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Tag Archives: Agents & Brokers

Experts Predict Diminished Investor Activity, 4.5% Appreciation in 2014

A majority of experts surveyed by Zillow and Pulsenomics expect large-scale investors will pull out of the housing market in the next few years--and that hopefully means a smoother field for consumer buyers. While their withdrawal will most certainly affect today's still-fragile market--79 percent of those surveyed said the impact would be ""significant or somewhat significant""--Zillow chief economist Dr. Stan Humphries says it wouldn't be the worst thing to happen to housing.

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PHH Exploring Sale of Mortgage Business

PHH Corp., which bills itself as one of the top 10 originators of retail residential mortgages in the United States, announced in its latest quarterly filing it is ""exploring ways to maximize shareholder value through the separation or sale of fleet business, mortgage business, or both"" in response to a 22 percent decline in fourth-quarter profits compared to the end of 2012 ($45 million compared to the prior year's $58 million). According to the company's filing, its mortgage production segment contributed a loss of $45 million in Q4.

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Yellen Tackles Tapering, GSE Reform Before House Committee

Fed

If nothing else, Janet Yellen proved on Tuesday she has stamina. The newly installed Federal Reserve chair--the first woman to take the post in the institution's century-long history--sat in front of the House Financial Services Committee for an extended session, fielding dozens of questions on topics ranging from the Fed's current direction to GSE reform. The takeaway from her prepared remarks: Don't expect a great change in policy now that she's at the helm.

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Trends Showcase Affordability Issues as Prices Rise

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released its latest quarterly reports Tuesday, highlighting deteriorating conditions for housing affordability as prices keep trending upward. The national median existing single-family home price was $196,900 in the fourth quarter, up 10.1 percent from $178,900 in the fourth quarter of 2012. As ever, the association says the increase was driven by a tight supply of existing homes and a decline in production of new houses.

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Credit Availability Grows in January

Mortgage credit access opened up in January following a flat December, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) revealed Tuesday. MBA's Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI), a gauge of lending standards measured with data from the AllRegs Market Clarity product, increased 1.85 percent to an even 113 last month. MBA's latest index fits with Fannie Mae's January National Housing Survey, in which more consumers expressed their belief that getting a mortgage today would be ""easy.""

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HARP Refinances Reach 3 Million

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) revealed in its latest refinance report that the GSEs have together reached a landmark three million refinances under HARP.

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Industry Organizations Launch National Appraisal Congress

The Five Star Institute announced Monday the formation of the National Appraisal Congress (NAC). In response to a developing need for thought leadership and the promotion of best practices and execution, the NAC will serve as a collection of subject matter experts to foster collaboration in the real estate appraisal industry. Jordan Petkovski, a veteran of the residential appraisal industry of more than 15 years, was named the committee's chairman.

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