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Tag Archives: Housing Affordability

Warren Group: Massachusetts Prices May Have Hit Bottom

Continuing a four-month trend ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô one that has also prevailed in nine of the past 10 consecutive months ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô single-family home sales in Massachusetts rose year-over-year in April, according to The Warren Group, a New England real estate analytics firm. However, single-family home prices reversed a seven-month downward drift, rising 1.1 percent. The median sales price for single-family homes in Massachusetts now stands at $275,000. On the other hand, the year-to-date median price is $264,900, which is 1 percent lower than the year-to-date price in April of last year, according to The Warren Group.

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Mortgage Rates Remain Near Record Lows as Europe Wavers

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hovered at 3.63 percent this week, up from record lows last week, with debt crises in Europe continuing to scare investors and drag down prospects for a steady economic recovery. Real estate Web site Zillow found the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage down to 3.63 percent, up from 3.59 percent last week. The 15-year home loan averaged 2.93 percent, while rates for 5-year and 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages reached 2.54 percent. Europe remains a sore spot for the economic recovery.

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Group: Housing Finds Sustainable Recovery Amid Threats

In its latest monthly report released Monday, Capital Economics painted a positive picture of the housing market, insisting the market has moved from bottoming-out to recovering. To those wondering whether Capital Economics' positive prophesies are merely a mirage soon to be dispersed much like the short-lived positive movement the market experienced in 2009 and 2010, the analytics firm pointed out a substantial difference between what occurred in 2009-2010 and what is occurring today.

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Fannie Mae Forecasts ‘Sluggish’ Growth in 2012

Despite some slowdown in housing activity at the end of the first quarter, Fannie Mae projects that home sales will rise and the economy will continue to grow in 2012. Though the first quarter of the year saw substantial housing activity compared to last year, Fannie Mae's internal think tank noticed a drop in momentum late in the quarter. According to the group, this drop may be mirroring many economic indicators and may be a result of the year's unusually warm weather pulling activity slightly forward. Economic growth is at 2.2 percent.

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Median Sales Prices Increase 3.2% in April: RE/MAX

The median sales price for homes sold in April went up 3.2 percent higher than the month before, ticking up to $161,000, according to RE/MAX. The real estate company released a national housing report that tracked a 5.9 percent increase in median sales prices year-over-year. April also marked the third straight month that home prices went up year-over-year after close to two years of declines. Of 53 metro areas surveyed by RE/MAX, 43 reported higher sales prices last month than the year before, an increase from 36 metro areas in March.

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Once Common Loan Products Not So Common in Southern California

The Southern California housing market continues to inch slowly toward recovery with a 5.1 percent increase in home sales year-over-year in April and the first year-over-year price increase reported in 16 months, according to DataQuick, a San Diego-based analytics firm. However, the market still relies heavily on investors as credit remains tight. Previously common mortgage loan products continue to make up a much smaller percentage of the market than they did over the last several years, according to DataQuick.

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Mortgage Rates Fall to New Record Lows as Greece Titters

Interest rates for mortgage loans saw new, all-time lows this week as investors fled debt crises in Europe. Freddie Mac found the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage sliding to 3.79 percent, down from 3.83 percent last week and a far cry from 4.61 percent last year. The 15-year loan fell from 3.05 percent to 3.04 percent. Adjustable-rate mortgages went up. The finance Web site Bankrate.com likewise saw new record lows for mortgage rates, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropping below 4 percent for the first time by arriving at 3.97 percent.

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Fed Governor: Uncertainty Is the Market’s Greatest Hindrance

Uncertainty is the greatest hindrance to the housing recovery today, according to Federal Reserve Governor Elizabeth A. Duke, who speak before the National Association of Realtors on Tuesday. Duke called on policymakers to "move forward with the difficult decisions that will affect the future of the mortgage market," deeming this the "most important solution" to today├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós struggling market. While the economy and the housing market are beginning to see some signs of ripening, Duke pointed out that lending remains tight.

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Connecticut Home Sales Rising, Prices Still Falling

Home sales in Connecticut rose on an annual basis in March for the third month in a row, according to data released Wednesday by The Warren Group. The same report revealed that single-family home sales in Connecticut rose on a quarterly basis for the first time since the second quarter of 2010. Single-family home sales rose more than 5 percent in the first quarter of this year to 4,157 from 3,950 in the same quarter last year. Conversely, median prices declined 6.5 percent over the first quarter of the year in Connecticut, slipping from $230,000 in the first quarter of last year to $215,000.

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Mortgage Applications Ride 9.2% Increase on Low Interest Rates

A rash of new concerns in debt-saddled Europe drove investors to U.S. Treasury debt, keeping mortgage rates at all-time lows and leading mortgage application volume to tick up 9.2 percent. The Mortgage Bankers Association recorded an 8.7 percent increase in applications for the Market Composite Index on a seasonally unadjusted basis. Analysts credit an upset in Greek elections last week with the rush by investors to U.S. Treasury debt, with policymakers in the Mediterranean country likely seeing elections next week.

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