… in December’s Scotsman Guide
• Say goodbye to a long, difficult year
• Ponder the future of the broker
• Find 6 ways to protect your pipeline
• Discover the advantages of digital
• Read big news from “The Biggest
Little City in the World”
… and much more.
Online? Check out current and past editions of
Scotsman Guide at scotsmanguide.com.
TIP OF THE MONTH
Win without playing
Mortgage brokers can hit the jackpot by brokering lottery winnings.
Lottery brokers help winners sell
all or part of their future payments
to lottery-buyers for a percent of
the sale. This provides winners
upfront money in exchange for
future installments. Brokers also
can work with heirs to lottery winnings, who often face tough tax
— GAR Y OPPER,
APPROVED FINANCIAL CORP.
In the Past Month
NEWS FROM THE INDUSTRY AND ABROAD
Likely spurred by tax-credit deadline,
pending home sales reach ’09 high
Households signed more home-sales contracts in August
than in any other month this year, according to the index of
pending home sales reported by the National Association
of Realtors. The index climbed 6. 4 percent in August compared to the previous month. It was the highest monthly
pace of contracts this year and the seventh-consecutive
The pending sales index is now 12.4-percent greater than
the index registered in August 2008.
The ramp up in home-sales contracts in the past several
months can be partially attributed to the $8,000 first-time-homebuyer tax credit, set to expire Nov. 30.
Pending home sales: Nov. 2
New-home sales show monthly gain,
existing-home sales dip month to month
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. new-home sales increased
in August, pulling modestly ahead of July’s figures, but
remained below 2008’s rate, the U.S. Commerce Department said. Meanwhile, sales of existing homes decreased
2.7 percent between this past July and August after four-straight months of gains, the National Association of
New-home sales in August reached a seasonally adjusted
annual rate of 429,000, 0.7-percent greater than July but
3.4-percent less than August 2008
Sales of existing single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops dropped to an adjusted annual rate
of 5.1 million units in August, below July’s sales figures
but 3.4-percent greater than the 4.93-million-unit level
of August 2008.
Existing-home sales: Nov. 23
New-home sales: Nov. 25
Census: U.S. income dips led
to more poverty in 2008
WASHING TON, D.C. — The U. S. Census Bureau said poverty
levels increased in 2008 with widespread declines in the
median family income.
The median income fell in households of each race category, according to the annual report, “Income, Poverty, and
Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2008.”
Overall, the pover ty rate climbed to 13.2 percent from 12.5
percent in 2007, with 39. 8 million citizens living in poverty
in ’08, up from 37. 3 million in ’07, the report said.
The median income fell by 3. 6 percent from $52,163 in ’07
to $50,303 in ’08.
S&P/Case-Shiller index of home
prices points to increases in July
NEW YORK — The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index
showed U.S. home prices in 18 of 20 cities monitored
increased this past July compared to June.
Prices declined only in Seattle, down 0.1 percent, and Las
Vegas, down 1.1 percent. In the 20-city composite, prices
increased 1.6 percent in the month.
Although in negative numbers, the annual rate of decline —
falling 13. 3 percent — has shown improvement in recent
S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index: Nov. 24