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Tag Archives: Existing-Home Sales

HUD Scorecard Delivers Mixed Results for Housing

An October scorecard released Thursday by the Obama administration portrayed the housing market as one beset by mixed circumstances over September and the months before. A still-heavy foreclosure glut matched with declining home values and prices left the market slightly worse for the wear in some areas. The report measured up home prices, home sales, and refinance originations, finding declines for some and stabilization for others. A positive portrayal of efforts by the Obama administration also met with less favorable consumer sentiment.

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Ex-HUD Officials, Lawmakers Lead New Housing Commission

Lawmakers and policymakers from both sides of the aisle recently teamed up to head a bipartisan commission on the future of U.S. housing policy. The Bipartisan Policy Center, a D.C.-based nonprofit organization, floated commission leaders whose names include former HUD secretaries Henry Cisneros and Mel Martinez, ex-Sen. Kit Bond, and onetime Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, who also founded the organization. The commission will finalize the details of these recommendations in a major package for current lawmakers and policymakers.

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Mortgage Rates Unchanged from Week Earlier

Mortgage rates largely remained near historic lows from the week earlier, reflecting a sense of uncertainty that continues to persist among wary homebuyers. Bankrate.com denoted a new low for the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, which fell from 4.38 percent last week to crest at 4.33 percent this week. Finance Web site Bankrate.com and mortgage giant Freddie Mac polled financial institutions and the like in their weekly surveys. Freddie differed by few turns, signaling the loss of one percentage point this week.

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Single-Family Sales Soar in Massachusetts

In the Northeast, data from the third-quarter shows that Massachusetts' housing market may be experiencing a slight uptick. The state recorded its third consecutive monthly increase in single-family home sales during September, based on year-over-year numbers.

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New Home Sales Strike a 5.7% September Stride

New single-family home sales snagged a September updraft to crest at their highest perch in nearly half a year, but remain below sales seen during the same period last year. The Commerce Department reported that new residential home sales ticked up to an annual rate of 313,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis, reflecting a 5.7-percent revision above the 296,000-unit rate from August. The median sales price for a new house sold over September came out to $204,400, with the average for the same cresting at $243,900.

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Obama Refi Proposal Takes Shape in HARP Changes

Federal regulators announced their intentions Monday to expand the Home Affordable Refinance Program available via Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Among other modifications, the FHFA said it plans to eliminate a number of risk-based fees for short-term mortgage borrowers, take off the 125-percent loan-to-value ratio for loans guaranteed by the GSEs, and void requirements for new property appraisals in lieu of automated estimates. Market watchers around the industry offered reactions that ranged from skepticism to optimism.

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Freddie: Rental Housing Surges Past Homeownership Rates

Rising homebuilder confidence seen Tuesday coupled with news of a surge in multifamily housing development ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the sector typical for rental construction ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô reported Monday. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac offered up the data and analysis in an October 2011 Economic and Housing Market Outlook, with the consensus that tenant-occupied properties are on track to continue outpacing homeownership rates. New construction starts rose this year with a minimum 20 dwellings.

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Fannie: 50% Chance U.S. Economy Will Double-Dip by End of 2012

Mortgage giant Fannie Mae gives the U.S. economy equal chances for a second recession and recovery by the end of next year. Podcasting the 2011 October Economic Outlook, titled Economy at a Crossroads, the company forecasted that GDP will stay below 2 percent for the remainder of 2011 into next year. Among other reasons, the GSE's internal think tank cited trouble in the financial and labor markets, given the euro debt crisis, weak jobs reports, and low consumer confidence. The outlook follows several other similar reports.

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MReport Exclusive: 6 Ways for Originators to Survive Today’s Market

Despite mortgage rates hitting rock bottom Thursday, few analysts expect an uptick in demand anytime soon, with consumers concerned about their job security, underwriting standards still tight, and a foreclosure glut competing with home construction. Given tough times, MReport canvassed the industry ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô online, in the field, and on the speaking circuit ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô and uncovered 12 strategies relevant to originators in a tough market. Six of these hot tips made it into MReport's online exclusive.

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