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Tag Archives: Housing Affordability

Fannie: Economy Slows, Modest Growth Still Expected

The revised figures for economic growth in the year's first quarter were disappointing, but Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Research Group is still forecasting moderate growth for the remainder of 2012. A report released by the group Tuesday projected 2.2 percent growth for all of 2012. Several factors presented risks to the economic outlook, including a slowing trend in job growth and potential contagion in the euro zone from Greece's financial issues. Consumer attitudes also influence the economic outlook.

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Monthly Gains Just a Silver Lining for Home Prices: RadarLogic

While other experts and analysts have concluded home prices are on the rise and the recovery is under way, Radar Logic released a report challenging the upbeat viewpoint. The argument made by Radar Logic is that as buyers absorb the supply of homes for sale in certain markets and prices start to stabilize as a result, home owners who have been waiting on the sidelines to sell will do so once prices start to improve. This will increase supply once again, and home prices will stop appreciating as supply exceeds demand. Home values decreased by 0.8 percent year-over-year in April 2012.

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Improving Markets Index Shows Volatility in June: NAHB

After reaching 100 in May, the list of metropolitan areas with improving housing markets fell to 89 in June, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Market Index. While the number of metros on the index dropped, a closer look shows high volatility, not a straightforward decline in improving markets. About half of last month's improving markets ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô 52 metros ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô maintained their improving status in June. The other 48 metros listed as improving markets in May fell off the list.

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Housing Market Recovery ‘In Full Swing’: RE/MAX

The national housing market recovery is ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£in full swing,├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø according to the June edition of RE/MAX├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós National Housing Report. The report, released Monday, revealed that May saw increases in both home sales and house median home price for 42 of the 53 surveyed metropolitan markets. For the fourth consecutive month, the RE/MAX report found an overall increase in median home price across the country. In May, the national median home price was $166,500, a 6.1 percent increase year-over-year, RE/MAX said.

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Housing Permits Soar Highest Since September 2008

Housing permits soared in May to their highest level since September 2008, surging 7.9 percent to 780,000, the Census Bureau and HUD reported jointly Tuesday, but housing starts dropped 4.8 percent to 708,000 giving back all of April's gains. At the same time, permits for April were revised upward to 723,000 from the originally reported 715,000. April housing starts were also revised to 744,000, up from the originally reported 717,000 percent drop. Surveyed economists expected increases in both areas.

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FHA Backtracks on Homebuyer Credit Dispute Requirements

HUD rescinded guidance Friday that would have obligated homeowners to resolve debts outstanding of $1,000 or more or enter into a repayment plan by closing time for a mortgage backed by the Federal Housing Administration. Guidance from February required that lenders with homeowners in dispute of credit accounts or collections in that amount resolve or pay down the debt in order to meet eligibility criteria for a FHA-insured loan. That policy would have gone into effect by July 1, although earlier guidance remains.

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Wells Fargo to Streamline Refinance Only In-House Loans

Wells Fargo recently announced that it will accept refinance applications for homeowners with FHA mortgages only if their loans are serviced in-house by the mortgage lender. Vickee Adams, a spokesperson for Wells, said in an e-mailed statement that the lender currently services more than 500,000 customers with FHA home loans that could qualify to save money by refinancing under changes at the agency. The lender will start accepting only refinance applications for in-house loans on Tuesday.

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Stock Valuations May Rise for Housing Despite Euro Crisis: Report

Despite the deteriorating situation in Europe, the United States housing market's recent gains should drive up stocks valuations for building products companies in the near future, Barclays said in a report Tuesday. Barclays├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ó U.S. Building Products & Homebuilding report shows that valuations for building products stocks under the institution's coverage are in the lower half of their historical trading ranges, largely due to "fairly lackluster" first-quarter earnings caused by lag between home purchases and building products sales. Financial crises in the euro zone are also driving down building products stocks.

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Group: Housing Outlook ‘Significantly Brighter’ Than Year Ago

According to Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies, the key to the housing market recovery is job growth. "What the for-sale market needs most is a sustained increase in employment to bring household growth back to its long-term pace," the Joint Center said in its recent report, The State of the Nation's Housing 2012. Multifamily starts rose 54 percent and home improvement spending rose 0.6 percent over the year in 2011 and single family housing starts declined 8.6 percent over the year.

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FHA to Go Forward With Delinquent Loan Sale to Investors

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and Federal Housing Administration Acting Commissioner Carol Galante announced in a press conference Friday FHA's program to sell mortgage loan pools to investors. The Distressed Asset Stabilization Program, designed to give homeowners with seriously delinquent loans a chance to avoid foreclosure, is an expansion of an earlier FHA pilot program that allows investors to purchase loan pools headed for foreclosure. Investors are then charged with the task of working to bring the loan out of default. The program starts in September 2012 with a sale of the loan pools.

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