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Author Archives: Aly J. Yale

Aly J. Yale is a freelance writer and editor based in Fort Worth, Texas. She has worked for various newspapers, magazines, and publications across the nation, including The Dallas Morning News and Addison Magazine. She has also worked with both the Five Star Institute and REO Red Book, as well as various other mortgage industry clients on content strategy, blogging, marketing, and more.

Refis Continue Dip, FICO Scores Up

A new report shows refinancing is continuing its downward trend, declining for the third month in a row this year. Just 37 percent of all closed loans in March were refinance loans. The report also shows closing times down and FICO scores up, particularly on conventional loans.

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Inventory, Affordability Problems Can’t Keep Buyers Away

Home sales should remain strong as the year goes on, even despite rising mortgage rates, tight inventory, and declining affordability. Potential existing-home sales rose 0.6 percent over the year and 83 percent over their all-time high. Wage growth, strong employment, and an uptick in building permits will encourage sales further.

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A Nation of Overleveraging

A new list reveals the country’s most overleveraged cities—areas where mortgage balances far outweigh home values and median incomes. San Luis Obispo, California, topped the list, with a mortgage debt-to-income ratio of more than 2,000 percent. The market’s historically low mortgage rates are likely to blame for overly ambitious buying.

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Millennial Buyers Favor Local Lenders, Agents

A new survey revealed that millennials may not want the homebuying process to be as digital as most expect. In fact, two-thirds actually would prefer using a local real estate agent or lender over an online-based one. The survey also revealed that 56 percent of millennials plan to purchase a home in the next two years.

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Existing Home Sales, Prices Continue Gaining Ground

Tight inventory is continuing to drive home prices upward, but despite the uptick in cost, sales aren’t slowing down anytime soon. According to a report covering March housing activity, existing home sales and overall home prices were both up. The expected rise in interest rates likely pushed buyers into the market ahead of the spring season.

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Inventory Drops to Record Lows

According to a new report, homes are selling faster, at higher prices, and in higher volumes—all thanks to a tight inventory and ever-rising demand. Prices jumped the most in Manchester, New Hampshire, while sales saw the biggest increase in Richmond, Virginia. Months of supply dipped below three months for the first time in the report’s nine-year history.

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Closing Costs, Interest Rates Factor Big in Lender Choice

A new survey reveals that consumers are most concerned about closing costs and interest rates when choosing a lender to work with. Service and convenience followed closely behind as top influencing factors. Only 37 percent of those surveyed said they were satisfied with the mortgage application process.

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Tampa, Dallas Top Single-Family Housing List

According to new rankings, Tampa, Florida, has the best single-family housing market in the country. Dallas; Las Vegas; Columbus, Ohio; and Jacksonville, Florida also made the top five. All had strong demand, home price appreciation, and economic growth.

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Quicken Finds Widening Appraiser-Homeowners Gap

According to data released Tuesday, the gap is widening between appraised values and homeowner estimates. This marks the fourth consecutive month that disparity has grown. A few markets bucking the trend include Denver, Dallas, Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle.

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Immigrants Sped-up Housing Recovery

A new report found that immigrant homebuyers played a big role in helping the housing industry bounce back from the Great Recession—particularly in larger markets. Immigrants are also likely to influence housing trends in the coming years, as their interest in homeownership increases the longer they live in the U.S. According to the report, the suburbs can expect the most growth.

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