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Tag Archives: Home Sales

Economists: Fed Buy-Up Will Do Little for Housing

Fed

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke again made waves Wednesday with an announcement that the central bank plans to sell $400 billion in short-term Treasuries to keep a heel on still-low interest rates and offset widespread fears that the U.S. economy may soon enter a downturn. The move follows successive efforts from the Fed, which more recently pledged to keep interest rates low until 2013. Speaking with MReport, economists largely panned the effort.

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Fannie: U.S. Economic Recovery ‘Flirting’ with New Downturn

Fannie Mae cast the U.S. economic recovery as on the rocks Monday with a report suggesting that events at home and abroad primed the country for a return to recession. The GSE cited restlessness in European financial markets, sluggish growth in emerging economies, and upheaval in the Middle East as reasons why America may be bordering on a double-dip. According to the GSE, third-quarter data suggests that U.S. GDP will chug below 2 percent over the remainder of 2011 and 2012.

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Mortgage Applications Jump to Seasonal 6.3%

Mortgage application volume jumped from the previous week by 6.3 percent, reflecting the highly attractive plunge by interest rates to record lows, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Even so, the good news comes amid a fall in home valuations and cash buyer interest, which Capital Economics says will likely depress sales activity across the housing market. Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist for Freddie Mac, spoke to MReport about the forces behind anemic demand for home purchases at the Five Star Conference and Expo in Dallas.

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Stocks for Mortgage Banks Fall on Euro Zone Fears

The surprise resignation of a key official at the European Central Bank sent stocks and shares plunging in markets across Europe and overseas, furthering fears about a global economic slowdown and the potential for sovereign defaults across the European Union. Sagging stocks doubled up woes for Bank of America, whose CEO, Brian Moynihan, announced plans for some 40,000 layoffs as the mortgage giant reassesses its capital position in the market and undertakes restructuring efforts, according to multiple news reports.

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HUD Scorecard Touts Initiatives Despite Housing Health

Housing market conditions remained fragile despite numerous initiatives put forward by the Obama administration, according to a recent scorecard released Thursday by HUD and the Treasury Department. The administration cited numerous industry-respected analytics sources and painted a helpful portrait of the homeownership and refinance endeavors it has made possible. Sources polled for the government gauge of housing and economic health included CoreLogic and Standard & Poor's, among others.

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Appraisers Get New Standards

As of Thursday, appraisers and realtors must now use a new universal grading rubric when it comes to their assessments for properties with government-backed mortgages. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently revised their appraisal guidelines to streamline a sometimes unclear process, but some warn of the potential for fallout among appraisers, realtors, and homeowners unfamiliar with the new standards. Appraisers will need to weigh property values against new codes and abbreviations.

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CoreLogic: Home Prices Inch Up in July

Home prices went up across the country in July, marking the fourth consecutive such month, according to a home price index released Wednesday by CoreLogic. While acknowledging the improvement as a net gain for the housing economy, the firm made predictions that home prices will slump on continuing news about an economic slowdown. CoreLogic found that home prices crawled forward by 0.8 percent month-over-month but fell year-over-year by 5.2 percent over July.

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FOMC Minutes Portray a Pessimisstic Fed

Fed

Minutes released by the Federal Reserve Tuesday portrayed the last Federal Open Market Committee meeting as one given to doubts about the health of the U.S. economy, housing recovery, and global markets. Discussions between the nation├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós central bank presidents reveal concern over the state of the economy and the Fed├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós ability to promote positive capital movements. The minutes also shed light on the controversial the Fed's decision to keep interest rates low until 2013.

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Q2 Home Prices Up, Still Lag Behind 2010

Home prices crept forward over the second quarter this year but failed to march to the same beat as prices over the same period last year, according to Standard & Poor├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, which the ratings agency released Tuesday. The numbers reflect a still-stagnant housing economy that continues to wobble on chronically low demand, unsure consumers, and a lending crunch for otherwise creditworthy homebuyers. S&P indices revealed a steady and continuing downward slope for second-quarter home prices since 2010.

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