Articles by Christine Ricciardi

Rethinking the dream

As foreclosures turn former homeowners into renters and new buyers stay on the sidelines, the apartment sector relishes its nascent recovery. Increased demand begat higher occupancy rates and rents, as well as new construction despite lingering headwinds from a sluggish economy. Homeownership — long considered the quintessential American dream — is at a 13-year low, but apartment growth, which was also hurt with the economic downturn, is seeing a comeback of sorts.
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Gen Y: Reaching a generation not sold on home ownership

Unlike homebuyers of older generations, Jennifer Oliver and Tyler Flynn never tapped a real estate agent or toured open houses. Instead, they relied on the Internet to find their first home — preferring the tech savvy methods favored by Generation Y. Internet matching criteria linked them to 901 McCoy Drive in Irving, Texas. It was the one and only house they viewed before buying.
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HUD clarifies mortgage originator role in SAFE Act

The Department of Housing and Urban Development issued a final rule Wednesday defining the role of a mortgage originator for the purpose of state compliance with federal licensing laws. A mortgage originator is someone who "acts as a residential mortgage loan originator with respect to financing that is provided in a commercial context and with some degree of habitualness or repetition," according to the HUD rule.
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More consumers forced to rent due to foreclosure: TransUnion

The ranks of apartment dwellers have grown as homebuyers lose homes to foreclosure, according to property managers. TransUnion surveyed more than 1,100 property managers across the country in early June to identify trends in the rental space. The credit reporting agency polled about 1,000 small property managers with 200 units or less and 167 large property managers with more than 200 units.
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Home prices, sales still stagnant in April: RadarLogic

Prospects in the housing market remain glum as the weaker then expected spring buying season pushes prices and transaction counts down. In April, home prices deteriorated 5.1% compared the same month of 2010 when the first-time homebuyer tax credit was in place, according to RadarLogic's RPX Housing Market Report released Thursday. RadarLogic reported price declines in all 25 metropolitan statistical areas that it tracks, with Boston experiencing the largest drop of 21.8% compared to April 2010.
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Morgan Keegan to pay SEC $200 million to settle subprime MBS fraud charges

Securities brokerage firm Morgan Keegan & Co. and investment manager Morgan Asset Management agreed to a $200 million settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday to settle fraud charges related to the valuation of subprime mortgage-backed securities. Former employees James Kelsoe and Joseph Weller also agreed to settle with the regulator and pay additional fines of $500,000 and $50,000, respectively, for their actions in the fraud scheme.
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