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Tag Archives: European Union

Housing Market Will Stay Flat in 2012: Fannie Mae

Even with a pickup in the general economy, overall growth will remain flat into the New Year, slowing any impact from the housing market and delaying significant changes, according to a think tank internal to Fannie Mae. The mortgage company described circumstances going forward as those vulnerable to weak jobs growth, external shocks from the euro zone, and pickups or drops in consumer spending and confidence. Troubled euro zone markets continued to weigh down on the forecast.

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Europe Debt Crisis Keeps Mortgage Rates at Record Lows

Mortgage rates ran a tepid streak started three weeks ago by hovering at around 4 percent this week, according to Freddie Mac, largely because investors continue to flee European sovereign bonds for the safe haven of U.S. Treasury debt. For Freddie, rates for the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage inched forward by a percentage point, placing it at 4 percent after the loan averaged 3.99 percent. Bankrate.com noted the same difference, reporting that the 30-year loan fell to 4.24 percent this week, down from 4.25 percent last week.

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Mortgage Rates Fall Below 4% for Second Time: Freddie

Ongoing trouble in Europe meshed with low home prices to keep a heel on mortgage rates this week, with Freddie Mac offering up news that interest rates for loans fell below 4 percent for the second time this year. The GSE released a weekly survey alongside finance Web site Bankrate.com, which disagreed by reporting that mortgage rates climbed this week. For Freddie, rates for the benchmark 30-year loan fell to 3.99 percent, down one percentage point from last week. Bankrate.com said that the fixed-rate mortgage went up to 4.25 percent.

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Lawmakers Aim to Jumpstart U.S. Covered Bonds Market

If a new Senate bill becomes law, it could finally create a long-awaited covered bond market for the nation, effectively making mortgages easier to securitize and increasing their appeal for investors. Earlier Wednesday a bipartisan group of senators, led by Sens. Kay Hagan and Bob Corker, introduced the United States Covered Bond Act of 2011 in order to kick-start what some regard as necessary for a full-fledged housing recovery. European nations have long benefited from a covered bond market, with legal bodies in place for bonds.

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Mortgage Applications Surge Forward by 10.3%

More refinance loan applications inspired a 10.3-percent leap forward in mortgage applications last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The MBA released a weekly survey responsible for tracking mortgage application volume. The surge in mortgage loan application volume follows a shortfall in contract interest rates on average for fixed-rate mortgages, with the 30-year loan seeing a drop from 4.31 percent the week before to 4.22 percent last week.

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U.S. Lenders Wary Ahead of Euro Crisis: Survey

A third-quarter opinion survey for loan officers revealed that more financial institutions tightened their credit supply over fears that debt-ridden euro zone countries would tear apart the content├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós currency and expose U.S. banks to danger. The Federal Reserve polled senior loan officers from 51 U.S. banks and 22 branches for the nation├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós financial institutions at foreign branches for the October 2011 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices.

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Greek Turmoil, G-20 Decisions Target U.S. Lenders

Political trouble in Greece sent stocks and shares for major mortgage lenders tumbling Friday, even as the world's 20 wealthiest nations placed eight U.S. banks on a list that may require systemically risky institutions to shore up their capital reserves. The decision revealed the degree to which events overseas continue to shake U.S. mortgage lenders in an increasingly interdependent global economy, where international players fear the potential for a double-dip recession and ripple effects from systemically risky institutions.

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October Payrolls Add 80K, Chipping at Unemployment

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Nonfarm payrolls counted more than 80,000 new jobs for the economy over October, slashing the unemployment rate by a few percentage points but at a clip that analysts say will marginally improve an otherwise uncertain economic outlook. The Labor Department reported Friday that the jump to more than 100,000 new jobs over September - a facelift driven largely by a return to work by striking Verizon employees - slid back to new figures with few surprising numbers for several industries.

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