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Tag Archives: Housing Affordability

Are Mortgage Rates on Their Way Back to Normalcy?

Could mortgage rates be on their way back? That's what today's mortgage rates just may suggest. Freddie Mac reported that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ticked up by a few basis points to arrive at 3.62 percent, up from 3.59 percent last week. The GSE also found interest rates for the 15-year home loan averaging 2.88 percent, with 5-year and 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages crawling to 2.76 percent and 2.69 percent, respectively. Bankrate.com likewise saw upward-bound changes in mortgage rates this week.

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Declining Affordability Is Good for the Market: NAHB

After reaching a record high of 77.5 percent in the first quarter of this year, housing affordability declined to 73.8 percent in the second quarter of this year, according to the Housing Opportunity Index. The HOI measures the percentage of homes sold in a particular quarter that are affordable to those earning at the median income level. In the second quarter, 73.8 percent of homes sold were affordable to those earning the national median income of $65,000. Fairbanks, Alaska, posted the highest affordability rate.

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Mortgage Rates Climb on Stronger Job Numbers

Strong employment reports boosted mortgage rates back up for the second week in a row, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. The GSE's Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows the 30-year fixed averaging 3.59 percent for the week ending August 9, an increase from 3.55 percent the previous week. The 15-year fixed also posted gains, averaging 2.84 percent for the week, up from 2.83 percent a week ago. The 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage followed, increasing to 2.77 percent from 2.75 percent the week before.

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Consumer Optimism Unflagging Despite Economic Trouble

Stalled confidence in the economy and personal finances apparently hasn├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ót brought down optimism in the housing market. Fannie Mae released its July 2012 National Housing Survey Tuesday, showing that consumer optimism regarding the slowly recovering housing market remained strong during the month. Survey respondents said they expect home prices to increase 1.7 percent in the next year, slightly down from the 2.0 percent survey high recorded in June, while 11 percent believe they will drop.

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Housing Scorecard Reveals Slippery Recovery

Though the skies above the housing market appear to be clearing, the July edition of the Obama administration├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós Housing Scorecard warns of another storm to come. HUD and Treasury Department released the latest scorecard Friday, providing a look at a market in recovery but threatened by an expected increase in foreclosure activity. According to the report, foreclosure starts and completions both declined in June, painting a picture of continued recovery. However, officials expect foreclosure activity to pick up in coming months as firms lift delays in foreclosure processing.

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Freddie: 81% of Q2 Refis Upheld or Slashed Debt

Freddie Mac released the results of its second quarter refinance analysis Wednesday, revealing that homeowners who refinance continue to strengthen their housing situations. Freddie Mac's report showed that 81 percent of homeowners who refinanced their first-lien home mortgage either maintained the same loan amount or lowered their principal balance in the year's second quarter. Of these borrowers, 59 percent maintained about the same loan amount (the highest share ever recorded), while 23 percent reduced their principal balance.

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Price Appreciation Looms as Pending-Home Sales Rise in Miami

Following the recent month├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós change in the national Pending Home Sales Index from the National Association of Realtors, pending home sales declined month-over-month in June in Miami-Dade County, but went up year-over-year. While the national index moved down 1.4 percent from May to June, Miami's pending home sales declined 13 percent, according to the association and Miami├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós Multiple Listing Services system. Miami├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós change in pending sales year-over-year was also more exaggerated than the change reported in the national index.

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As Asking Prices Rise, Foreign Buyer Activity Falls

Higher asking prices drove off foreign homebuyers and investors over the last year, with real estate firm citing a 10 percent decline in foreign interest for the U.S. housing market. Releasing its International House Hunter Report Thursday, Trulia found that asking prices rose 0.3 percent year-over-year, nixing helpful influence from still-falling home prices. The housing bust attracted a number of foreign and cash buyers interested in low prices and the safe haven of U.S. real estate investment, according to Trulia.

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Sources: Low Sales Reveal Recovery ‘Lost a Little Momentum’

Compared to the two-year high for new home sales in May, June's figures were met with disappointment. On Wednesday, the Census Bureau reported new home sales dropped 8.4 percent month-over-month to 350,000 in June compared to an upwardly revised 382,000 for May. In an IHS Global Insight commentary, economists Patrick Newport and Michele Valverde pointed out that figures for March, April, and May were all revised up, and that sales were up in the Midwest and West, but down in the Northeast and South.

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CFPB Director Talks Mortgage Lending Reform

Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, laid out the agency├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós aims to reform mortgage lending standards before a congressional subcommittee Monday. Speaking before House lawmakers, Cordray acknowledged that although the Dodd-Frank Act has had a hand in improving most consumer lending markets, tight mortgage lending standards have kept creditworthy borrowers out of homes. In an effort to fix these issues, Cordray said that CFPB is proposing ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£clear rules of the road├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø to address each stage of the mortgage process and to rebuild consumer and investor confidence.

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