Home builders are portending better days ahead. Their sentiment continues to reflect more optimism and improving new-home prospects.

For proof, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Home Builder Sentiment Index gained four points in February, pushing the index to a 29 reading – the highest reading in over four years. What’s more, February was the second-consecutive month of a four-point gain and the fifth-consecutive month-over-month gain.

Even more encouraging is the fact that home builder optimism isn’t confined to specific index components or specific areas. Gains are evenly split among current sales, future sales, and buyer traffic, and evenly distributed by metropolitan region.

The latest data makes the case for a rosier housing outlook. In fact, the Commerce Department data show housing starts increased 1.5% in January, pushing starts up to 699,000 annualized units, the highest start rate since October 2008.

Many housing pundits have pointed to multifamily starts as reason for the upturn. To be sure, multifamily starts are in an uptrend, having increased 14% to an annualized rate of 175,000 units in January. It’s worth noting, though, that single-family starts posted at 508,000 annualized units in January. That’s a 1 percent drop from December’s starts, but December’s single-family starts were revised up strongly to 513,000 homes – a 12-percent gain from November.

In short, the resurgence in home construction isn’t being driven by renters alone. People still want to own a home, and they are still willing to buy a new one.


FHA has extended the Property Flipping Waiver through December 31, 2012. All terms of the existing Waiver will remain the same. The Waiver continues to be limited to sales meeting the following conditions:

 •          All transactions must be arms-length, with no identity of interest between the buyer and seller or other parties participating in the sales transaction.

•          In cases in which the sales price of the property is 20 percent or more above the seller’s acquisition cost, the Waiver will only apply if the lender meets specific conditions and documents the justification for the increase in value.

This is great news.  The exception is if the first sale is a short sale where the seller qualifies for the HAFA program.  Then the flipper/investor has to hold onto the property for 90 days.

Flip Rules Extended.

Buy when there’s blood in the streets and sell to the sound of trumpets. ~Nathan Rothschild

It is time to consider buying residential real estate.  The bottom is forming, although it may continue to do so through early 2011.  ~ David John Marotta, President of Marotta Wealth Management Inc. in Charlotteville VA.


These savvy and successful businessmen are both right.  The downturn did continue through early 2011 and there is no better strategy than to buy at the bottom and sell at the top.  We are at the bottom.  Call me.

Home ownership sees biggest drop since Great Depression –

The rate of home ownership fell to 65.1% during the 2000’s, the biggest drop since the 1930s, according to the Census.

The good news for buyers and investors is, of course, prices and interest rates are at all time lows too, unlike the cost of everything else.

Crazy Low Rates.