Home >> Author Archives: Colin Robins

Author Archives: Colin Robins

Colin Robins is the online editor for DSNews.com. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Texas A&M University and a Master of Arts from the University of Texas, Dallas. Additionally, he contributes to the MReport, DS News' sister site.

Millennial Growth Favoring Suburbia, Smaller Cities

An examination of data from the U.S. Census shows millennials are gravitating more toward suburbs and smaller cities. Conversely, baby boomers are becoming more urban, according to Jed Kolko, chief economist at Trulia, who noted that the fastest growing boomer areas also tend to have relatively young populations.

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Survey: Realtors Increasingly Invested in Technology

A new survey from the National Association of Realtors found that Realtors spent more than on technology in 2013 than they had in previous years. The survey found that technology that allows work to be done while on the move generated the most interest among Realtors, including smartphones and tablets.

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Business Shrinks Uninterrupted at Freddie Mac

Freddie Mac's total mortgage portfolio decreased at an annualized rate of 2.1 percent in May, the company revealed in its latest volume summary. Purchases and issuances totaled $19.5 billion in May, down slightly from April’s figure of $19.8 billion. As of the end of May 2014, purchases and issuances totaled $91.8 billion.

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Listings, Prices Continue to Rise in Florida

Florida's housing market had more new listings, an increase in median prices, and an uptick in inventory in May, according to Florida Realtors. "Right now, the market offers a great opportunity for sellers, who are seeing nearly 93 percent of their asking price at the closing table. And mortgage rates, though rising, remain historically low—giving consumers more buying power," said 2014 Florida Realtors president Sherri Meadows.

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Refinance Volume Lifts Slightly in April

Overall refinance volume rose slightly in April, but remained at levels more comparable to those seen in 2008, according to the latest from FHFA. Roughly 20,000 refinances were completed through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) in April, bringing total HARP refinances to approximately 3.2 million since the program's inception.

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RBS, FHFA Reach $99.5M Settlement in Securities Case

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), functioning as the conservator for Freddie Mac, announced a $99.5 million settlement with RBS Securities, Inc. The settlement resolves alleged violations of federal and state securities law in connection with private-label mortgage-backed securities (PLS) purchased by Freddie Mac during 2005 to 2007.

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Report Highlights Price, Affordability Trends

Pro Teck Valuation Services released this week its May Home Value Forecast, concluding that most metros remain very affordable for housing despite ongoing price gains. "With some modest improvement in employment and still historically low mortgage rates, housing as a whole is affordable," said Pro Teck CEO Tom O'Grady. "The real problem for many potential home buyers is other debt such as student loans for first time buyers and tight credit."

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Home Sales Finding Positive Trend Again

The latest National Housing Report from RE/MAX found that for the third month in a row, home sales in May rose higher than sales in the previous month. "We've now seen three straight months of increased sales over the previous month—although we may not match the growth rates we saw last year, we are seeing significant increases in both sales and prices and that's a positive sign," said Margaret Kelly, RE/MAX CEO.

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FHFA Report Highlights Progress, Concerns at GSEs

Despite earning record incomes in 2013, neither Fannie nor Freddie are in the clear financially yet, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) said in its latest review of the two GSEs. "The Enterprises remain exposed to credit, counterparty and operational risks. Credit risk management remains a key priority for both Enterprises given their substantial amount of remaining legacy distressed assets and ongoing stress in certain housing markets," FHFA said.

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Survey: Young Buyers Driven Off By Down Payment Fears

A lot of first-time homebuyers overestimate the amount of money they need for a down payment, and that might be holding them back, says Freddie Mac VP Christina Boyle. In a blog post, Boyle cites a Zelman & Associates research study that found respondents, on average, believe lenders require a down payment of at least 11 to 15 percent, including a large population of people who are in their "prime homebuying years."

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