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CFPB Architect Formally Explores Senate Bid

Elizabeth Warren is moving closer to confirming her 2012 Senate bid. The controversial professor-turned-politico took formal, exploratory actions in Massachusetts recently, indicating that Warren's rumored plans to run for office are more than speculation. Officially developing an exploratory campaign committee, Warren has also initiated a donation website, elizabethforma.com, and she seems to be the likely liberal candidate vying to unseat Republican Sen. Scott Brown next November.

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Prudential Enhances Hospitality Holdings

Outrigger Hotels and Resorts has new ownership, following the closing of Prudential Mortgage Capital Company├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós $137.8 million acquisition of the hospitality entity. Prudential Mortgage provided the major, seven-year fixed-rate mortgage loan on behalf of Prudential├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós general account.

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Dow Falls on Banks, Homebuilders. Again

Spurred by ongoing fears about a global economic slowdown and the spreading European debt contagion, the Dow Jones Industrial Average replayed the daytime drama previously seen last week by plunging by over 400 points. As before, the nosedive crashed a party exclusive to mortgage banks and homebuilding companies, gutting their stocks and closing shares at new lows. Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo saw their stocks drop, mirroring sharp losses for Beazer Homes, D.R. Horton, KBH Homes, and Lennar Corp.

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Existing-Home Sales Plunge by 3.5% in July

Dashing hopes for a more moderate fall, existing-home sales rolled downhill by 3.5 percent in July, with single-family sales hitting a seasonally adjusted 4.67-million annual rate. The National Association of Realtors ascribed the new numbers to tight underwriting practices, a crimped credit supply, and sluggish job creation. The NAR, which released an existing-home sales report Thursday, held that single-family townhomes, condominiums, and coops dropped from a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.84 million units over June.

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Jittery Markets Send Mortgage Rates to 50-Year Lows

Mortgage rates slammed into a 50-plus-year low Thursday, reflecting continuing concerns over European sovereign debt crises, the potential for defaults overseas, and an overall economic slowdown. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac posted a 4.15-percent average for 30-year fixed-rate loans, racing past the record 4.17-percent drop it registered in 2010. Citing the same reasons for new lows, Bankrate followed suit by revealing declines in fixed-rate mortgages for a third straight week. The rates continue on fears of a recession.

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Mortgage Applications Spike, Continuing Trends

Mortgage applications jumped by 4.1 percent this week, up from one week earlier, reflecting rock bottom for 15-year fixed-rate loans and unsure homebuyers still eager to refinance. Meanwhile, home purchases fell, according to a weekly survey made public by the Mortgage Bankers Association. Good for mortgage rates, the low numbers persist in driving few homebuyers back to a jumpy and uncertain market. Contract rates for 15-year loans fell hit rock bottom for the first time in the history of the survey.

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What’s Killing the American Dream of Homeownership?

Once the star of the American Dream, homeownership has fallen on hard times, a victim of the financial crisis and wary homeowners. With home sales at record lows despite rock-bottom mortgage rates and home prices, some say a country once beholden to the mortgage note is now a nation at the behest of landlords. The story sets up a classic whodunit, begging the question: Who set up homeownership to take the fall? Apartment vacancies continue to plummet alongside home prices around the country.

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Freddie’s Outlook Portrays a Roller Coaster Housing Market

Freddie

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac released an economic outlook Tuesday that portrays the housing economy as one cramped by recent turmoil, with less-than-favorable signs for a recovery despite historically low interest rates and home prices. Comparing the economy to a roller coaster, the outlook forecasts a long ride ahead for a gasping recovery, with interest rates and home prices sure to remain low. The outlook cites employment numbers, economic growth, mortgage rates, and home prices.

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