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Tag Archives: Housing Affordability

Wells Fargo Settles Race Claims, Exits Wholesale Originations

Wells Fargo wrote a check for $175 million on Thursday to settle claims that independent brokers drove a disproportionate number of otherwise creditworthy minority borrowers to higher-priced variable mortgages in the lead-up to the financial crisis. Wells Fargo denied any of the claims and took action Thursday to stop originating loans with independent mortgage brokers by Friday, a move that it billed as one separate from the settlement and ensuing controversy. The lender will work to close and process existing applications after Friday.

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Americans ‘Confident’ About Housing Recovery: Survey

Despite fears of an economic slowdown, more Americans feel confident about the housing recovery, with 72 percent of survey respondents recently affirming their belief that the real estate market will recover over the next two years. Releasing their quarterly survey, Irvine, California-based Brookfield Real Estate and Relocation Affiliates, Inc., also found that 69 percent of respondents believe that real estate still makes for a sound investment despite market volatility, an increase by 6 percentage points from the first quarter. More Americans also seem to feel more favorably about the housing market.

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Credit Agency Files Antitrust Suit Against CoreLogic, Experian

Florida-based CreditBureau Services filed a suit Tuesday against Experian, the national consumer credit data repository, and CoreLogic, Inc., the nation's largest credit report reseller, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida for alleged violations of the antitrust laws. The suit claims that Experian and CoreLogic sought to deny smaller credit agencies access to Experian's mortgage credit information for "tri-merged" mortgage credit reports. Banks and investors require tri-merged reports to extend credit for home mortgages.

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Mortgage Applications Slide as Interest Rates Fall

Mortgage applications fell 2.1 percent from the week before, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The trade group found declines for applications amid new historic lows for mortgage rates. According to the MBA, average contract interest rates for home loans broke new records across the board. New lows for interest rates included the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with conforming balances (3.79 percent), the 30-year loan with jumbo loan balances (4.05 percent), and the 15-year loan (3.15 percent). Five-year and one-year adjustable-rate mortgages likewise fell to a new low of 2.71 percent.

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Housing Confidence Picks Up in June Despite Worries

Downturns in economic confidence hasn├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ót shaken consumers├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ó optimism in the housing market, Fannie Mae├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós National Housing Survey for June showed. According to the survey, the average home price expectation rose to 2 percent in June, up 0.6 percent from May and the highest recorded value since the survey began two years ago. In addition, 35 percent of respondents expect that home prices will go up in the next year, the highest level recorded since the survey├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós inception. Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they think mortgage rates will go up in the next 12 months.

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High-LTV Originations See Sharp Increase Under HARP

Overall, mortgage originations declined in April. However, originations for loans with high loan-to-value ratios have been on the rise the past few months with April as no exception, according to the latest data from Lender Processing Services. The percentage of non-FHA originations has also been on the rise since for several months, and it did not drop off in April. In fact, non-FHA loan originations have risen steadily since November 2011 when they took up 20.2 percent of total loan originations to 33.8 percent in April.

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Mortgage Rates Slam into New Record Lows as Europe Wobbles

Mortgage rates continued to drop Thursday as the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate slammed into a new record low of 3.87 percent, according to Freddie Mac. The GSE found that for interest rates for the 15-year loan fell to 3.13 percent, while the jumbo 30-year fixed mortgage declined to 4.47 percent, each setting record lows. Adjustable-mortgage rates were mixed, with the average 3-year and 1-year ARMs inching higher to 3.07 percent. The popular 5-year and 1-year ARMs pulled back below the 3 percent threshold.

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Mortgage Applications Drop as Interest Rates Post New Lows

application

Mortgage applications decreased 6.7 percent over the week ending June 19, while interest rates also fell, finding new lows in some categories, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Refinances still make up a majority of applications ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô 78 percent for the week, slightly lower than the 79 percent share recorded the previous week. The amount of refinance applications fell 8 percent over the week. HARP 2.0 refinance applications stood at 20 percent three weeks ago but have been at 24 percent for the past two weeks.

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Study: New HARP Bill Would Result in 13M New Refinances

If it becomes law, a Senate bill could increase the number of homeowners who refinance under the Home Affordable Refinance Program by up to 13 million. That's the consensus reached by professors with Columbia University Business School, which released the study on Thursday. The study sketched the likely effects of a bill recently co-sponsored by Sens. Barbara Boxer and Robert Menendez. Researchers said that new HARP modifications could lead to roughly $35 billion in savings for homeowners, a number that could help stem the rate of foreclosure activity nationally.

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