Real Estate News – May 4, 2011

Banks eased lending terms in the first quarter as they forecast improvement in the U.S. economy and companies sought more loans, according to a Federal Reserve survey (via

U.S. commercial property prices may fall within a year as building owners attempt to refinance $1 trillion in mortgages, according to Joseph Azrack, head of real estate for Apollo Global Management LLC (via

A few large commercial banks are becoming more bullish on commercial real estate, in the latest sign that the financing is beginning to flow more freely into the capital-starved sector (via

Eighty-two percent of independent landlords say they would rent to someone who had lost a home in foreclosure, if the applicant had otherwise good credit, according to a new survey by The National Association of Independent Landlords (via REALTORMag):

A stealth plan to transform Minneapolis’ ailing Block E into a gambling and entertainment hub that could draw millions of tourists from across the Upper Midwest is about to land at the State Capitol (via

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. says that many mortgage servicers have “lax foreclosure documentation, ineffective controls over foreclosure procedures, and deficient loss mitigation procedures and controls” (via

Several banks lost confidence in law firms who handled a huge volume of its foreclosures that resulted in a “robo-signing” scandal from shoddy reviews of loan documents. Now banks are dropping these law firms and looking for replacements, which is causing more delays in foreclosures, The Wall Street Journal reports (via REALTORMag):

A House subcommittee wants to minimize the impact of home foreclosures on service members’ careers by requiring special consideration when a security clearance is given or renewed (via

Residents Face Surprise Snow Removal Fee; Snow Contractor Goes Over Budget By Nearly $20,000 (via

Commercial Real Estate Clouded by Delinquencies (via

The plaintiff’s lawyer in the case Bevilacqua v. Rodriguez is arguing before the Massachusetts Supreme Court that the man should be allowed to retain a home he bought from U.S. Bancorp even though the lender lacked the authority to foreclose on the previous owner (via REALTORMag):