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Tag Archives: Fixed-Rate Mortgage

Europe’s Crises Keep Mortgage Rates at a Standstill

Mortgage rates largely stayed the same this week as trouble in the euro zone threatened to upend global financial markets, encouraging investors to stay near the safe haven of U.S. Treasury debt. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac and finance Web site Bankrate.com released separate weekly surveys that found rates hovering at or above figures seen for several weeks in a row. The GSE noted averages for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage reaching 4 percent ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the fifth consecutive week for lows for the benchmark loan.

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Lawmakers Grill HUD Official Over Stretched-Thin FHA

The weak capital position of the Federal Housing Administration came into play at a hearing Thursday, where members of the House Financial Services Committee grilled HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. Lawmakers took turns interrogating the Obama administration official over substantially fewer reserves in place to meet loan guarantees at a time when the housing market stays near bottom. The federal agency recently came under fire from news media, think tanks, and academia for failing to meet the minimum threshold.

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Frank Retires, Leaving Namesake Law With Uncertain Future

Rep. Barney Frank, a liberal icon on Capitol Hill and co-author of the financial reform law that bears his name, announced that he will not seek reelection Monday. A newly redistricted area of Massachusetts ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô which he represented for 40 years ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô adds less than half a million new constituents and straddles an area with which he is unfamiliar, according to Frank. He pledged to continue his public advocacy efforts from outside the Beltway and finish his term in office. Analysts say his departure makes repeal more likely for the Dodd-Frank Act.

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Thirty-Year Loan Falls Lowest in Seven Weeks: Zillow

With the global economy overshadowed by debt crises, fleeing investors keep mortgage rates at record lows, as Zillow reaffirmed Tuesday. The real estate Web site polled its online audience, reporting that the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit 3.8 percent, the lowest rate in seven weeks. A dearth for the 30-year fixed-rate loan reflects a fall by 10 basis points, down from 3.9 percent last week. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage likewise hovered around 3.16 percent.

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New Fed Rule Means Capital Plans, Stress Tests for Banks

Fed

Under a final rule, banks with $50 billion or more in assets will need to submit capital plans to the Federal Reserve, which will also begin performing stress tests for the largest financial institutions next year. In accordance with the rule, the Fed will take responsibility for annual evaluations of each institution├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós capital adequacy, internal assessment processes, and capital distribution plans, including dividend payments and stock repurchases.

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Lackluster Spending Tilts Against Homebuying: Freddie

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac tied weak homebuyer demand to a drop in consumer expenditures in an outlook it released Monday. The GSE captured a look at the financial mood of consumers by releasing the U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook, which makes forecasts according to key economic indicators that it uses. The outlook indexed overall economic health for the nation, finding a small uptick by domestic aggregate demand as it climbed to 3.6 percent ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the second largest gain over the last five years.

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Obama, Congress Raise Conforming Loan Limits for FHA

After several weeks of intense deliberation, with backers and supporters on both sides, Congress again raised limits for Federal Housing Administration conforming loans to $729,750, which President Barack Obama signed off on Friday. House lawmakers included an amendment to raise the limits in a stopgap spending measure cobbled together by both houses to keep the government running through December this year. The House voted for the bill by a 298-121 margin, which the Senate followed with 70 yeas and 30 nays. Trade groups rushed to extol the raised limits.

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Home Sales Up 9% Year-Over-Year: RE/MAX

Despite falling month-over-month, home sales crept forward by 9 percent year-over-year, according to a recent monthly housing report from RE/MAX. Home sales meanwhile declined 9.8 percent from September to October, even while sales prices fell 5.4 percent year-over-year ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô a bipolar trend that portrays the market as one slowly recovering from the financial crisis. The report found home sales rising for the fourth conservative month on an annual basis, as foreclosures plummeted for the sixteenth consecutive month.

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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 Application Volume Plummets 10%: MBA

With homeowners largely staying on the sidelines, mortgage application volume underwent a seasonally adjusted 10-percent squeeze last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. In releasing the Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, the trade group found that declines overwhelmingly led most of the survey components. The MBA found the Market Composite Index declining by 19.6 percent on a seasonally unadjusted basis from the week before.

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