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Tag Archives: Home Sales

Mortgage Rates Drop Below 4% for First Time

Mortgage rates slammed into a new, record-setting low Thursday, with mortgage giant Freddie Mac reporting that figures for the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell below 4 percent for the first time in history. Finance Web site Bankrate.com noted a similarly record-smashing low for the loan. Making the biggest waves, the GSE found the 30-year loan dropping on average to 3.94 percent nationally, down from 4.01 percent last week and 4.27 percent over the same time last year.

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Group: Don’t Expect Housing Recovery Until 2014

As Fed officials hinted at more stimulus measures for the ailing economy, research consultancy Capital Economics released a note signaling that more trouble ahead for the housing sector could delay a recovery until 2014. Writing for the consultancy, senior U.S. economist Paul Dales painted a grim portrait of the housing economy, explaining that less confidence among consumers and tight lending standards contribute to the view that market conditions will keep a heel on the housing recovery until 2014.

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Fed Officials Promise More Action, See Trouble Ahead

Fed

On the same day that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke cautioned lawmakers about their fiscal behavior and hinted at more stimulus measures, one of the Fed├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós governors, Sarah Bloom Raskin, outlined potential peril in the mortgage servicing industry. The Fed chief noted ailing health in the economy while the other official sketched a need for change in servicing standards. News reports found the 30-year Treasury bond yields leaping forward on the promise of action by the Fed chief.

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What the Lower Conforming Loan Limits Mean

Making good on promises by policymakers from both parties, Congress allowed the $729,750 threshold for conforming loans with federal guarantees to expire Saturday, pinching high-end borrowers in a marginal number of counties and potentially leaving a swath of new market share for private bankers. Homebuyers looking for more than $625,000 in financing for their mortgage loans will accordingly fall short of eligibility requirements needed for federal insurance.

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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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CFPB’s New Mortgage Disclosure Initiatives Gaining Traction

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a strong supporter in the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents. Recently reviewing the updated mortgage disclosure forms produced by the CFPB, the NAEBA responded to the organization with a letter of commendation. Though citing the CFPB's thorough assessment of borrowers' needs within the project, the NAEBA also submitted some suggestions based on its evaluation of the mortgage disclosure initiative, which is part of the "Know Before You Owe" program.

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Pending-Home Sales Dip by 1.2% Over August

Alongside somewhat stable home prices, pending-home sales slid back over August with a few regions inching up over others, according to an index recently compiled by the National Association of Realtors. Even so, the numbers reflect a better balance sheet for lenders and sellers, who bore the brunt of sales much worse for the wear over the same period last year. The trade group found the numbers for pending-home sales plunging by 1.2 percent to hit 88.6 percent in August, down from 89.7 percent over the month before.

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Home Prices Hold Steady in July Despite Economic Headwinds

The rocky economic landscape could give way to a smoother housing sector if recent home prices signal anything, with a major Standard & Poor├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós/Case-Shiller index revealing Tuesday a marginal uptick in numbers over July. Economists chalked up the gains to a seasonal boost and suggested more stability may be on the way for a troubled housing economy. The indices reflected a 0.9-percent boon for measures of activity across 10 and 20 major metropolitan cities, a consecutive four-month increase.

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