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Tag Archives: Housing Affordability

Mortgage Rates Hold Steady Near Record Lows

Mortgage rates held steady above record lows this week, as the debt crisis in Europe threatened to upend an increasingly more favorable economic climate. Zillow reported that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hovered old lows at 3.36 percent, only after dipping from 3.39 percent last week. Interest rates for 15-year home loans currently average 2.73 percent, while those for 5-year and 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages stay near 2.35 percent. The debt crisis in Europe continues to feed uncertainty for investors interested in stability.

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Single-Family Home Sales Rise, Steady, in July: Group

Sales of single-family homes in the Bay State continued their steady rise in July, The Warren Group reported Tuesday. A total of 4,979 single-family homes sold statewide in July, up from almost 27 percent year-over-year. This July was the best for sales volume since 2005, when sales reached 6,672. Year-to-date, 26,596 homes have sold in Massachusetts, a 24.8 percent increase from the same period in 2011. July also saw condominium sales increase in the state, rising 34 percent year-over-year.

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Is a Housing Recovery Under Way in the Sunshine State?

After seeing some of the worst of the housing crash, Florida is continuing its steady bounce back, Florida Realtors reported Wednesday. According to the group, the Sunshine State saw increases in pending sales, closed sales, and median prices in July, while inventory of homes and condos for sale dropped. Closed sales of existing single-family homes in the state totaled 17,420 in July, a 9.8 percent year-over-year increase. The statewide median sales price for single-family homes was $148,000, up 7.8 percent year-over-year.

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Ohio Homeowners Convene to Solve the Housing Crisis

Homeowners and officials in held a town meeting Thursday in Akron, Ohio, to discuss the impact of the housing crisis on their communities. The event, called ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£#MyHomeMyVote,├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø was designed to put the housing crisis and voters├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ó concerns at the forefront of the wave of issues surrounding this year├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós election season. Attendees used the hash tag to tweet their representatives and other officials with their concerns. Held at the Akron-Summit Public Library and co-hosted by Empowering and Strengthening Ohio├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós People (ESOP), among other organizations, #MyHomeMyVote featured speakers such as Senator Sherrod Brown and Rep. Betty Sutton.

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Mortgage Rates Continue Their Ascent as Worries Grow

Fixed mortgage rates continued their uphill climb following promising housing gains in July, but the upward trend might be short-lived. According to Freddie Mac's weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.66 percent (0.7 point) for the week ending August 23, up from 3.62 percent the previous week. The 15-year FRM also slid up, averaging 2.89 percent (0.6 point). A week ago, the 15-year fixed averaged 2.88 percent. Meanwhile, the 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 2.80 percent (0.6 point), up from 2.76 percent in the last survey.

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Originations Outpace Expectations in Second Quarter

Outpacing industry forecasts, mortgage originations ticked up 5.2 percent in the second quarter, totaling $405 billion during the three-month period, according to a report released this week from Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. On an annual basis, originations are up 44.6 percent, according to the study. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods suggests much of the increase came from refinance activity driven by low interest rates. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods predicts strong origination volume next quarter.

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Home Values Gain as Market Cools Heels in July

Zillow released on Tuesday its Real Estate Market Reports for July, revealing that the company├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós Home Value Index hit $151,600 for the month, a 0.5 percent gain from June and a 1.2 percent increase year-over-year. Of the metro areas covered in the reports, 62 percent saw home values climb during July, with only 49 of the 167 areas posting declines. Of the 30 largest areas covered, the Phoenix metro experienced the largest monthly increase (2.2 percent), followed by San Francisco (1.2 percent) and Denver (1.0 percent).

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Fitch: ‘Volatile’ Buyback Claims Up for Bigger Banks

While some signs suggest the housing recovery may finally be under way, others signal that banks will likely continue to see repurchase claims from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Analysts with Fitch Ratings found in a report on Monday that repurchase risk remains high for several financial institutions, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Ally Financial. According to Fitch, repurchase risk climbed to 41 percent for Bank of America. Roughly 60 percent of the claims stemmed from private-label requests.

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Obama: Road to Recovery Is Paved with Refis

As the housing market and the overall economy crawl languidly toward an elusive recovery many believe will still take years to achieve, President Barack Obama suggests the key to progress is a broad housing refinance plan. Obama endorses a bill that would allow underwater homeowners to refinance at current interest rates, which continue to wallow near historic lows. A few senators have proposed bills recently to allow more homeowners to refinance their mortgages.

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Fannie Mae Sees Moderate Growth Despite Recent Gains

July├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós positive economic news did little to change Fannie Mae├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós forecast for 2012, the GSE revealed Tuesday. Fannie Mae├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós Economic & Strategic Research Group issued its latest economic outlook, maintaining its expectations for modest growth in 2012. This news comes in spite of reports of strengthening retail sales and job growth in July. Fannie Mae├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós Economic & Strategic Research Group issued its latest economic outlook, maintaining its expectations for modest growth in 2012.

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