Posts Tagged ‘short sales’

House Prices Gradually on the Rise Again

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

Home prices — including distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales), climbed 1.1 percent in April, according to a new report from CoreLogic.  If you don’t count distressed sales, prices rose 2.6 percent.  Prices have not risen for two consecutive months since June 2010, a time when the homebuyer tax credit was still available.

Although the national gains are welcome, they also reflect a fluctuating state-to-state housing market.  Home prices rose significantly in markets where distressed properties comprise the majority of sales, such as Arizona, which saw an 8.8 percent annual gain, and Florida, where prices rose 5.5 percent.  This is a result of shrunken foreclosure inventories due to slowdowns in bank processing.  States with relatively smaller shares of distressed sales saw prices take a nosedive.

According to Anand Nallathambi, chief executive officer of CoreLogic, “Home prices are responding to a restricted supply that will likely exist for some time to come — an optimistic sign for the future of our industry.  We see the consistent month-over-month increases within our Home Price Index (HPI) and Pending HPI as one sign that the housing market is stabilizing.  Home prices are responding to a restricted supply that will likely exist for some time to come-an optimistic sign for the future of our industry.”

“Excluding distressed sales, home prices in March and April are improving at a rate not seen since late 2006 and appreciating at a faster rate than during the tax-credit boomlet in 2010,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.  “Nationally, the supply of homes in current inventory is down to 6.5 months, a level not seen in more than five years, in part driven by the ‘locked in’ position of so many homeowners in negative equity.”

The spring sales season — while not vigorous — was busy, particularly for investors in distressed properties.  The summer numbers are not expected to be quite as strong.  After two months of gains, asking prices on for-sale homes, a two-month leading indicator, were unchanged in May, according to  “Asking prices and employment both stagnated in May, yet one more reminder that the housing recovery depends on job growth,” said Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist.  “The metros where prices rose the most have stronger demand from faster job growth.”  As home prices grew, so too did rents.  On a national basis, rents rose six percent in May when compared with 2011, according to Trulia, and the increases are accelerating monthly.

Despite the good news on the national front, S&P/Case-Shiller reports that home prices continued to fall in five states.  They are Delaware, where prices plunged 11.9 percent when distressed properties are added to the mix; Illinois, one of the nation’s largest housing markets, saw prices fall another 5.6 percent in one year; Alabama, with its large rural and poverty-stricken population, experienced a 6.6 percent decline; Rhode Island, a state where many small communities are in serious financial trouble, reported a 6.2 percent drop; and Georgia, a largely agricultural state with an 8.9 percent unemployment rate, saw house prices fall 5.6 percent.

Housing Prices Still Weak, But Show Welcome Improvement

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Home prices revived somewhat during the 2nd quarter, but the housing market is still struggling.  Prices climbed an impressive 3.6 percent, compared during the three months ending March 31.  Despite the upbeat news, home prices are still down 5.9 percent compared with the 2nd quarter of 2010.  The rise in home prices came after three straight quarters of drops, the S&P/Case-Shiller national index — a recognized gauge of residential real-estate markets — reported.  The year-over-year decline was slightly more than the than the 4.7 percent drop that had been forecast by a consensus of experts at  A separate monthly index of home prices in 20 major metro areas reported a month-over-month gain of 1.1 percent for June, and a 4.5 percent decline compared with last year.

The quarter-over-quarter price increase may be the last one for a while, said Stan Humphries, chief economist for the real estate website Zillow. He expects prices will weaken again.  “The August turmoil of credit rating downgrades, negative GDP revisions, stock oscillations and European debt woes are likely to leave a mark on both August home sales and home value appreciation,” according to Humphries.  “Monthly home value appreciation in June may mark the last hurrah before beginning to weaken in the back half of this year,” Humphries said.

Foreclosures still constituted a higher proportion of sales throughout the winter and spring as families took a break from home shopping; cash-rich investors dominate the market.  Nationally, home prices have returned to their 2003 levels.

Chicago, Minneapolis, Washington and Boston saw the largest monthly increases.  Cities hit hardest by the housing crisis, such as Las Vegas and Phoenix, reported small seasonal increases.  Housing has remained a drag on the economy and is one of the most important reasons why it is still struggling to recover two years after the recession officially ended.  Home sales in 2011 are likely to be at the lowest level in 14 years.  Home prices in many cities have reached their lowest points since the market bubble burst more than four years ago.  Home prices in Cleveland, Detroit, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Tampa are at 2000 levels.  “These shifts suggest that we are back to regional housing markets, rather than a national housing market where everything rose and fell together,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the S&P’s index committee.  “This month’s report showed mixed signals for recovery in home prices. No cities made new lows in June 2011, and the majority of cities are seeing improved annual rates,” Blitzer said.  “Looking across the cities, eight bottomed in 2009 and have remained above their lows.  These include all the California cities plus Dallas, Denver and Washington D.C., all relatively strong markets.”

“There’s no theoretical floor for prices. If the economy worsens, housing will get into a vicious cycle of falling prices and foreclosures,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “When prices fall, confidence wanes.”

Foreclosures and short sales — when a lender sells for less than what is owed on a mortgage – accounted for approximately 30 percent of all home sales in July, an increase from about 10 percent reported in normal years.  Nearly 1.7 million potential foreclosures are being delayed, according to real estate firm CoreLogic, either by backlogged courts or lenders waiting for the conclusion of state and federal investigations into questionable foreclosure practices.

“Prices aren’t going to rebound back rapidly,” said Paul Dales, a senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics Ltd. in Toronto.  “Most people think that when the downturn ends the recovery will be pretty good, but that’s not going to be the case at all.”

 “Consumer confidence is still weak, and the housing sector remains in a fragile state,” According to Robert Toll, chairman of Toll Brothers, Inc. the nation’s largest luxury homebuilder.  “The nation’s economy continues to suffer from the lack of jobs in housing construction and the related manufacturing and service sectors that a decent new-home market would typically generate.” 

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said “an overhang of distressed and foreclosed properties, tight credit conditions for builders and potential homebuyers, and ongoing concerns by both potential borrowers and lenders about continued house price declines” are hurting the housing market.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, described the activity as “underperforming.  The market can easily move into a healthy expansion if mortgage underwriting standards return to normalcy,” he said.  “We also need to be mindful that not all sales contracts are leading to closed existing-home sales.  Other market frictions need to be addressed, such as assuring that proper comparables are used in appraisal valuations, and streamlining the short sales process.”

Contract Cancellations Sour Home Sales

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

A new phenomenon has emerged that is depressing the sales of existing homes. Contract cancellations are surging, dashing hopes that the distressed housing market is showing signs of improvement.  According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), sales fell 0.8 percent in June compared with May to an annual rate of just 4.77 million units, the lowest since November, and falling for the third consecutive month.  Economists had expected sales to climb to a 4.90 million-unit yearly pace.  “Buyers and sellers are increasingly running up against conservative appraisals, which often cause deals to fall through or be delayed,” said Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities.  In fact, the market is unlikely to improve in the near term, said Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.

“A variety of issues are weighing on the market including an unusual spike in contract cancellations in the past month,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said.  Fully 16 percent of NAR members reported a sales contract was cancelled in June, up from four percent in May.  “The underlying reason for elevated cancellations is unclear,” Yun said, suggesting possible problems like tight credit for buyers and low home appraisals.

Writing for the Wall Street Pit, Dirk van Dijk says that “Regionally sales were down on the month in two of the four Census regions.  All four regions were down year over year.  The Northeast fared the worst, with sales down 5.2 percent for the month and down 17.0 percent from a year ago.  The West had a month to month decrease, with sales falling 1.7 percent, down 2.6 percent from a year ago.  In the Midwest, sales rose one percent for the month but are down 14.0 percent year over year.  The South, the largest of the four regions, saw a 0.5percent rise on the month, but a 5.6 percent year-over-year decline.  After all, it is better to simply sell the house and get something for it, rather than let the bank take it and get nothing for it.  The more people under water, and the deeper they are, the higher foreclosures and strategic defaults are going to be.  A strategic default is when someone has the cash flow available to continue to make his mortgage payment, but simply decides not to, since paying is a just plain stupid thing to do from a financial perspective.  If you have a house that could only sell for $150,000 in the current environment, and you owe $200,000 on the mortgage, in effect you have the option of ‘selling’ the house to the bank for $200,000 simply by not writing the checks.  Of course that will be a hit to your credit rating, but $50,000 is probably worth a bit of a tarnish on your Fico score.  If the difference is only $5000, then the hit to your credit score makes less sense, and there are lots of non economic factors (a house is after all a home, not just an investment) that come into play.”

Despite the disappointing existing house data, homebuilders appear to have more confidence than buyers, because May housing starts climbed to a five-month high, according to the Department of Commerce.  The month was the first time in five years that more homes were started than completed.  A majority of the buyers were investors, with 29 percent of the transactions being all cash.

Writing for The Hill, Vicki Needham says that “Distressed homes — foreclosures and short sales generally sold at deep discounts — accounted for 30 percent of sales in June, compared with 31 percent in May and 32 percent in June 2010.  Foreclosures have flooded the market, providing good deals for some potential homebuyers but hindering new construction.  Mortgage rates for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage were 4.51 percent in June, down from 4.64 percent in May.  The rate was 4.74 percent in June 2010, according to Freddie Mac.”

“With record high housing affordability conditions thus far in 2011, we’d normally expect to see stronger home sales,” said NAR President Ron Phipps.  “Even with job creation below expectations, excessively tight loan standards are keeping many buyers from completing deals.  Although proposals being considered in Washington could effectively put more restrictions on lending, some banking executives have hinted that credit may return to more normal, safe standards in the not-too-distant future, but the tardiness of this process is holding back the recovery.

Phipps noted that lower mortgage loan limits, which are scheduled to go into effect October 1, already are having an effect.  “Some lenders are placing lower loan limits on current contracts in anticipation they may not close before the end of September,” he said.  “As a result, some contracts may be getting canceled because certain buyers are unwilling or unable to obtain a more costly jumbo mortgage.”

Foreclosed Homes Total a Three-Year Supply

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

The current national inventory of foreclosed homes represents a three-year supply, according to RealtyTrac.  Not surprisingly, that is depressing home prices.  “This is very bad for the economy,” said Rick Sharga, a RealtyTrac spokesman.

In Las Vegas, the foreclosure situation is so dire that more than half of all homes sold in Nevada are foreclosures.  In California and Arizona, 45 percent of sales are foreclosures; that totals 28 percent of all existing home sales during the 1st quarter of 2011.

Additionally, the nation’s stock of foreclosed homes are selling at deep discounts, particularly REOS, which are bank-owned homes.  The typical REO sold for about 35 percent less than comparable properties, according to RealtyTrac.  In some areas, the discounts were ever steeper: In New York, the discount for REOs was 53 percent during the 1st quarter and almost 50 percent in Illinois, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

“Short sales,” homes where the selling price is less than what is owed by the borrowers, are also dragging down the market.  These sell for an average nine percent discount.  When you consider both REOs and short sales, Ohio had the biggest discount of any state, at 41 percent.

During the 1st quarter, there were 158,000 sales involving distressed properties nationally, less than half the nearly 350,000 during the same period of 2009.  With the slower pace of sales, it will take three years to sell off the inventory of 1.9 million distressed properties, according to Sharga.  “Even if you look at REOs alone, it will take 24 months to clear them and that’s without any new foreclosures at all coming into the system,” he said.

RealtyTrac found that the average sales price of properties in some stage of foreclosure, scheduled for auction or bank-owned — was $168,321, down 1.89 percent from the 4th quarter of 2010.

A total of 158,434 bank-owned homes and those in some stage of foreclosure were purchased during the 1st quarter, a 16 percent decline from the 4th quarter of last year and down 36 percent from the 1st quarter 2010 total.  Bank-owned properties that sold in the 1st quarter had been repossessed an average of 176 days before the sale, while properties that sold in earlier stages of foreclosure in the 1st quarter were in foreclosure an average of 228 days before they were sold.  According to James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, “While this is probably helping to keep home prices relatively stable, it is also delaying the housing recovery.  At the first quarter foreclosure sales pace, it would take exactly three years to clear the current inventory of 1.9 million properties already on the banks’ books, or in foreclosure.”

Foreclosures are particularly attractive to all-cash buyers who demand discounts,  pushing down the value of all properties.  More than 75 percent of American cities experienced price declines in the 1st quarter.  Bank-owned homes totaled 107,143 sales in the 1st quarter, down 11 percent from the 4th quarter and almost 30 percent from 2010.  Sales of homes in default or scheduled for auction totaled 51,291, a 26 percent decline, according to RealtyTrac.  That was less than half the peak of 348,629 distressed deals in the 1st quarter of 2009.

Writing on the website 24/,  Douglas A. McIntyer offers an interesting perspective.  “Any economist will say that when some homes are sold at 27 percent below the normal market, all home prices will be pulled lower.  That may be the key to the home market recovery.  Foreclosure inventory will continue to rise as banks put more backlogged homes onto the market.  The glut will probably push down the average of all homes by several percent. This may be a reason home prices are predicted to fall another 10 percent this year.  Buyers will not come back to the housing market until they believe that prices are too good to resist.  That may mean homes that sold for $500,000 in 2005 will have to sell for $300,000 next year.  Prices will not be driven down quickly without the reduction in inventory of foreclosed homes.  There has to be a bottom to prices.  The sooner it is found the better.  The housing market is more than half dead.  The only tonic is a belief by buyers that prices are so remarkably low that new buyers will make money on a house and not lose it.  If the housing market is to continue to drop, the drop needs to be swift.  Mortgage rates are near all-time lows.  Inflation and concerns about the value of Treasuries due to the U.S. national deficit could change that.  Home prices that are viewed as affordable need to be married with low mortgage rates for the market to catch fire.”

Foreclosures Are Down, So Why Isn’t That Good News?

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

There’s good news and bad news about foreclosures.  Although the number of foreclosures fell to their lowest rate in 4 ½ years in April, the reason is a delay in processing the orders, not because Americans are experiencing less trouble paying their mortgages.  “Foreclosure activity decreased on an annual basis for the seventh straight month in April, bringing foreclosure activity to a 40-month low,” James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of foreclosure data company RealtyTrac, said.  “This slowdown continues to be largely the result of massive delays in processing foreclosures rather than the result of a housing recovery that is lifting people out of foreclosure.”

According to Saccacio, “The first delay occurs between delinquency and foreclosure, when lenders and services are no longer automatically pushing loans that are more than 90 days delinquent into foreclosure but are waiting longer to allow for loan modifications, short sales and possibly other disposition alternatives.  Data from the Mortgage Bankers Association shows that about 3.7 million properties are in this seriously delinquent stage.  The second delay occurs after foreclosure has started, when lenders are taking much longer than they were just a few years ago to complete the foreclosure process.”

Nationally, homes typically are taking 400 days to go from the initial default notice to bank repossession, an increase when compared with 340 days a year earlier and 151 days in the 1st quarter of 2007, RealtyTrac said.

According to RealtyTrac’s report,  219,258 American homes were involved in the foreclosure process in April, either having received a notice of default, been scheduled for auction or been repossessed.  This is nine percent less than from March and a 34 percent cut from April 2010.  The report also shows one in every 593 American homes received a foreclosure filing during April 2011.  In New York, it took a property 900 days to go through the process.  In Florida, it was 619 days and in California, 330 days.

Nevada tops the list of states for foreclosures in proportion to its population, with one out of every 97 homes receiving a foreclosure filing in April.  Arizona ranked second.  Although Arizona foreclosures fell 15 percent,  REOs (bank repossessions) rose 22 percent, keeping the state in second place for the fifth consecutive month.  One in every 205 homes received a foreclosure filing.  Similarly, a 22 percent jump in REOs kept California in third place for a sixth month despite a decline in activity, with one in every 240 units affected during the month.  Other states in the top five are Utah (one of every 322) and Idaho (one of every 325).

Just ten states account for 70 percent of all foreclosure activity.  The first two in terms of numbers of foreclosures, California with 55,869 filings and Florida with 19,649 and the fourth, Michigan with 12,996, have large populations.  Arizona and Nevada, with relatively small populations rank in the top five by virtue of numbers as well as foreclosure rate with 13,419 filings and 11,761 filings.  The next five states with the greatest number of foreclosures are Illinois, Texas, Georgia, Ohio, and Colorado.

Writing in The Atlantic, Daniel Indiviglio notes that “It’s hard to see how this is good news for the housing market.  Prices are likely falling more slowly since the foreclosures aren’t hitting the market as quickly as they should be.  But they cannot be held up artificially — the decline will just happen over a longer period of time instead of quickly and steeply.  That means it will take longer for the housing market to hit its true bottom.  Only when that occurs can a recovery begin.  In other words, banks’ failure to process foreclosures in a timely manner will prolong the housing market’s struggles.”

11 Percent Rise In New-Home Sales

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

New home sales rose in March, with the number of properties on the market at its lowest since the 1960s.  Additional gains will be stymied by competition from the market’s glut of previously owned houses.  Single-family home sales rose 11.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted 300,000 unit annual rate, according to the Department of Commerce, during a month when economists had expected a 280,000-unit pace.  Even with the March uptick, new home sales are just bouncing along the bottom.  Despite the good news, the number of houses sold still is 21.88 percent less than the level achieved one year ago.  The news was released by the U.S. Census in its monthly New Residential Home Sales Report for March.

“Investors continue to drive the market and were about 22 percent of the purchasers in March, up from 19 percent a year ago,” said economist Joel Naroff, of Naroff Economic Advisors, in Holland, PA.  Investors typically look for foreclosures or short sales.  “They love those cheap distressed homes, which now make up 40 percent of the market,” Naroff said.  “Given the tight lending standards cash buyers are more than welcome.  To get a Fannie or Freddie loan, which are the only games in town, a borrower has to have a credit score of about 760.  Before anyone gets excited and thinks housing is on the rebound, understand that we need to more than double the March sales pace to reach decent sales levels,” Naroff said.  “Prices remain soft and are down by about five percent over the year.”

According to Dirk van Dijk of the Wall Street Pit, “The March level was substantially better than the expected rate of 280,000.  The 11 lowest months on record (back to 1963) for new home sales have all been in the last 11 months.  We are down sharply from a year ago, and it is not like a year ago was a great time in the homebuilding industry either.  Relative to the peak of the housing bubble (July ’05, 1.389 million) new home sales are down 78.4 percent.  Inventories of new homes were down 1.1 percent on the month and are down 19.7 percent from a year ago.  Supply is at 7.3 months, down from 8.0 months in February, but up from 7.1 months a year ago.  While that is well off the peak of 12.0 months, it is still above normal.  A healthy market has about a six month supply of new houses and during the bubble, four months was the norm.”

The median price of new houses sold in March was $213,800, according to the Census Bureau.  “It’s a decent start to the spring selling season, but we’re coming off all-time lows here, so we’re not going to get too excited,” said Brett Ryan, economist with Deutsche Bank Securities.  “The overhang of foreclosures drags on new home sales.  Builders are waiting for a clearing process to take place.”

The housing market was either “little changed from low levels” or weaker across the country, the Federal Reserve said in its most recent Beige Book report.  The absence of a continued housing rebound is one of the reasons why policymakers will complete their $600 billion asset purchase plan and keep borrowing costs at nearly zero to encourage growth.

Last year was the fifth consecutive year of declining new-home sales. According to economists, it could take years before sales return to a healthy pace.  Slow new-home sales add up to fewer jobs in construction, which normally powers economic recoveries following recessions.  Each new home creates an average of three jobs for a year and adds $90,000 to the local tax base, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

November Existing House Sales Numbers Disappoint

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

November Existing House Sales Numbers DisappointExisting home sales in November rose at a slower pace than anticipated, spurred in part because of the end of a government tax credit aimed at encouraging first-time homeowners to buy.  According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), sales rose 5.6 percent over October to an annual rate of 4.68 million.  Economists had predicted that sales would climb to 4.75 million for the year, according to Bloomberg News.  When compared with November of 2009 – when the tax credit was still available – home sales had fallen by 25 percent.  The tax credit, which was worth as much as $8,000, lifted existing home sales to a two-year high of 6.49 million one year ago.

Reduced prices and lower mortgage rates have made houses and condominiums more affordable, and these factors are likely to have propped up sales to some extent after the government tax credit expired.  The unemployment rate – which is still in the 10 percent range nationally – is also depressing existing house sales.  “Housing is going to remain dead in the water through the middle of 2011,” said Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities LLC.  “Foreclosures coming back on the market will put downward pressure on prices.”

November existing home sales rose in the Northeast, the South and the Midwest; the West had the best showing, reporting a 12 percent increase.  The median price rose slightly to $170,600 from $170,000 compared with November of 2009.  Distressed sales, including foreclosures and short sales, totaled one-third of all sales.  NAR officials predict that total existing sales for the year will be in the 4.8 million range, the lowest level recorded since 1997.  Lawrence Yun, the NAR’s chief economist, expects sales to rise to 5.2 million in 2011, which he describes as a “sustainable” rate.

The bottom line is that the existing home market still favors buyers and is likely to remain that way for some time.  Douglas Yearley, CEO of Toll Brothers, Inc., a large luxury homebuilder, said “As the economy improves, we believe our buyers are going to come right back out.  It’s still a buyers’ market and you still need some incentives.”

Chicago-Area Home Sales Improve in December, Flat for 2009

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

The average Chicago home sale price fell approximately 18.3 percent to $196,000 when compared with 2008.  Chicago existing home sales soared by 33 percent in December, although the statistics were flat for the year, according to research by the Illinois Association of Realtors. The average home sale price fell approximately 18.3 percent to $196,000 when compared with 2008.  During 2009, a total of 69,290 Chicago-area homes were sold, a 0.2 percent slide when compared with 2008.  That does show improvement over 2008, when home sales fell nearly 26 percent compared with 2007.

A total of 5,742 metropolitan Chicago homes sold in December, compared with 4,320 during the same month of 2008.  “In 2009, we saw demand primarily for lower-priced homes from first-time buyers in addition to short sales and sales of foreclosed homes,” said Mike Onorato, president of the association and broker-owner of Onorato Real Estate in Coal City.  “There is opportunity now for the move-up buyer to take advantage of the tax credit that ends April 30 and lower mortgage interest rates, which many analysts expected to rise by mid-year.”

Last year, home sales in the city of Chicago fell 7.4 percent to 19,401, compared with 20,946 in 2008.  City sales in December rose 39.8 percent in December to 1,768 units compared with 1,265 in December a year ago.  Median home prices in the city fell 22.4 percent to $225,000, compared with $290,000 one year ago.

Jafer Hasnain: Solving the Foreclosure Crisis

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Listen to Jafer Hasnain’s podcast on solving the foreclosure crisis.  Foreclosure is mutually destructive for all parties and something should be done about it.  That’s the opinion of Jafer Hasnain, Managing Principal of Lifeline Assets, the first large-scale institutional investment fund targeted toward acquiring single-family homes that are in financial distress.  The firm’s business model aligns the interests of distressed homeowners, banks, investors and American taxpayers.  Lifeline Assets is a socially responsible fund that plans to invest more than $1 billion in distressed homes through short sales.

In a recent interview for the Alter NOW Podcasts, Hasnain said that the real problem shaking the economy is on the residential side.  At present, the $15 trillion American mortgage market is seeing 1.4 percent of loans in foreclosure, with another nine percent past due.  Hasnain, who had a front-row seat when the Resolution Trust Corporation spent $125 billion to relieve financial institutions of their distressed real estate in the 1990s, is providing a private sector solution to the housing crisis that relieves the taxpayers of that burden.

Hasnain has built one of the first institutional-scale single-family residential investment funds in the United States and created a price discovery mechanism that is an objective and sensible way to learn how much to pay for a house whose mortgage is in distress.  This way, a family in a home that has gone in default agrees to stay in the house, pay rent and maintain the property until they have the financial ability to re-purchase their home.  Lifeline Assets’ offer to purchase each house is contingent on the resident’s willingness to continue living there.

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