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Tag Archives: Home Sales

Economic Worries Trample on New-Home Sales Over August

Despite the lure of record-low mortgage rates, fewer consumers stepped out from behind the fear of a global economic slowdown to purchase new homes, curtailing new sales by 2.3 percent month-over-month in August. Market watchers chalked up a six-month dearth to consumers wary about their job security, stock markets, and the threat of a new recession. The Census Bureau signaled a fallback to 295,000 housing units on a seasonally adjusted basis, down from 302,000 from July.

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Fed: Lower Jumbo Loan Limits Unlikely to Crimp Markets

Ahead of lower limits for conforming jumbo loans, nearly assured in October as Congress disagrees even over stopgap spending bills, the Federal Reserve offered a revealing look at the market Friday by releasing a report on the health of the housing market. The consensus: falling limits will likely only nudge the jumbo loan market, not tip it over, as some critics claim. The Fed found that the current criteria for a jumbo fences in only 1.3 percent of all loans backed by GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

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Analysts: Mortgage Rates Stay Low, Likely to Fall Further

Debt crises and stimulus measures stole the mortgage-rates show as more investors flee to U.S. Treasury debt, with mortgage giant Freddie Mac holding that rates dithered by a few percentage rates and finance Web site Bankrate.com finding a fifth-consecutive week for record lows. Homebuyers nonetheless remain on the sidelines despite all-time highs for affordability, reflecting a dearth in demand, confidence, and jobs. Analysts fault a dismal economy and suggest that mortgage rates will remain low.

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Multifamily Debt Outstanding Goes Up, Alongside Renter Interest

With single-family home sales lagging and more households struggling with debt issues, the Mortgage Bankers Association alleviated few concerns about the industry with news Thursday that mortgage debt outstanding for commercial and multifamily properties rose half a percentage point to hit $2.4 trillion over the second quarter this year. Multifamily mortgage originations are typically those used to finance new rental purchases. The trade group signaled a roughly $4-billion thrust upward in debt outstanding for both loans.

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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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