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Canadians Initiate NYC Real Estate Investment Expansion

Canadian real estate investment company Timbercreek Asset Management is expanding its global focus stateside, with the launch of the company's New York City location. Timbercreek manages approximately $2 billion in assets through its private and publicly-traded real estate-focused funds, and the company's New York launch follows the opening of Timbercreek offices in Switzerland. Leading Timbercreek's push into new markets are three former employees of Citigroup's real estate unit.

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CoreLogic: Home Prices Show Sixth Consecutive Decline

National home prices declined 1.0 percent between December 2011 and January 2012, according to the latest home price index from CoreLogic. It represents the sixth consecutive month the company has recorded a month-over-month drop in residential property values. The stretch of depreciation is much longer when comparing year-over-year numbers. Based on data through the end of January, annual declines in home prices have continued for 18 months straight by CoreLogic's assessment.

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Freddie Taps Treasury for $146M, Despite Net Income Gains

Freddie

Despite reported net income of $619 million for the 2011 fourth quarter, Freddie Mac will still need to request $146 million from the U.S. Treasury for the company's fourth quarter net worth deficit due to "senior preferred dividends paid of $1.7 billion," the Freddie Mac 2011 fourth quarter and year 2011 report stated. For the 2011 third quarter, $6 billion was requested after the GSE reported its largest quarterly loss in over a year. Overall, the GSE has requested $7.6 billion from the Treasury for the year 2011.

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Multi-State Mortgage Fraud Results in Hefty Sentence

In Minnesota, a former house flipper was sentenced to more than eight years in federal prison for his role in a real estate investment scheme, topping the weekly fraud blotter for TheMReport.com. The hefty sentence for Robert W. Dufrense, Jr., who is accused of bilking more than $5 million out of investors across multiple states, was more elaborate than expected due to an additional charge for obstructing justice. Dufresne was originally convicted of one count of mail fraud and one count of money laundering for a house-flipping scam.

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Fixed-Rate Mortgages Hold at or Near Record Lows

Homebuyer affordability is at a record high, and a big driver of that underlying market denominator is the fact that mortgage interest rates continue to hover close to 60-year lows. Data released Thursday by Freddie Mac puts the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage at 3.88 percent, and the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage hit a record low of 3.13 percent. Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist, says that due to these factors, the typical family had more than double the income needed to purchase a median-priced home in January.

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