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BluFi Announces New Services, New Branch Office

In California, BluFi Lending is continuing its expansion. The direct home loan lender recently announced the opening of a new branch in Walnut Creek, which represents BluFi's third office in the state. The latest location will be led by manager Mario Vargas, who will head up a team of mortgage bankers, processors, and back office staff to service the company├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós clients in the region.

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Housing Gains Foothold as Mortgage Rates Dip

The third week of July brought news of more mortgage rate lows, according to Freddie Mac. The GSE found the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaging 3.53 percent (0.7 point), down from 3.56 percent from the past week and 4.52 percent from the year before. In all of 2012, the average 30-year home loan has only scaled to 4 percent or higher for one week. The average 15-year mortgage for the week was 2.83 percent (0.6 point), down from 2.86 percent the week before and 3.66 percent at the same time in 2011.

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Fed: U.S. Economy Faces Headwinds Far and Near

Speaking before Congress Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke predicted a slow and fragile economic recovery in the United States, one that is vulnerable to financial markets abroad as well as fiscal policy at home. Amid the uncertain economic atmosphere, the Federal Reserve will continue its maturity extension program through the end of this year. The program calls for the Fed to purchase short-term Treasury securities and long-term Treasury securities of equal amounts. Bernanke said that the housing market reveals modest recovery.

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Cole Taylor Enters Commercial Equipment Industry

Taylor Capital Group, Inc., is set to capitalize on the nation's construction industry. The company recently announced that its subsidiary Cole Taylor Bank has launched a new equipment financing division for the commercial sector.

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Beige Book Finds ‘Modest to Moderate’ Progress for Economy

Fed

The U.S. economy continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace in June and early July the Federal Reserve said Wednesday in its periodic Beige Book. The national summary, based on reports from each of the 12 Federal Reserve districts, noted "modest growth" in the Atlanta, St. Louis, and San Francisco districts, while the Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Dallas districts said economic activity was "advancing moderately." All district housing market reports, the Beige Book said, were "largely positive."

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New Survey Reveals Voters Prefer Dodd Frank Act

A new study from Lake Research Partners is revealing the popular perspective on the controversial Dodd Frank Act. The poll, which was commissioned by AARP, the Center for Responsible Lending, Americans for Financial Reform, and the National Council of La Raza, showed that voters are generally in favor of the legislation.

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American Idol Lists Her Texas Estate for $1.495M

Another former reality star and current pop star is joining the real estate fray. Just days after X Factor champion Leona Lewis listed her home in Los Angeles, Kelly Clarkson, who won the U.S. version of the competition, American Idol, has put her ranch in Mansfield, Texas, on the market for $1.495 million.

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Construction Industry Wavers as Home Sales Lift Economy

Increased home sales continue to help the United States out of its Great Recession, but uneven job growth is stunting recovery, according to Freddie Mac├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for July. The report, released Wednesday, showed that record-breaking low mortgage rates and refinances through HARP 2.0 drove up housing demand, leading to increases in housing starts, home sales, and prices in many markets. Housing starts for the first five months of the year averaged an annual rate of 719,000, a 26 percent increase from the same period in 2011.

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Historic ‘Green’ Home in Sea Ranch Lists for $1.2M

Calling the property one of "America's original 'green' houses," Curbed is reporting that a home in California's Sea Ranch development has hit the market for $1.2 million. The listed estate is part of a concept that was conceived by Al Boeke in 1963, when he tapped a notable roster of architects to participate in building Sea Ranch as the nation's first green housing project.

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B of A Reports $2.5B Net Income in Second Quarter

After recording a loss in the first quarter of the year, Bank of America announced a net income of $2.5 billion, $0.19 per diluted share in the second quarter of this year, according to a press release. The $8.8 billion in net loss in the first quarter was partially due to $18.2 billion charges ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£for certain mortgage-related items and other select adjustments, including provisions for representations and warranties and goodwill impairment,├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø according to the press release. This trend reversed during the second quarter. Bank of America lent out about $107 billion.

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