Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Highest Increase in 3 years for Orlando homes

As I look around my neighborhood, I have noticed an upward shift in sales and price.  It's great to see that the upward swing is being felt throughout Central Florida: 

November’s median price for existing homes in Orlando was $129,000, up 12 percent compared to last year, and the midpoint price reached its highest level in three years, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

The Orlando Regional Realtor Association reported that its members sold 2,430 houses last month – a 20 percent increase from the year-ago period – and the average interest rate paid by homebuyers in Orlando was 3.47 percent compared to 4.1 percent in November 2011.

To read the Orlando Sentinel article, click here.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Commercial/Multifamily Mortgage Delinquency Rates Down in Third Quarter

Our commercial lenders, buyers, and sellers have been hit hard over the last few years.  However, over the last few months, we have noticed commercial projects starting back up along 17-92 in Orlando and Winter Park.  A good sign that the economy is improving.  

The following press release from Mortgage Bankers' Association  continues the good news for all of us:
WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 6, 2012) – Delinquency rates decreased for commercial and multifamily mortgage loans in the third quarter, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Commercial/Multifamily Delinquency Report. 

“Commercial and multifamily mortgage delinquency rates for loans held by life companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac all remain extremely low,” said Jamie Woodwell, MBA’s Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Research. “The delinquency rate on bank-held loans is at its lowest level since the beginning of 2009 and the delinquency rate for loans held in commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) – while still elevated – continues to stabilize. If one removes the CMBS loans that are in foreclosure or REO, that delinquency rate is at its lowest since late 2009.” 

During the third quarter of 2012, the 60+ day delinquency rate for commercial and multifamily mortgages held in life company portfolios decreased 0.03 percentage points to 0.12 percent. The 60+ day delinquency rate for multifamily loans held or insured by Fannie Mae decreased 0.01 percentage points to 0.28 percent. The 90+ day delinquency rate for loans held by FDIC-insured banks and thrifts decreased 0.18 percentage points to 2.93 percent. The 30+ day delinquency rate for loans held in commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) decreased 0.11 percentage points to 8.86 percent. The 60+ day delinquency rate for multifamily loans held or insured by Freddie Mac remained the same at 0.27 percent.

The third quarter 2012 delinquency rate for commercial and multifamily mortgages held in life insurance company portfolios was 7.41 percentage points lower than the series high (7.53 percent, reached during the second quarter of 1992). The delinquency rate for multifamily loans held by Freddie Mac was 6.54 percentage points lower than the series high (6.81 percent, reached in the fourth quarter of 1992). The delinquency rate for multifamily loans held by Fannie Mae was 3.34 percentage points below the series high (3.62 percent, reached during the fourth quarter of 1991). The rate for commercial and multifamily mortgages held by banks and thrifts was 3.65 percentage points lower than the series high (6.58 percent, reached in the second quarter of 1991). The rate for loans held in CMBS was 0.16 percentage points below the series high (9.02 percent, reached in the second quarter of 2011).

Please note: In March 2012, MBA released a DataNote covering the performance of commercial and multifamily mortgages at commercial banks and thrifts over the entire year 2011. The DataNote found that commercial and multifamily mortgages had the lowest charge-off rates of any major loan type and had delinquency rates lower than the overall book of loans and leases held by banks and thrifts. The DataNote can be found at:  www.mortgagebankers.org/research.

Construction and development loans are not included in the numbers presented here, but are included in many regulatory definitions of ‘commercial real estate’ despite the fact that they are often backed by single-family residential development projects rather than by office buildings, apartment buildings, shopping centers or other income-producing properties. The FDIC delinquency rates for bank and thrift held mortgages reported here do include loans backed by owner-occupied commercial properties.

The MBA analysis looks at commercial/multifamily delinquency rates for five of the largest investor-groups: commercial banks and thrifts, commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), life insurance companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Together these groups hold more than 80 percent of commercial/multifamily mortgage debt outstanding.

The analysis incorporates the same measures used by each individual investor group to track the performance of their loans. Because each investor group tracks delinquencies in its own way, delinquency rates are not comparable from one group to another.

Based on the unpaid principal balance (UPB) of loans, delinquency rates for each group at the end of the third quarter were as follows:

• Life company portfolios: 0.12 percent (60 or more delinquent);
• Freddie Mac:  0.27 percent (60 or more days delinquent);
• Fannie Mae:  0.28 percent (60 or more days delinquent);
• Banks and thrifts:  2.93 percent (90 or more days delinquent or in non-accrual);
• CMBS:  8.86 percent (30 or more days delinquent or in REO).

Differences between the delinquency measures are detailed in Appendix A.
To view the report, please visit the following Web link: click here

Friday, December 7, 2012

Short Sales outpace Foreclosures

This recent news story is not a surprise to our office.  Our clients, both homeowners and banks, have been more successful and willing over the last year to "work it out" instead of pursuing the court ordered sale.  That is not to say that numbers are not still high in Florida for foreclosure-related sales.  Currently, RealtyTrac says Arizona continues to log the most foreclosure-related sales at 34% followed by Nevada (31%), Florida (26%), Illinois (24%) and Michigan (24%).

To view the official link, click here.
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Dec. 6, 2012 – Sales of U.S. homes facing foreclosure are on the rise and outpacing sales of bank-owned homes, a reflection of stepped-up efforts this year by lenders to avoid foreclosing on homes with mortgages gone unpaid.

In the third quarter, sales of homes already in the foreclosure process jumped 22 percent compared to the previous quarter and a year earlier, foreclosure tracker RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

Short sales, when a lender agrees to accept less than what the homeowner owes on their mortgage, accounted for 65 percent of those so-called preforeclosure sales in the quarter, the firm said.

Banks have become more amenable to short sales as an alternative to foreclosure, which can often end up leading to bigger losses, and mire lenders and borrowers in a time-consuming and expensive process.

“More and more, they’re seeing that they’re going to lose less by approving a short sale than by dealing with the foreclosure process,” said Daren Blomquist, a vice president at RealtyTrac.

Attempts to fast-track that process, particularly in states where the courts must sign off on foreclosures, led to allegations last year that many banks and mortgage servicers processed foreclosures without verifying documents. Five of the biggest U.S. banks agreed in February to pay $25 billion to settle the claims as part of a deal with federal and state officials.

In the months since, the banks have increasingly used short sales as a way to provide mortgage relief to borrowers.

The lenders have reported that they provided $26 billion in home-loan relief between March 1 and Sept. 30, with about half of that stemming from short sales.

Some banks, like JPMorgan Chase & Co., have been giving borrowers financial incentives to pursue a short sale. Others are trying to speed up the transactions, which in years past could easily take six months or more before being finalized.

“A lot of the banks right now are setting the expectation that it will take about 60 days to process, some even faster,” said Jenna Smith, a listing agent for real estate website Redfin in Chicago. “In prior years I’ve had them drag out for nine to 12 months.”

Banks also have been approving short sales for borrowers who have yet to enter the foreclosure process.

These types of short sales increased by 15 percent in the third quarter versus the previous three months, and were up 22 percent from the third quarter of last year, RealtyTrac said.

As short sales and other preforeclosure sales have become more common, they have begun to outpace sales of bank-owned homes.

Some 98,125 homes in some stage of foreclosure were sold in the third quarter, while 94,934 bank-owned homes were sold in the same period. Preforeclosures have outnumbered sales of bank-owned homes through the first nine months of the year, RealtyTrac said.

Sales of bank-owned homes rose 19 percent versus the second quarter, but fell 20 percent from a year earlier.

All told, foreclosure sales totaled 193,059 in the July-to-September period, an increase of 21 percent from the second quarter, but a drop of 3 percent from a year earlier, RealtyTrac said.

Despite the growth in short sales, foreclosure sales made up a slightly smaller share of all U.S. home sales in the third quarter. They accounted for 19 percent of all residential sales, down from 20 percent in the previous quarter, and unchanged from the third quarter of 2011.

Buyers who purchased a bank-owned home or a preforeclosure property in the third quarter got a bigger discount relative to other types of homes.

The average price of a foreclosure sale in the third quarter was 32 percent below the average sale price of non-foreclosure homes, RealtyTrac said.

That’s up from a 29 percent discount in the second quarter and a 31 percent discount in the third quarter of 2011.

Homebuyers who purchased a foreclosure sale in the third quarter paid an average of $177,430. That’s down 4 percent from the second quarter and up 3 percent from a year earlier.
AP Logo Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press, Alex Veiga, AP real estate writer.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Attorney General Bondi Reminds Qualified Borrowers to Submit Claims

In a follow up to our recent post, National Foreclosure Settlement and the Big Banks, Florida borrowers who qualify and may be eligible for payment under the Settlement have been sent forms to return by January 18, 2013. 
This recent press release has me wondering if any of our clients will benefit from the recent $25 billion national mortgage foreclosure settlement. 
Read the actual News Release here.
Attorney General Bondi Reminds Qualified Borrowers Who Lost Homes to Foreclosure to Submit Claims for Payment by January 18

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi reminds Florida borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure between Jan. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2011 and who may be eligible for payment under the $25 billion national mortgage foreclosure settlement to file claims by Jan. 18, 2013.
Forms have been mailed to qualified borrowers, and they must be returned by Jan. 18, 2013. Borrowers should complete their claim forms and return them as soon as possible in the envelope provided, or file them online at www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com. Payment checks are expected to be mailed in mid-2013. Borrowers who believe that they may have missed their claim form because they changed their addressed recently may contact the settlement administrator at 1-866-430-8358.
Eligible borrowers had mortgages serviced by Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers that agreed to the settlement with the federal government and attorneys general for 49 states and the District of Columbia.
The settlement, which took effect in April, earmarked approximately $1.5 billion in payments for 2 million borrowers nationwide who lost their homes to foreclosure during that period and had their loan serviced by one of the settling servicers. The exact payment will depend upon the total number of borrowers who decide to participate.
Free claim form assistance available

Borrowers who have questions or need help filing their claims can contact the settlement administrator, toll-free, at 1-866-430-8358, or send questions by email to administrator@nationalmortgagesettlement.com. The information line is staffed Monday through Friday from (7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central).
Payment won’t stop other legal claims

Eligible borrowers do not need to prove financial harm to receive a payment, nor do they give up their rights to pursue a lawsuit against their mortgage servicer or to participate in the Independent Foreclosure Review Process being conducted by federal bank regulators. More information about that program is available at www.independentforeclosurereview.com.
Eligible borrowers may get a payment from this settlement even if they participate in another foreclosure claims process. However, any payment received may reduce payments borrowers may be eligible to receive in any other foreclosure claim process or legal proceeding.
Eligible borrowers not notified should contact settlement administrator

Borrowers who believe they may qualify for a payment, but did not receive a notice because they have moved, should contact the settlement administrator directly to provide that information:
Call toll-free: 1-866-430-8358. The line is staffed Monday through Friday from (7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central).
Email: administrator@nationalmortgagesettlement.com
Beware of scams

Borrowers should not need to pay anyone to file their claim. All homeowners should be aware of settlement-related scams. Do not provide personal information or pay money to anyone who calls or emails you claiming that they are providing settlement-related assistance. If you believe someone is conducting a settlement-related scam, contact the Florida Attorney General’s Office at 850-414-3990.
Settlement background

The national settlement followed state and federal investigations, which alleged that the five mortgage servicers routinely signed foreclosure-related documents outside the presence of a notary public and without personal knowledge that the facts contained in the documents were correct. This civil law enforcement action also alleged that the servicers committed widespread errors and abuses in their foreclosure processes.
Broad reform of the mortgage servicing process resulted from the settlement, as well as financial relief for borrowers still in their homes through direct loan modification relief, including principal reduction.
For more information about eligibility and filing a claim:

Email: administrator@nationalmortgagesettlement.com
Call toll-free: 1-866-430-8358 (hearing impaired: 1-866-494-8281). The line is staffed Monday through Friday from (7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central).

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Decisions, Decisions -Revocable Living Trust or Will?

At a recent Estate Planning consultation, we discussed the question of forming a Revocable Living Trust or a Last Will & Testament.  It's a common question and the discussion is necessary to forming the proper Estate Plan.  The answer depends on the individual, their estate, and their desires. Below is a brief discussion on the main differences of Revocable Living Trust and a Last Will & Testament.  It is not meant to be the "answer", but only a thoughtful examination. 

Revocable Living Trust 

A living trust is a written declaration and contract in which you ("grantor") transfer your property into a living trust for the benefit of yourself during your lifetime (lifetime "beneficiary") and then for the benefit of your heirs (remainder "beneficiaries"). During your lifetime, you will be the "trustee" of your living trust which means that you maintain complete control over the living trust's assets. The "successor trustee" will take control over your living trust in case of your death or incapacity. In addition, you maintain the power to change, amend or revoke your living trust at any time during your lifetime.

The main advantage for a living trust is the avoidance of probate. Probate is a state court proceeding in which your property is transferred to your heirs. A previous post, How long does it take to probate in Florida, discusses the time involved in the Florida Probate process.  Since probate only affects assets which you own at the time of your death, assets placed in a living trust are not owned by you, therefore, there is no probate on those assets. The cost to Probate will range from a percentage of the value of probate assets to an hourly fee. 

Further, probate is a court proceeding, your Will will be filed with the local Clerk and become part of the public record.  A living trust, however, is confidential and the transfer of assets from the living trust is kept from public view. When the grantor of a living trust dies or becomes incapacitated, the successor trustee administers the living trust without a "gap" period.   Under a probate proceeding, there is a "gap" period between the time of death and the appointment of an executor.

It may sound like the Revocable Living Trust is a great option for everyone.  However, in order for a Revocable Living Trust to work, all assets which are to be held in the living trust must be transferred into the living trust.  This list includes, but it not limited to:

  • Real Property Deeds (lien holders must consent)
  • Bank Accounts
  • Partnership and Stock interests
The list can be exhausting for clients.  It is important to have a provision in the Revocable Living Trust that provides for a safety net for assets that have not been titled in the name of the living trust.  This is called a Pour-Over Will.  It provides that any assets not held in living trust will be placed into the living trust after the probate is completed.

A living trust is also more expensive in up front costs due to drafting the document and implementing it.   

Last Will & Testament

A will is a legal document that lets you tell the world who should receive which of your assets after your death. A will only takes effect upon death of the person, therefore, nothing is transferred or administered prior to death.   Without a will, the courts decide what happens to your assets and who is responsible for your kids in accordance with the Probate code.

An advantage of a will over a living trust is that probate estate is a separate taxpayer and can select a fiscal year end.   Also the decedent's creditors have a short statute of limitations time period to bring claims in a probate.  Once the period for claims has passed, those creditors are barred from asserting claims against the heirs. 

A will also allows you to name your executor, the person who will be in charge of your estate. Before you select an executor, make sure you understand the tasks he or she will need to perform, which include distributing your property, filing tax returns and processing claims from creditors. Your executor should be someone you trust completely and is willing to take on such a big responsibility.

There are limitations to wills.  It is important to know that the beneficiary designations on financial accounts, insurance policies and other assets take precedence over wills.  Make sure your beneficiary designations are up to date and reflect your current desires.


There is not one answer for everyone.  The important thing is to have a plan, seek the advice of an attorney, and make sure that your wishes will be carried through.  

There are many facets to a Revocable Living Trust and a Will that were not covered in the above post.  This post is meant to serve as a basic explanation of the difference between the two types of estate planning.  

Monday, November 5, 2012

The $300 Million Plan

A follow up post to our National Foreclosure Settlement and the Big Banks, Attorney General Pam Bondi announced the plans last week for Florida's $300 million.

To read the actual press release click here or the Frequently Asked Qustions section click here.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi, President-designate Don Gaetz and Speaker-designate Will Weatherford today jointly announced their support for a plan for allocating the remaining $300 million that the Attorney General recovered for Floridians in the national mortgage settlement. The plan ensures that the entirety of these funds will be spent consistent with the terms of the settlement agreement, but also that the funds will be allocated through the legislative process. These settlement funds are in addition to the approximately $7.5 billion in expected relief that the national mortgage settlement provides directly to Florida homeowners.

At the next meeting of the Legislative Budget Commission, with the support of Gaetz and Weatherford, Bondi will seek approval for budget amendments to disburse $60 million of the settlement funds. Bondi anticipates proposing that the $60 million be used to fund down payment assistance for Floridians, foreclosure-related legal assistance and counseling, state court initiatives to ease the foreclosure backlog and Attorney General’s office enforcement efforts.

The balance of the funds will be allocated through the appropriations process in the upcoming legislative session. Gaetz and Weatherford have agreed to support the appropriation of approximately $200 million for housing-related purposes, consistent with the terms of the settlement agreement. Although the specific appropriations must be determined through the legislative process, possible uses of these funds include foreclosure prevention, neighborhood revitalization, affordable housing, homebuyer or renter assistance, legal assistance, counseling and other housing-related programs. Finally, consistent with the discretion afforded her under the settlement agreement, Bondi will designate approximately $40 million of the settlement funds as additional civil penalties.

“This plan gets much-needed assistance to the homeowners and communities suffering the effects of the foreclosure crisis, and ensures that the settlement funds are spent with the transparency, accountability and flexibility that comes from the legislative process,” said Bondi. “I thank President-designate Gaetz and Speaker-designate Weatherford for working together with me to implement the mortgage settlement in a way that’s in the best interests of our state.”

“I am grateful to Attorney General Bondi and Speaker-designate Weatherford for working with us on a proposal which ensures that these funds are appropriated by the legislature in a transparent and accountable manner,” said Senate President-designate Don Gaetz (R-Niceville). “Together with the approximately $7.5 billion in relief that will go directly to homeowners, this funding will play an important role in the multitude of state and federal efforts to provide relief for homeowners facing foreclosure.”

“I appreciate the hard work of Attorney General Pam Bondi and Senate President-designate Don Gaetz both in securing the settlement for distressed homeowners and for representing the interests of the state,” said Speaker-designate Will Weatherford (R-Wesley Chapel). The framework that has been outlined today will enable the Legislature to fulfill its important duty as appropriators while also directing these funds to those who have been negatively impacted. I look forward to working together in the upcoming legislative session.”

Attorney General Bondi formally entered a landmark $25 billion joint federal-state agreement with the nation's five largest mortgage servicers over foreclosure abuses and unacceptable nationwide mortgage servicing practices. In addition to the funds described above, the agreement provides direct relief to homeowners and mandates extensive reforms of the banks' mortgage servicing practices. For more information regarding the settlement, please click here:

Jenn Meale
Phone: 850.245.0150

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fannie & Freddie - May deal with you afterall

Many of our clients are underwater with their home mortgages.  They come into our office to discuss their options - short sale, stay, try to do a work-out with lender- its a tough road.  If you have never missed a payment on your property and are not delinquent, not all lenders will deal with you. 

The following article is defintely newsworthy and interesting for those with Fannie and Freddie mortgages:

WASHINGTON – Oct. 25, 2012 – Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have issued new rules effective Nov. 1 that will allow short sales for underwater borrowers who have never missed a mortgage payment. Previously, Fannie and Freddie allowed only homeowners who had missed payments to qualify for a short sale.

However, eligible short-sale owners will need to show a hardship to qualify for a short sale under the new rules. Hardships may include unemployment or the death of a spouse.

The new rules won’t help credit scores, however. The non-delinquent short sellers will likely take just as big a hit to their credit score as delinquent homeowners who have missed loan payments and gone into foreclosure, according to Kenneth Harney, writing in Inman News.

“Under current national credit reporting practices, those non-delinquent borrowers are likely to be treated the same for credit scoring purposes as severely delinquent owners who go to foreclosure after months of nonpayment, or who simply toss back the house keys and walk away in strategic defaults,” says Harney.

Credit agencies have no special coding that indicates a short sale occurred without an accompanying delinquency. Therefore, homeowners could see their credit scores drop 150 points or more after a short sale.

However, officials at the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, say they are “in discussions with the credit industry” to explore ways to fix the credit score problem for people who haven’t missed a payment before undergoing a short sale.

Source: “Damage to Credit Scores Could Trip Up New Fannie, Freddie Short Sale Program,” Inman News (Oct. 23, 2012)

© Copyright 2012 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Construction in 4 Fla. Cities up 9.6%

CHICAGO – Oct. 22, 2012 – For major-metro regions in Florida – Jacksonville, Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Tallahassee, and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater – had an increase in actively bid construction projects, according to the third-quarter BidClerk Construction Index (BCI). This increase covered both private and public construction projects that grew year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter.

Overall, Florida actively bid construction activity increase of 9.6 percent compared to one year earlier. Private construction rose 19 percent, while public construction rose 4.3 percent.

In a quarter-over-quarter analysis for all construction projects, the major-metro regions in Florida saw an increase of 12.3 percent. Third-quarter public projects saw an increase of 20.8 percent compared to the second quarter of 2012, while private projects increased 1.4 percent.

In a year-over-year analysis for the Miami region, actively bid public and private construction projects rose 10.8 percent compared to one year ago. Private projects increased 22.4 percent and public projects increased 4.4 percent.

Quarter-over-quarter, combined private and public construction projects in Miami increased 12.3 percent. Private projects rose 2.8 percent and public projects rose 19.3 percent.

In a year-over-year analysis for the Orlando region, actively bid public and private construction projects dropped 4.4 percent compared to one year ago. Private projects decreased 3.1 percent and public projects decreased 5.6 percent.

Quarter-over-quarter, combined private and public construction projects in Orlando decreased 3.3 percent. Private projects decreased 4.5 percent and public projects dropped 2.2 percent.

Tampa-St. Pete
In a year-over-year analysis for the Tampa-St. Pete region, actively bid public and private construction projects rose 24.5 percent compared to one year ago. Private projects increased 23.7 percent and public projects increased 24.9 percent.

Quarter-over-quarter, combined private and public construction projects in Tampa-St. Pete increased 16.9 percent. Private projects decreased 9.1 percent and public projects rose 37.8 percent.

Nationally, actively bid combined public and private construction projects increased 3 percent in the third quarter of 2012, compared to the same quarter a year ago. Third quarter 2012 public construction increased modestly, rising just 0.2 percent, while third quarter 2012 private construction rose 12.3 percent, year-over-year.

BidClerk, a provider of construction project data and marketing tools for building product manufacturers, contractors and distributors, releases the BidClerk Construction Index quarterly.

Article can be found at:
Florida Realtors

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How long does it take to probate in Florida?

As Florida lawyers, we are often asked how long a case or proceeding will take - start to finish.  The answer is not easy. 

This post is meant to address the common question, "How long does it take to probate in Florida?".

If everything runs smoothly, it takes 4 months.

The probate process is basically a three part process: assets are located, creditors are paid, and the beneficiaries recieve what is left (distribution).

If the decedent was organized, then locating assets can be simple and take days or a few weeks. If the decedent had a lot of assets and did not leave them organized, then locating the assets can take longer. If probate takes longer than 4 months, it’s usually because of the amount or complexity of assets.

The next part is paying the creditors.  However before paying them, the creditors have to be found. This is done by publishing a notice to creditors in the legal newspaper and giving them 3 months to file a claim. In addition, a copy of the notice to creditors is sent to every possible person who might be a creditor. At the end of the 3 month creditor claims period, the creditors are known and paid, if all goes smoothly. If this takes longer than 3 months, then it’s usually due to a disputed claim or a problem with taxes.

Finally, after the 3 month creditor claims period expires and the creditors are paid, the remaining estate can be distributed to beneficiaries. If it takes longer, then it is usually because there is a will contest or other dispute.

So, the answer is simple (or it it), a Florida probate can be completed in just 4 months from start to finish if all goes smoothly. The problem is that things don’t always go smoothly.  A proper estate plan (wills & trusts) can help avoid future problems.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fannie Mae's September Survey- Consumers & Housing looking up

Consumers eye economy, housing favorably
WASHINGTON – Oct. 9, 2012 – Results from Fannie Mae’s September 2012 National Housing Survey show Americans’ optimism about the housing market and homeownership continued its gradual climb.

The increase was bolstered by a series of mortgage rate decreases throughout the summer. Consumer attitudes about the economy also improved substantially last month, breaking the progression of waning confidence seen during much of the year.

“Home price change expectations have remained positive for 11 straight months, and the share expecting home price declines has stabilized at a survey low of only 11 percent,” says Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist of Fannie Mae. “Furthermore, the Federal Reserve’s latest round of quantitative easing has caused a large drop in mortgage rate expectations. Friday’s September jobs report – including the strong upward revisions for prior months, a sizable increase in earnings, and a sharp decline in the unemployment rate – should provide further impetus for improving consumer confidence in the housing market.”

With regard to the overall economy, 41 percent of consumers now believe the economy is on the right track, up from 33 percent last month; and 53 percent believe the economy is on the wrong track, compared with 60 percent the prior month. Both the right track and wrong track figures mark their highest and the lowest readings, respectively, since the survey began in June 2010.

Survey highlights

Homeownership and renting
• Consumers’ average home price change expectation is 1.5 percent, consistent with recent periods and marking nearly a full year in which home price expectations have been positive.
• Thirty-seven percent expect home prices to go up in the next year, the highest level since the survey’s inception in June 2010.
• Thirty-three percent of respondents say mortgage rates will go up in the next year, a decrease of 7 percentage points since last month.
• Nineteen percent of respondents say it is a good time to sell, the highest level since the survey’s inception.
• Those who say now is a good time to buy dipped slightly to 72 percent.
• The percentage of respondents who say they would buy if they were going to move increased to 69 percent, tying June 2012 at the highest level since the survey’s inception.

The economy and household finances
• Consumer optimism climbed in September, with 41 percent saying the economy is on the right track – the highest level recorded since the survey began, and an 8 percentage point increase over last month.
• Forty-four percent of respondents expect their personal financial situation to improve over the next year, up from 42 percent in August.
• The share of respondents who say their household income is significantly higher than 12 months ago decreased 3 percentage points to 17 percent.
• Thirty-four percent say their household expenses are significantly higher than they were 12 months ago, a 2-percentage point increase over August.

Article can be found at Fannie Mae

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Measure of US home prices rises by most in 6 years

WASHINGTON (AP) — A measure of U.S. home prices jumped 4.6 percent in August compared with a year ago, the largest year-over-year increase in more than six years.

CoreLogic, a private real estate data provider, also said Tuesday that prices rose 0.3 percent in August from July, the sixth straight monthly gain.

Steady price increases, combined with greater home sales and rising builder confidence, suggest the housing recovery may be sustainable.

Other measures of home prices have also increased. The Standard & Poor's/Case Shiller index rose in July compared with a year ago, the second straight yearly increase after two years of declines. And an index compiled by a federal housing regulator has also reported annual increases.

Housing prices are rising in most areas, according to CoreLogic. Only 20 large cities out of 100 tracked showed declines in the 12 months ending in August. That compared with 26 in July.

"The housing market's gains are increasingly geographically diverse with only six states continuing to show declining prices," said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.

States with the biggest price increases in the past 12 months were Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Hawaii. Prices soared 18.2 percent in Arizona, partly because the supply of homes for sale is low and foreclosure sales have slowed. Prices have risen 10.4 percent in Idaho.

The states with the biggest declines were Rhode Island, Illinois, New Jersey, Alabama and Connecticut.
The housing market has begun to rebound this year more than five years after the bubble burst.

Sales of previously occupied homes jumped in August to the highest level since May 2010. The rate at which builders started single-family homes rose last month to the fastest in more than two years. Builders have also increased their spending on single-family home construction for five straight months. And the lowest mortgage rates on record have made home buying more attractive.

Even with the gains, the housing market has a long way back. Many would-be buyers can't qualify for stricter lending standards or save enough money for larger down payments that most banks now require. Home sales, housing starts and prices all remain below healthy levels.

CoreLogic said its measure of prices is 26.7 percent below a nationwide peak in April 2006.

Still, the broader economy will likely benefit from rising home values. When prices rise, people typically feel wealthier and spend more. And more Americans are likely to put their houses up for sale, which could further energize the market.
This article can be found at: US Home Prices on the Rise

Monday, October 1, 2012

Florida Lady Bird Deed - Enhanced Life Estate Deed

A Lady Bird deed (called an enhanced life estate deed in Florida) is a relatively new form of deed that, like a traditional life estate deed, allows property to pass automatically to one or more designated recipients at death, without the need for Florida probate.  Florida is one of only a handful of states that recognize Lady Bird deeds.

How a Lady Bird Deed Works

Lady Bird deeds are used to avoid probate.  Here’s how it works:
  • You sign a deed transferring your real estate to a person or group of people (called the remaindermen or remainder beneficiaries) at your death, but retaining the right to sell, use, and otherwise deal with the property during your lifetime.
  • If you decide to sell, mortgage, or otherwise deal with the property during your lifetime, you are able to do so without the consent of the remaindermen (this is the difference between a life estate deed and a Lady Bird deed).
  • Upon your death, your remainder beneficiaries simply file your death certificate in the land records. This serves as proof of yours death and allows the property to be transferred to the remaindermen without the need for probate.

Advantages: Lady Bird Deeds versus Traditional Life Estate Deeds

Perhaps the biggest drawback of a traditional life estate deed is the inability of the person who deeds the property to change his or her mind.  Once a traditional life estate deed is signed, the grantor cannot sell, mortgage, convey, gift, or otherwise terminate the remainder interest during his or her lifetime without the consent of the remainder beneficiaries.
The intention of a Lady Bird deed is to avoid this problem.  Like a traditional life estate deed, a Lady Bird deed  allows you to name someone to receive the property at your death while reserving the right to use the property during your lifetime. But unlike a traditional life estate deed, you are able to deal with the property during your lifetime, without the consent of the remainder beneficiaries.
Lady Bird deeds can allow you to:
  • Keep complete control of the property during your lifetime without requiring consent of the remainder beneficiaries;
  • Retain the right to use, profit from, or sell the property during your lifetime;
  • Avoid triggering the Federal gift tax on the transfer during your lifetime; and
  • Avoid probate of the property at your death.

Problems to be aware of with Lady Bird Deeds

Lady Bird deeds are easy to mess up.  Here are a few common mistakes to watch out for:
  • It is important that the document be drafted by a knowledgeable attorney.  If a mistake is made, the Lady Bird deed will not satisfy the Florida title insurance companies and will still require probate.  The deed needs to be drafted so as not to allow the property to end up back in your estate through lapse (prior death of a named remainderman) or otherwise.
  • Lady Bird deeds require special consideration if the property is subject to a mortgage.  The cost of Florida’s mortgage taxes should be taken into account when considering whether the Lady Bird deed is the most cost-effective alternative.
  • Lady Bird deeds must still meet the formalities required under Florida law for a deed to be valid.  Otherwise, the deed will not achieve your goals of transferring the property without probate.
  • Florida’s complicated homestead laws should be considered when dealing with Lady Bird deeds.

A little bit of history on the Lady Bird Deed

A Lady Bird Deed is named after Lady Bird Johnson.  History tells us that President Johnson reportedly transferred property to his wife by utilizing such a deed.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Orlando Economic Indicators - Promising

My interest was peaked yesterday by an article on the current unemployment rate and how the rates this week are lower then expected - always great news. 

As an attorney specializing in Residental and Commercial Real Estate, I am further encouraged by a recent report from Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission.  The Commission studies and reports on economic indicators each month.  The September 2012 Economic Indicators for Metro Orlando show a 26.1% increase on building permits in the past year.  Excellent news for our real estate buyers, builders, and bankers.

You can download its overview of September 2012 Economic Indicators for Metro Orlando online for free.

For those interested in commercial real estate, the web site also provides things like this:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Florida Hospital - $270 million expansion

Florida Hospital announced their second-largest capital investment of its 100-year history this week.  The capital investment is expected to total $270 million and to include three new health-care towers - all dedicated to women's health. 

The first tower will be located at Florida Hospital Orlando's campus.  The 12-story Florida Hospital Orlando Women's Pavilion will occupy 400,000 square feet on the main Florida Hospital campus. It is the only one of the towers that will have patient rooms. The $233 million tower will have 332 licensed beds and a neonatal intensive-care unit. It is expected to open in early 2015.

The second building will be a four-story Celebration Health Women's Institute located at Florida Hospital Celebration Health and will occupy 80,000 square feet and house physician offices in addition to women's health services.  The $19 million tower is scheduled to open next fall.

The third building will be on the campus of Winter Park Memorial Hospital.  The smallest of the three buildings, at 22,000 square feet and two stories, the Winter Park Women's Health Pavilion will offer services related to heart conditions, digestive disorders and menopause management. The $15 million facility is slated to open next summer.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Florida Bottomed in 2009

A new home sales measure says Florida prices hit a soft bottom in 2009, years earlier than what some experts have declared as the low point for real estate.

The measure, similar to the respected national Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller price index, was created by Florida Realtors Chief Economist John Tuccillo to be a more accurate reflection of sale prices in the state.

Tuccillo said he was surprised that the index pointed to 2009 as a bottom, but said that was also a time when investors began eyeing Florida for real estate deals.

“Since then we’ve been sort of rocking along on a bumpy road,” said Tuccillo, who developed the index over about a year’s time. “It’s essentially been flat, but in this context flat is probably good news after the large run-up and drop.”

According to the index, Florida sales prices increased 152 percent from January 2000 to the peak of the market in November 2006. They fell 43 percent from the peak to mid-2009.
Realtors have long complained that the current method of reporting monthly median home sales prices doesn’t offer a true measure of increasing and decreasing values. The median, which means half of homes sold above the price and half below, can be greatly influenced if a large number of either distressed properties or luxury homes sell in one month.

A report on August’s sales of existing homes will be released today using the median price measure.

Florida’s new index is considered a “repeat sales index.” It combines Florida Department of Revenue data with prices of the same individual properties sold over time. The index is expected to be released quarterly but because of a lag in some statewide data, the first index runs only through August 2011.

Like Case-Shiller, the Florida home price index measures sales as compared with January 2000 when the index was set at 100. Case-Shiller’s Florida data include Tampa and South Florida, which combines Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

National Association of Realtors spokesman Walter Moloney said he’s not aware of another state that has its own price index. California releases an “affordability index” that measures the percentage of all households that can afford to purchase a single-family home, but its sale prices are reported as a median.

While the public may prefer a median sales price that reports an actual dollar figure over an index, the index is considered more accurate.

Still, Palm Beach County Realtors said a statewide index doesn’t always reflect regional specifics.

Kevin Kent, a broker-associate with Platinum Properties, which has offices in Jupiter, Juno Beach and Stuart, said South Florida’s home sale prices probably hit a bottom later than 2009.

“When you step back and look at the entire state, that’s probably accurate,” Kent said. “But when you break it down into pockets and certain areas that were hit the hardest, the numbers wouldn’t be the same.”

In April, analysts at the online real estate database Zillow said South Florida sale prices hit bottom at the end of 2011. Case-Shiller’s index shows a bottom in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties in April 2011, but that prices had stabilized some before that.
Florida International University real estate professor Ken H. Johnson agrees that 2011 marked the bottom.

“Back in November, I thought it was pretty clear we had bottomed and housing was as affordable as it’s been in 40 years,” he said. “I said that was the turn, and we’ve not seen prices go down.”

This article can be found at the following link:
Florida home prices bottomed earlier than previously thought,...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Business and Florida Lawsuit Climate

As a Floridian and an attorney, I can honestly say that the following Press Release was not a surprise.  It feels like Florida can not stay out of the media lately.  It is disappointing that businesses may not be expanding into our state due to our state's lawsuit climate. 

September 10, 2012
Seven in 10 business leaders say lawsuit climate ‘significant factor’ in determining where to expand, grow

WASHINGTON, D.C.— A new national survey released today by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform (ILR) finds that Florida’s lawsuit climate is among the worst in the country, coming in at number 41 out of 50. The significance of a state’s legal climate on business expansion decisions has steadily increased over the last five years.

Seven out of ten respondents say a state’s lawsuit environment is likely to impact important business decisions at their company, such as where to locate or expand their businesses, a 13 percent increase from the survey results just five years ago.

“As our economic downturn has continued, a growing percentage of business leaders have identified a state’s lawsuit climate as a significant factor in determining their growth and expansion plans, and the jobs that come along with them,” said Lisa A. Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform. “That makes the consequences of this survey even more significant to the economic growth of Florida.”

According to the study Creating Conditions for Economic Growth: The Role of the Legal Environment, completed for ILR by NERA Economic Consulting in 2011, Florida could save $2.8 billion in tort costs and increase employment by between .73-1.98% by improving its legal climate. “Florida’s litigation climate can be attributed in large part to its notorious reputation for exorbitant jury awards,” said Rickard.

Harris Interactive conducted the survey Lawsuit Climate 2012: Ranking the States by telephone and online between March and June 2012. The respondents—general counsels and senior attorneys or leaders in companies with annual revenues of at least $100 million—were asked to rank states for their overall treatment of tort, contract, and class action litigation. Among other elements, respondents also ranked states for the impartiality and competence of their judges and the fairness of their juries.

See the entire 50-state list and read a full copy of Lawsuit Climate 2012: Ranking the States online at: www.instituteforlegalreform.com/states

For all media information, video clips and press releases on the Lawsuit Climate 2012: Ranking the States survey, go to: www.instituteforlegalreform.com/media ILR seeks to promote civil justice reform through legislative, political, judicial, and educational activities at the national, state, and local levels.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.
Contact: Mike Lepage
Contact Phone: 202-463-5554

Thursday, September 6, 2012

National Foreclosure Settlement and the Big Banks

The unprecedented foreclosure crisis has hit the State of Florida hard.  There are not many people who have not felt the effect of the crisis. The State of Florida, with Attorney General Pam Bondi acting on behalf of the citizens of the Florida, joined in with all the state attorneys general across the country in a suit against the five biggest banks.

In February 2012, the settlement was entered and the money has now been forwarded by the banks to the states in accordance with the agreement.  In a press release issued by Attorney General Bondi's office, it appears 23,000 Floridians will recieve an excess of $1.7 billion in relief. The press release comes after Joseph A. Smith, Jr., Monitor of the National Mortgage Settlement, released a report that outlines details about the settlement, steps his office has taken to implement it and progress made by the five banks that are parties to the settlement to date.
Read the actual report online here or read Joseph Smith's news release here.

Monitor Issues Interim Report on Relief Provided to Homeowners Under the National Mortgage Settlement

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –Today, Joseph Smith, Jr., the national mortgage settlement monitor, released an interim report on homeowner relief that the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers have provided as of June 30.

Based upon figures voluntarily provided by the servicers, but not yet verified by the monitor, more than 23,000 Floridians have received an excess of $1.7 billion in relief under the settlement. The relief provided thus far includes first and second lien principal forgiveness, forgiveness of past forbearance, refinancing, and deficiency waivers.

The report also details the servicers' progress on reforming their servicing practices as required by the settlement agreement. The interim report includes a timetable for future reports with the monitor’s first audited report expected in April 2013.

“I am pleased to see that progress is being made under the settlement as the mortgage servicers begin to implement procedures designed to fulfill their obligations to Florida's homeowners,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “I will continue to work with the monitor to ensure that the mortgage servicers fulfill their obligations under the settlement agreement.”

In February, Attorney General Bondi entered a landmark $25 billion joint federal-state agreement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers over foreclosure abuses and unacceptable nationwide mortgage servicing practices. In addition to the terms of the national settlement agreement, Attorney General Bondi separately negotiated an agreement with the nation’s three largest mortgage servicers to ensure that a guaranteed portion of the overall settlement funds goes to Florida borrowers.

Attorney General Pam Bondi News Release
August 29, 2012
Media Contact: Jenn Meale Phone: (850) 245-0150

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Guide for when a loved one dies

Many of our clients do not know what immediate steps to take when a loved one dies. A recent Consumer Reports article provided a great checklist.

What to do when a loved one dies
Our advice can keep a sad event from becoming even more painful
Consumer Reports magazine: October 2012
When Jeanne Kiefer’s mother died at 93 under hospice care, the nurse knew whom to call and what to do, so the death and its immediate aftermath were, in Kiefer’s words, “peaceful” and “seamless.” She and her sister had discussed end-of-life arrangements—the hospice nurse and counselor “bring it up and encourage you to kind of deal with it,” said Kiefer, a research consultant in Cave Creek, Ariz.—and could focus on being with their mother.
Compare that with the experience of Kiefer’s relative, whose 97-year-old mother died at home attended by a nurse’s aide and children who hadn’t discussed end-of-life plans. The aide couldn’t legally declare the mother’s death, so the family called 911. The police came, began CPR, and investigated the scene as a potential crime, questioning the family to rule out elder abuse. Only when paramedics arrived could the body be removed and resuscitation attempts stopped.
File this checklist to use when needed to keep a sad event from becoming even more painful. Responsibility for the various actions can be divided among family members and close friends of the deceased.

1. Get a legal pronouncement of death. If no doctor is present, you’ll need to contact someone to do this:
  • If the person dies at home under hospice care, call the hospice nurse, who can declare the death and help facilitate the transport of the body.
  • If the person dies at home without hospice care, call 911, and have in hand a do-not-resuscitate document if it exists. Without one, paramedics will generally start emergency procedures and, except where permitted to pronounce death, take the person to an emergency room for a doctor to make the declaration.
2. Arrange for transportation of the body. If no autopsy is needed, the body can be picked up by a mortuary (by law, a mortuary must provide price info over the phone) or crematorium.
3. Notify the person’s doctor or the county coroner.
4. Notify close family and friends. (Ask some to contact others.)
5. Handle care of dependents and pets.
6. Call the person’s employer, if he or she was working. Request info about benefits and any pay due. Ask whether there was a life-insurance policy through the company.

Within a few days after death
7. Arrange for funeral and burial or cremation. Search the person’s documents to find out whether there was a prepaid burial plan. Ask a friend or family member to go with you to the mortuary. Prepare an obituary.
8. If the person was in the military or belonged to a fraternal or religious group, contact that organization. It may have burial benefits or conduct funeral services.
9. Ask a friend or relative to keep an eye on the person’s home, answer the phone, collect mail, throw food out, and water plants.
Up to 10 days after death
10. Obtain death certificates (usually from the funeral home). Get multiple copies; you’ll need them for financial institutions, government agencies, and insurers.
11. Take the will to the appropriate county or city office to have it accepted for probate.
12. If necessary, the estate’s executor should open a bank account for the deceased’s estate.
13. Contact:
  • A trust and estates attorney, to learn how to transfer assets and assist with probate issues.
  • Police, to have them periodically check the deceased’s house if vacant.
  • Accountant or tax preparer, to find out whether an estate-tax return or final income-tax return should be filed.
  • The person’s investment adviser, for information on holdings.
  • Bank, to find accounts and safe deposit box.
  • Life insurance agent, to get claim forms.
  • Social Security (800-772-1213; socialsecurity.gov) and other agencies from which the deceased received benefits, such as Veterans Affairs (800-827-1000; va.gov), to stop payments and ask about applicable survivor benefits.
  • Agency providing pension services, to stop monthly check and get claim forms.
  • Utility companies, to change or stop service, and postal service, to stop or forward mail.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sales of New Single Family Homes up 3.6% in July

The National Association of Home Builders carefully monitors the state of real estate development in this country, something that Florida land investors and developers involved in both commercial and residential projects are interested in knowing. Last week, NAHB issued a press release with great news -- new single family homes are selling again, which means buyers are out there and banks are loaning home loans again.
The Press Release:
New-Home Sales Rise 3.6 Percent in July
August 23, 2012 - Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 3.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 372,000 units in July from an upwardly revised pace in the previous month, according to figures released by HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau today.

“Sales of new homes in July returned to the same solid pace they set in May, which was the fastest sales rate we’d seen in more than two years,” said Barry Rutenberg, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and a home builder from Gainesville, Fla. “This is further evidence that consumers are becoming more confident in local housing markets as they look to take advantage of today’s very favorable prices and interest rates.”

Noting that the three-month moving average of new-home sales has been edging up consistently since last September, NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said, “Today’s good report is the latest indicator of a gradual, upward trend that we expect to continue through the remainder of this year.” However, he added that “The fact that the inventory of new homes for sale reached an all-time low in July is a worrisome signal that ongoing, unnecessarily tight credit conditions are keeping builders from being able to replenish supplies as consumer demand improves.”

Regionally, the Northeast posted the biggest gain in new-home sales with a 76.5 percent increase in July from an abnormal low in the previous month. The Midwest posted a 7.7 percent gain while the South and West registered marginal declines of 1.6 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.

After trending downward for the past six years, the inventory of new homes for sale hit a record low of 142,000 units in July. This is a 4.6-month supply at the current sales pace.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Financing Student Housing

AS college students prepare for fall classes, some of their parents or grandparents will be studying up on the real estate markets near campus.

Investing in student housing may not only help to reduce the room-and-board portion of the tuition bill, but also provide a revenue source, and in some cases a tax deduction.

Valerie Adelman, a wealth manager and a principal of the Financial Asset Management Corporation in Manhattan, says many of her clients have invested in property near colleges for family members to use for a few years, reclaiming it for themselves afterward. She says that the key to a successful purchase is to concentrate on making “a good investment choice — the bonus is that their child can live there at the same time.”
Families must decide whether they’re buying the property as their second home or solely as an investment, in which case it would be run as a business, with costs and depreciation deducted from rental income. This would require more record-keeping, but can provide tax benefits, experts say.
As long as you are buying a one- to four-family home, you will probably qualify for a residential mortgage. The lender will expect the buyers to show that they have sufficient steady income and a good credit score (740 or higher is ideal).
Lenders often call these properties “kiddie condos,” and they typically put the student on the mortgage along with the parents so it can be considered owner-occupied housing, said Jeff Lipes, a vice president of Rockville Bank, which is based in South Windsor, Conn., and the president of the Connecticut Mortgage Bankers Association.
“Most people who are going to college are not making anything near what is needed to buy a home,” Mr. Lipes noted. Yet being on the mortgage will help them build their credit and take some responsibility for the property.
“As long as they’re of age, absolutely” the students go on it, said Jody Tobia, a senior vice president for mortgage lending of Somerset Hills Bank in Madison, N.J. That way, the parents’ and student’s incomes (if the student has any) are used to qualify for the home loan, he said, even though the student is unlikely ever to make a payment.
Owner-occupied properties typically qualify for lower mortgage rates and down payments, Mr. Tobia said; his bank usually expects at least a 20 percent down payment.
If your child is attending college in a distant city, you may need to find a lender there. Some parents may refinance their primary residence or take out a home-equity loan to finance the purchase of the second home, Mr. Tobia said.
One advantage of using the property as a second home is that the parents get to deduct the mortgage interest and property taxes. But keep in mind: you can only claim two residences.
Interest in student housing has been steadily rising as enrollment in colleges and universities has increased. According to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics, enrollment rose 33 percent from 2000 to 2009.
Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, suggested in a post this spring on the Realtors’ blog that because of increases in college enrollment, “buying a rental property in college towns or college areas of a large city may prove a good return on investment for those who are patient.”
Parents looking to buy property near colleges, however, may face some competition for student housing. A quarter of colleges have plans to build on-campus housing, of which 39 percent expect to do so within five years, according to a survey of 209 university housing administrators published in June by College Planning and Management.
This article can be found at the following link: