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Tag Archives: First-Time Homebuyers

FHFA: Q2 Home Prices Decline by 0.6%

Home prices for the second quarter dropped 0.6 percent beneath figures reported during the first quarter this year, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which released a price index for seasonally adjusted home purchases Thursday. Quarterly declines in prices amounted to 5.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis. Seasonally adjusted prices plunged by 5.9 percent over the past year, according to the FHFA, with a quarterly decline occurring despite an uptick in seasonally adjusted house prices month-over-month.

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Mortgage Applications Hit 15-Year Bottom Despite Low Rates

Cresting on low tides in credit supply and buyer confidence, fewer first-time and repeat homebuyers filed mortgage applications last week, according to a weekly survey released by the Mortgage Bankers Association Wednesday. The MBA said that overall mortgage loan application volume dropped 2.4 percent, with purchases slamming into a 15-year low. The Market Composite Index, which the MBA uses to gauge loan application activity, showed a seasonally adjusted squeeze in loan volume.

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Report: Low-End Markets See Mild Upswing

Despite the rash of research and news reports about consumers staying wary of new purchases, some markets are seeing first-time homebuyers run to take advantage of historically low prices and mortgage rates, particularly in government-backed mortgage programs, according to a research note from Credit Suisse. The research firm said that the scramble to scoop up new properties occurred particularly among state and federal programs. The research note questioned whether builders will continue with current valuations.

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Existing-Home Sales Plunge by 3.5% in July

Dashing hopes for a more moderate fall, existing-home sales rolled downhill by 3.5 percent in July, with single-family sales hitting a seasonally adjusted 4.67-million annual rate. The National Association of Realtors ascribed the new numbers to tight underwriting practices, a crimped credit supply, and sluggish job creation. The NAR, which released an existing-home sales report Thursday, held that single-family townhomes, condominiums, and coops dropped from a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.84 million units over June.

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Columbia Professors Propose Refi Boom for Recovery

If two professors at Columbia Business School have anything to say about it, 30 million homeowners across the country would refinance their mortgages and stabilize the lagging housing market in the process. The duo recently proposed the refi boom in a paper that aimed to prop up sagging home prices and accelerate job growth nationally. The academes, R. Glenn Hubbard and Chris Mayer, propose reducing mortgage rates by about one percent to encourage a boost in home prices and the housing recovery.

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What’s Killing the American Dream of Homeownership?

Once the star of the American Dream, homeownership has fallen on hard times, a victim of the financial crisis and wary homeowners. With home sales at record lows despite rock-bottom mortgage rates and home prices, some say a country once beholden to the mortgage note is now a nation at the behest of landlords. The story sets up a classic whodunit, begging the question: Who set up homeownership to take the fall? Apartment vacancies continue to plummet alongside home prices around the country.

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Housing Markets Mixed as Debt Talks Splinter

As splintering debt-ceiling negotiations unnerved analysts and ratings agencies, Treasury yields and mortgage rates remained relatively stable over the weekend, reflecting a widespread consensus among investors and market watchers that partisan divisions would soon give way to a grand bargain between policymakers. CNN reported Sunday that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) refused to agree to a set of conditions at the White House, ending dramatic four-month-long negotiations.

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Analysts: U.S. Default May Crimp GSEs, Close FHA

With recent reports signaling a throwback for public officials involved in debt-ceiling negotiations, housing analysts and market watchers worry about the possible fallout for government-backed mortgages in a default scenario come August. If the federal government defaults on its debt, analysts say, still-brittle mortgage markets will splinter as mortgage rates follow spikes in Treasury yields. Concerns continue to grow after a series of breakdowns between Congress and the White House.

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Lawmakers, Groups Challenge QRM Rule

Members of Congress linked arms with a broad coalition of community and professional associations to call for the reversal of a key provision in the Dodd-Frank Act, which critics charge will upend recovery in the housing markets, close the door on new homebuyers, and force borrowers to shoulder higher costs. The lawmakers and industry groups showed up in force at a press conference organized by the Coalition for Sensible Housing Policy, which plans to submit a white paper to authorities as official commentary.

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