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Tag Archives: Housing Affordability

Economy Likely to Stay on Path of Recovery: Barclays

The housing recovery is strengthening and turning onto a sustainable path, Barclays said in a report Wednesday. According to the firm's U.S. Housing report, single-family housing starts are expected to trend upward, matching the strength of multi-family starts that has driven the housing recovery over the past year. Barclays also anticipates that home price indices will close out the year strong, suggesting a broadening and lasting recovery. The rising supply and steady sales pace of single-family starts apparently encouraged homebuilders.

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Housing Gains Foothold as Mortgage Rates Dip

The third week of July brought news of more mortgage rate lows, according to Freddie Mac. The GSE found the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaging 3.53 percent (0.7 point), down from 3.56 percent from the past week and 4.52 percent from the year before. In all of 2012, the average 30-year home loan has only scaled to 4 percent or higher for one week. The average 15-year mortgage for the week was 2.83 percent (0.6 point), down from 2.86 percent the week before and 3.66 percent at the same time in 2011.

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Fed: U.S. Economy Faces Headwinds Far and Near

Speaking before Congress Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke predicted a slow and fragile economic recovery in the United States, one that is vulnerable to financial markets abroad as well as fiscal policy at home. Amid the uncertain economic atmosphere, the Federal Reserve will continue its maturity extension program through the end of this year. The program calls for the Fed to purchase short-term Treasury securities and long-term Treasury securities of equal amounts. Bernanke said that the housing market reveals modest recovery.

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Construction Industry Wavers as Home Sales Lift Economy

Increased home sales continue to help the United States out of its Great Recession, but uneven job growth is stunting recovery, according to Freddie Mac├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for July. The report, released Wednesday, showed that record-breaking low mortgage rates and refinances through HARP 2.0 drove up housing demand, leading to increases in housing starts, home sales, and prices in many markets. Housing starts for the first five months of the year averaged an annual rate of 719,000, a 26 percent increase from the same period in 2011.

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B of A Reports $2.5B Net Income in Second Quarter

After recording a loss in the first quarter of the year, Bank of America announced a net income of $2.5 billion, $0.19 per diluted share in the second quarter of this year, according to a press release. The $8.8 billion in net loss in the first quarter was partially due to $18.2 billion charges ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£for certain mortgage-related items and other select adjustments, including provisions for representations and warranties and goodwill impairment,├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø according to the press release. This trend reversed during the second quarter. Bank of America lent out about $107 billion.

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RE/MAX: Prices Show Housing Recovery Is ‘Real’

Rising home prices and sales signal that the housing recovery may finally be underway, according to RE/MAX. The real estate company released a housing report Tuesday that found closed transactions up 2.1 percent from May and 5 percent from June year-over-year. These figures made June the twelfth straight month for higher transactions. Of 53 metro areas surveyed by the company, 31 offered up increases for both sales and prices. Available homes for sale fell 5 percent from May and 27.4 percent from June last year.

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Will Underwater Homeowners Lead to Higher Prices?

Underwater homeowners are contributing to a lower inventory of houses for sale on the market, but according to Capital Economics negative equity will not have a major impact on housing prices. Regardless of the impact of negative equity, both Capital Economics and the National Association of Realtors foresee rising prices in the near future. The percentage of underwater homeowners is falling but remains elevated. CoreLogic said that 11.4 million homeowners were underwater in the first quarter.

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Home Prices Benefit From ‘Strong Spring’: LPS

Lender Processing Services, Inc.'s Applied Analytics division released its updated home price index, showing that although prices fell year-over-year, the HPI increase from this year's low has been the most significant jump up in years. The company├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós recent HPI is an update from an earlier release to reflect residential sales concluded during April 2012. The index showed that home price values fell 0.1 percent from April 2011 to April 2012 ($201,000 to $200,000). However, price index values rose from January's low ($195,000) at a pace not seen in more than half a decade.

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HARP Refinance Volume Highest Since 2009: FHFA

More underwater borrowers are choosing to refinance their mortgages under the Home Affordable Refinance Program than at any time since the government program launched in 2009, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The regulatory agency released a report Monday that found total refinance volume up by 20 percent in May. The reasons why? According to the FHFA, record-low interest rates for 30-year fixed-mortgages couple with recent modifications to HARP to create the conditions for a refi boom.

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Wells Fargo Sees Boost From Q2 Profits

Improvements in mortgage banking and credit quality helped Wells Fargo see income gains for the second quarter of 2012. On Friday, Wells Fargo reported a net income of $4.6 billion, or $0.82 per share. The reported earnings for the most recent quarter was an 18 percent increase from the same quarter a year ago, when net income was $3.9 billion, or $0.70 per share. Net income for the most recent quarter was also up from the previous quarter when net income was $4.2 billion, or $0.75 per share.

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