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Tag Archives: Home Sales

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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Pending Home Sales Dip by 1.3% in July

Fewer homebuyers signed contracts for home purchases over July, casting the housing recovery as one still in flux for pending home sales. The National Association of Realtors released an index Monday that found signed contracts falling off from June, with a 1.3-percent decline from 90.9 recorded that month. According to the index, overall signed contracts dipped to 89.7 in July, remaining 14.4 percent over a weak 78.4 recorded by the index for the same month last year. Regionally, only the West showed signs of health.

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Hurricanes, Snowstorms, and the Real Estate Markets

As Hurricane Irene churned toward New England Thursday, public officials reacted by taking fast-acting measures to preserve lives and property, with President Barack Obama signing a declaration of emergency to free up federal assistance for North Carolina. With states as farther north as Massachusetts and New York bracing for whiplash from the storm, MReport speaks with real estate experts to forecast problems for sales, prices, and construction as a natural disaster looms.

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Bernanke Remarks Promise No Action, Send Yields Falling

Fed

Delivering highly anticipated remarks in Wyoming Thursday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke promised no new stimulus measures, opting instead to offer an optimistic view of fundamental strength of the economy, coupled with a blistering critique of fiscal management by policymakers and an overview of the housing sector. In response to his speech, Treasury bonds rose, forcing a downward shift in yields and likely mortgage rates for next week, following continuing fiscal distress.

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NYT: Obama Administration Floating Refi Proposal

On Wednesday the New York Times broke a story suggesting that Obama administration officials are floating proposals to inject the ailing housing industry with needed relief, encourage the markets, and potentially energize the broader economy. If it passed with recommendations from a Columbia Business School proposal, the refinance plan could potentially infuse the economy with $118 billion in savings and add to historic highs for mortgage applications.

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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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