More Reports of Online Listing Scams• Just in the past week, we have received numerous complaints about websites that allow consumers to post ads that have fraudulent listings with incorrect information to scam unknowing consumers.• The most frequently mentioned sites are Craigslist and HotPads.com.• To their credit, most of the sites are very responsive when they are notified that a fraudulent listing appears on their site.• For our part, we have done interviews with Channels 2, 13 and 26 in the last month highlighting the need for consumers to do their due diligence when responding to online ads on other sites—and the increased level of confidence when using a REALTOR®.• The scams generally take a property for sale and list it for lease at a much reduced asking price. The “owners” are almost always overseas and ask for the consumer to wire money to them. In some cases, the scammer creates an email address with the name of the actual owner so it makes it more difficult to make sure you are dealing with the real owner. As with all things, if it sounds to good to be true…
How Low Can They Go? Mortgage Rates Hit Yet Another Record Low• Mortgage rates hit record lows again in the week ending May 31, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage average declining to 3.75% from 3.78% in the prior week, Freddie Mac said Thursday in its weekly report. These data go back to 1971. The rate was 4.55% a year earlier.• "Market concerns over tensions in the Eurozone led to a decline in long- term Treasury bond yields helping to bring fixed mortgage rates to new record lows this week," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Macs chief economist.• The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage also hit a record low in the most recent week, falling to 2.97% -- this is the first time the rate has reached below 3% -- from 3.04% in the prior week. These data go back to 1991.• Meanwhile, the average rate on the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage ticked up to 2.84% from 2.83%. The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM remained at 2.75%.
Weekly HAR Market StatAlthough the latest (national) jobs report was less than exciting for those waiting foreconomic recovery to cast a warming glow all across the land, the residential realestate market continued to jog along at a nice pace. For the most recent week, buyeractivity was higher than year-ago levels while listing activity registered lower. Keepwatching inventory and sales activity throughout the summer to see if this runners highwill continue into fall. In the Houston region, for the week ending May 27: • New Listings decreased 0.1% to 2,328 • Pending Sales increased 36.5% to 1,815 • Closed Sales decreased 8.3% to 1,515
Texas Affordable Housing Specialist Certification Texas Association of REALTORS® and local associations are offering the Texas Affordable Housing Specialist Certification to Texas REALTORS® throughout the state in 2012. The certification boasts 12 MCE hours, including The Texas REALTOR® TAHS Elective Training an 8-hour course, as well as the 4-hour United Texas: Housing Initiatives that Work course. Texas REALTORS® who have earned the title of Texas Affordable Housing Specialist are listed by city on the TexasRealEstate.com Web site under Affordable Housing.United Texas Housing Initiatives TAHS Elective Training Date: Monday, June 18th Date: Tuesday, June 26th Time: 8:00am-12:00pm or 1pm-5pm Time: 8:30am- 5:30pm Location: HAR Central Location: HAR Central Investment: $40 Investment: $35Register at www.har.com/edu Questions? 713-629-1900 ext. 6