April 16, 2012 With the huge supply of foreclosed homes, the rental housing market is becoming increasingly dominated by investment companies — not the mom-and-pop operations down the street that used to fill that role. Some experts worry about what kind of landlords the companies will make.
April 12, 2012 Where could a newspaper (or radio) reporter pick up a mansion/castle like the one David Niven and Doris Day take over in Please Don't Eat the Daisies?
April 11, 2012 Some economists say the government-run enterprises should be allowed to help distressed homeowners by lowering their loan principals to reflect today's lower values. But critics of the move say it would cost taxpayers money and encourage strategic defaults.
March 28, 2012 Housing prices are still falling nationwide, but some analysts see reason for optimism in the real estate market. Home listings are dropping closer to healthy market levels, and some real estate agents report more interest among would-be buyers.
March 23, 2012 Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have concluded that giving homeowners a big break on their mortgages would make good financial sense in many cases, NPR and ProPublica have learned. But a key regulator has resisted principal write-downs, and some economists fear they would lead to abuses.
March 18, 2012 At the height of the housing crisis, low-income Americans had many opportunities to buy a home with the help of subprime mortgages, which proved to be disastrous. But those battered by the crisis continue to find paths to home ownership, despite financial disincentives.
March 16, 2012 The rate at which foreclosures are processed varies widely depending on the state. In New York, for example, it's taking about three years on average, compared with three months in Texas. The difference often has to do with whether courts are overseeing the process.
March 16, 2012 Texas processes foreclosures fastest, with an average of 90 days. At the other end is New York, with an average of 1,019 days. Experts say there are pros and cons to getting through them both too fast and too slow. The national average is 348 days to complete a foreclosure.
February 29, 2012 The nation's five largest mortgage lenders recently pledged to start writing down the principal on mortgages that are underwater. But mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac aren't part of the agreement and don't plan any big changes in the way they do loan modifications.
February 27, 2012 About one-third of all home purchases these days are made in cash — far above normal. Some of those buyers are investors who crowd out people who want to buy the traditional way: with a mortgage. But cash buyers are also helping to mop up the huge inventory of foreclosures around the country.
February 23, 2012 Big banks and other large investors are buying up tens of thousands of foreclosed rental properties across the country. According to tenants and regulators, they're not model landlords. Some fail to follow housing codes, leaving tenants to live without even a number to call in the most dire situations.