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Author Archives: Colin Robins

Colin Robins is the online editor for DSNews.com. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Texas A&M University and a Master of Arts from the University of Texas, Dallas. Additionally, he contributes to the MReport, DS News' sister site.

Home Flipping Falls in Q1; Average Profit Rises

A recent blog post from RealtyTrac VP Daren Blomquist found home flipping activity declined in the first quarter of 2014, though the amount of average profit per successful flip rose. According to Blomquist, the average gross profit per flip last quarter was $55,574, a 30 percent return on the initial purchase price. Gross profits increased year-over-year from $51,805 in the first quarter of 2013, a 28 percent return on investment.

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Home Price Gains Slow to 14-Month Low

CoreLogic reported continued gains in its latest Home Price Index (HPI), though the latest growth was the lowest in the last 14 months. Including distressed sales, the company recorded a 10.5 percent year-over-year increase in its index, marking 26 consecutive months of yearly gains. Nationally, prices are expected to rise by 6.3 percent by next April, further slowing to what analysts say should be a more sustainable pace.

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Maryland Sees 9th Bank Collapse of 2014

Following a prior collapse in Ohio, FDIC announced over the weekend the closure of another bank: Slavie Federal Savings Bank of Bel Air, Maryland, has been closed. The agency entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with Bay Bank, FSB of Lutherville, Maryland, to assume all the deposits of the recently shuttered Slavie Federal Savings Bank.

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Report: April Inventory ‘Robust’ Compared to 2013

Home prices and inventories moved more in balance with each other across the country in April, according to the latest National Housing Trend Report from Realtor.com. The company believes the bumps in both inventory and asking price suggest a strengthening national economy.

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HARP Activity Continues to Slip in Q1

Refinance volumes dropped in the first quarter to a post-recession low, according to stats released by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Meanwhile, the share of refinances done through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) continued to pull back, slipping to about 21 percent of total activity.

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Ohio Bank Shuts Down in 8th Closure of 2014

Another FDIC-insured bank closed its doors over the long weekend, bringing the national tally to eight so far this year. According to a release from the agency, Columbia Savings Bank of Cincinnati, Ohio, was shut down by the Ohio Division of Financial Institutions. As of March 31, the closed bank had roughly $36.5 million in assets and $29.5 million in deposits, "essentially all" of which is going to Indiana-based United Fidelity Bank.

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Confirmed: Obama Nominates Julián Castro for HUD Secretary

Following recent reports that the San Antonio mayor was being discussed to take over as HUD secretary, the White House has confirmed the nomination of Julián Castro for the position. Meanwhile, current HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan is headed to the White House Office of Management and Budget.

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Seven Major Metros Reporting New House Price Peaks

According to the latest from Black Knight Financial Services seven of the 40 largest metro areas hit new peaks in March, suggesting that perhaps a sluggish first quarter is on its way to rebounding in time for summer. Overall, the company recorded a 1.0 percent monthly increase in prices nationwide, bringing the index within 12.8 percent of its 2006 peak.

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HUD Awards $40M in Grants for Housing Counseling

As part of its efforts to improve consumer housing education, HUD announced it was given out an additional $40 million in grants to national, regional, and local organizations nationwide to aid housing counseling programs. HUD projects the housing grants will help assist more than 1.5 million households find housing, keep their current homes, and make more informed housing choices.

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California Home Sales Spike 20% in April

In a new report, PropertyRadar found that single-family home sales in the Golden State were up 20 percent month-to-month, though year-to-date sales are still lagging compared to last year. In fact, according to PropertyRadar's director of economic research, Madeline Schnapp, "year-to-date sales volumes in 2014 are the lowest since 2008."

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