Are record-low interest rates masking high-cost mortgage lending?

Are record-low interest rates masking high-cost mortgage lending?

Five leading economists weigh in and the answer may surprise you partners with Google to predict housing trends

Nowcast will predict in real time

The New York Times rambles, and mangles mortgages along the way

Mortgage finance and mortgage regulation aren’t the paper’s strong suits

Troubled commercial loans may be near the peak: Real Capital

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Distressed commercial properties increased $5.1 billion in July, the lowest addition since October 2008, according to the research firm Real Capital Analytics. The July additions were also less than half the monthly average for all of 2009 and through 2010 so far. The total amount of distressed commercial loans stands at $189.1 billion. "Distress trends in July offer some evidence that the levels of outstanding distress may finally be near the peak," according to the report. More than $4 billion in commercial loans were either resolved or restructured, offsetting the July increases of distressed properties. "Most of that increase can be attributed to the industrial and hotel sectors, while the retail and apartment sectors registered small declines in distressed levels during July," according to Real Capital. Trepp, Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings both have the August delinquency rate on commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) loans near 9%, but both firms have seen loan modification increase. Fitch reported today that the amount of commercial modifications reached a new record in August. For those loans that can't resolved, more are moving out of the foreclosure process and into REO. The commercial REO inventory held by lenders increased $1 billion in July to $33.6 billion total. Meanwhile, those still moving through default, foreclosure bankruptcy or the special servicing process declined slightly to $155.5 billion. It's only the second time since August 2008 that this volume has dropped. Roughly 30% of the $82.4 billion in commercial loans that have entered the distressed volume this year has been worked-out. Of this, $39.5 billion were resolved through new financing or a sale, while the other $42.9 billion has been restructured. Write to Jon Prior.

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