Tuesday, January 18, 2011

FHA Suspends 90 Day Flipping Rule for 12 Months

HOUSING: Feds suspend anti-flipping rule

On Feb. 1, the Federal Housing Administration will place a one-year moratorium on its anti-flipping rule, which will allow buyers with FHA-backed loans to purchase homes that have been held for less than 90 days, officials said Friday.
The move will open a new pool of homes to first-time homebuyers who have been losing bids to cash buyers, but shouldn't have much effect on home prices, analysts said.

"Opening up to FHA buyers means I can sell it to anybody. That's big," said investor Bruce May, owner of SoCal Homes.
FHA buyers made up 28.1 percent of the market in San Diego County, and 50.1 percent in Riverside County, according to real estate data firm DataQuick. Analysts said cash buyers take up much of the rest of the market, and many of them are speculators and investors. The new rule will connect the two groups.
"Give the consumers as many options as possible," said Nathan Moeder, a real estate economist with the London Group. "Someone who's buying an investment property to flip it, isn't buying a junk property where there's holes in the walls. From the consumer side, I'd be happy about that."
The new rules limit seller's profits to 20 percent above the purchase cost, unless an independent appraiser confirms that renovations and repairs justify the higher price.
"They didn't want to facilitate speculators," said Mark Goldman, an instructor at San Diego State University.
May thinks this move will grow the number of transactions in coming months: More buyers for investors will motivate investors to buy and renovate more houses.
"It should be good for everybody and the economy," he said.
Call staff writer Eric Wolff at 760-740-5412.

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