Here’s a potpourri of housing/economy news for to start off the week:

  • First, an update to my post on the plan to help first-time homebuyers snap up foreclosures.

No local agencies with Neighborhood Stabilization Program grants have closed a single escrow since the $17 million in federal money arrived in the region earlier this year.

But the city of San Diego is close, officials from the Housing Commission told me Friday.

Vicki Monce, who oversees the homeownership part of the city’s program, said one application is about ready to close escrow — a resident purchasing a condo in the 92120 ZIP code, the Allied Gardens/Del Cerro area.

Two others have had their offers accepted on houses in 92154 (Nestor) and 92116 (the Kensington/Normal Heights area), Monce said. The commission will kick in some rehabilitation loans on all three deals that can be forgiven if the homeowners stay in the homes for a particular length of time.

I also heard from Mike Dececchi at the county Friday. He said he’ll let me know when the first homebuyer closes escrow under the program

And here are some stories to check out as you get settled in for the week:

  • The Wall Street Journal had a couple of great pieces that augment my story from last week about loan modifications. Senators grilled federal officials on the lack of progress on the program yesterday. And this WSJ story excellently illuminates the struggle at the servicers to process the applications for reduced payments and interest rates as they come in from borrowers.
  • The New York Times tackles a quirk in the current market: buyers who might have once been considered excellent credit risks are being denied mortgages.
  • And one last one: Rich Toscano dropped the new unemployment numbers on us, showing that June’s jobless rate was “notably worse than anything seen in the prior two recessions.”

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