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Tag Archives: Housing Affordability

Foreign Buyers Rush to Prop Up U.S. Housing Market: NAR

The combination of low housing prices and the comparative weakness of the dollar continues to push foreign buyers to the United States, raising international home sales to $82.4 billion up from $66.4 billion last year, according to the National Association of Realtors 2012 Profile of International Home Buying Activity. NAR conducted the survey and asked realtors to report their international business activities within the United States for the 12 months ending March 2012. Twenty-seven percent reported having worked with international clients this year.

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Group Files Suit Against CFPB Over Cordray’s Recess Appointment

Public interest group Judicial Watch announced Tuesday that it filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to obtain records detailing President Obama's "recess appointment" of CFPB director Richard Cordray. Judicial Watch, a group dedicated to investigating and fighting possible government corruption, says it submitted a FOIA request on January 12 to CFPB seeking access to records of communications between the bureau, the White House, the Executive Office of the President, the Treasury, and Congress concerning Cordray├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós appointment to his post.

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CFPB Counters Trade Group’s Call for Date to Resign

In an exclusive interview with MReport Tuesday, Marc Savitt, president of the National Association of Independent Housing Professionals, divulged his intentions to call for the resignation of Raj Date from his post as deputy director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Following the interview, NAIHP released an official announcement calling for just that. We obtained comments from the consumer bureau countering criticism Date received for a speech Monday in which he faulted mortgage brokers for the housing crisis.

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Mortgage Applications Jump Highest Since 2009: MBA

Mortgage applications jumped by 18 percent from the week earlier, riding a refinance wave to numbers not seen since 2009, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The trade group found that the Refinance Index climbed up by over 19 percent from the week before, reaching the highest level for an index since April 2009. The refinance share of mortgage activity soared to 79 percent of total volume. He added that loans refinanced through the Home Affordable Refinance Program steadied in recent weeks.

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Homeowners Driving More Mortgage Purchases in New England

Record-breaking low mortgage rates and rising home sales are leading to increase mortgage activity in New England, according to The Warren Group's Mortgage MarketShare Module. According to the data, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island have all seen strong mortgage activity so far in 2012, with Massachusetts showing the strongest numbers. Activity in the state is up more than 28 percent, rising to 99,097 in the first four months of the year ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô an increase from 76,930 during the same period in 2011. Purchase mortgages increased almost 13 percent year-over-year to 13,376.

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Thirty-Year Loan Crashes Into New Low as Europe Scrambles

The crisis of confidence in Europe once again drove mortgage rates to record lows this week, with real estate Web site Zillow reporting that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage slammed into 3.56 percent, the lowest it has recorded since it started surveying rates. Zillow said that the 30-year loan initially rose to 3.62 percent this week after euro zone authorities decided to bail out Spain with favorable terms. The rate for a 15-year loan hovered at 2.95 percent, while interest rates for 5-year and 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 2.68 percent.

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More Real Estate Agents, Brokers Prefer Romney: Survey

Some 66 percent of real estate agents and brokers disapprove of President Barack Obama's performance, with many preferring GOP presidential forerunner and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the coming election, according to real estate company HomeGain. The home valuations company released results from a second-quarter survey Monday that polled 400 real estate agents and more than 1,700 homeowners. The company also found more optimism among real estate professionals about home values.

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Down Payment Biggest Barrier to Homeownership: Study

Feelings about homeownership remain positive in the face of a diminished market, but an uncertain economy and increasing down payments are keeping Americans from making purchases, a report from Integra Realty Resources said. Wednesday's report detailed results from an IRR-commissioned survey of non-homeowners ages 22-50 in 11 major markets. While 85 percent of potential buyers indicated that market conditions are favorable for purchasing a home, unemployment and job instability make many respondents reluctant or unable to buy a home.

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Miami Home Sales Fall from Previous Year, Luxury Market Rises

While Miami home sales in April fell slightly, the multimillion-dollar luxury home market experienced a 36.5 percent increase from both the month before and previous year, according to San-Diego based DataQuick. In April, 101 homes sold for more than $2 million or more. During the first four months of 2012, 286 homes sold for the same amount or more, up 14.4 percent from the same period in 2011. Miami-area home sales rose modestly in April compared with March but fell slightly short of the year-ago level.

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Dodd-Frank Comes Under Fire at Congressional Hearing

The Dodd-Frank Act fell under scrutiny at a hearing of the Senate Banking Committee Wednesday, with lawmakers from the right charging that the reform law will impose arbitrary rules that limit consumer choice and prevent an economic recovery. Much of the light fell on interagency efforts to finalize the controversial Volcker Rule, a rulemaking requirement under Dodd-Frank that bans short-term proprietary trading by systemically important financial institutions like Chase. Witnesses included Consumer Financial Protection Bureau chief Richard Cordray.

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