both quarter-to-quarter and year-over-year for the first time in two years. Read More at MarketWatch.com

Will Jobs Data Hurt Real Estate Recovery?

By AnnaMaria Andriotis

The most recent job numbers may be disappointing in more ways than one: Payroll numbers will need to more than double their current growth rate before a full housing recovery can occur, economists say.

Recent weeks have seen some upbeat news about the housing market. According to data released this week by CoreLogic, for example, home prices increased 3.8% in July compared with a year prior—the biggest year-over-year increase since August 2006.

But a lagging workforce is likely to hold back the recovery in home sales. Today’s jobs report indicates that growth remains sluggish: U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by 96,000 in August, according to seasonally adjusted data released by the Labor Department. Economists expected a gain of 125,000. While the unemployment rate fell to 8.1%, down from 8.3% in July, that was largely because some people stopped looking for work. Read More at MarketWatch.com

Real Estate Now Tops Legal Malpractice Claims List, ABA-Published Study Shows

By Martha Neil

For the first time, real estate matters are now the most-frequent subject of malpractice claims against lawyers, a new study has found.

Results of a 2008-2011 survey of 53,000 insurance claims were announced Thursday by the ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers’ Professional Liability in conjunction with the National Legal Malpractice Conference in Chicago. In previous studies dating back to 1985, plaintiff’s personal injury matters were the biggest generator of malpractice claims.

The committee “has provided a one-of-a-kind, detailed overview of legal malpractice claims,” said ABA President Laurel Bellows in a press release about the study report. It can be purchased on the ABA’s website.

The report, she continued, “will give law firm risk managers, lawyers practicing in the field and legal malpractice insurers valuable insights into the areas of law, types of activity and other variables that give rise to malpractice claims.” Read More at ABAjournal.com

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