Home >> Tag Archives: Housing Affordability (page 40)

Tag Archives: Housing Affordability

Bernanke: Tight Credit Continues to Hamper Recovery

Fed

Negative equity, tight mortgage credit, and an overhang of foreclosed properties conspire to delay a full-fledged housing rebound and economic recovery, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said Friday. He said that the inability ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô or unwillingness ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô of lenders to lend puts the brakes on much-needed activity by first-time and repeat homebuyers. He cited a contraction in mortgage credit outstanding for U.S. homes by about 13 percent, with mortgage originators reluctant to lend to otherwise eligible borrowers.

Read More »

State, Federal Officials Seal Historic $26B Servicer Settlement

More than a year's worth of rumors, negotiations, and reversals concluded Thursday with a $26-billion mega-settlement between government officials and the nation├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós five largest mortgage servicers. The size and scope of the settlement makes it the largest endeavor by state and federal officials in U.S. history. Federal officials and 49 state attorneys general closed a deal with Ally Financial Corp., Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo that supplies homeowners in distress with new relief and establishes new servicing standards.

Read More »

Nearly 30% Believe Home Prices Will Rise in 2012: Fannie Mae

More Americans expect that home prices will recover over the course of 2012, just as they believe that mortgage rates will remain at all-time lows and more think the economy will enter an upswing. Mortgage giant Fannie Mae said in a January National Housing Survey that 28 percent of Americans believe that home prices will rise over the next year by 1 percent, up from 2 percent last month. Of the survey respondents, 8 percent said that interest rates for mortgage loans will decline in 2012, down 2 percent from December.

Read More »

Rule Requires Nonbank Lenders, Originators to Report Fraud

A financial fraud task force cleared a final rule Tuesday that requires nonbank mortgage lenders and originators to report suspicious activity related to mortgage fraud. The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network said that originators and lenders will need to report any suspected fraudulent activity to the organization on an annual and quarterly basis. The new rule reflects the scope of authority undertaken by the Obama administration as it pursues mortgage and financial fraud. The new rule will take effect in two months.

Read More »

Builder Confidence Up for Q4 Single-Family Home Sales

Homebuilder confidence in the single-family market ended the fourth quarter last year on a climb uphill as the wider economy showed improvement. The National Association of Home Builders released a market index Tuesday that recorded a four-point increase year-over-year to 18 for homebuilders in the single-family sector. The index fielded improvements across the board year-over-year, with confidence about current sales ticking up four points to 17 and anticipated sales for the next six months up two points to 26.

Read More »

Nearly Half of Refinancing Q4 Borrowers Reduced Payments

Nearly 85 percent of refinancing homeowners with first-lien loans maintained or reduced their current payments by paying in additional cash in the fourth quarter last year. Of these, according to recent analysis by mortgage giant Freddie Mac, 49 percent of borrowers slashed their principal payments by refinancing at current rates, compared with 37 percent who preserved their payments. So-called cash-out borrowers accounted for 15 percent of all refinance loans, the lowest percentage in the 26-year history of the GSE's analysis.

Read More »

Housing Plays Small Part as Economy Adds 243K Jobs

New

A still-brittle economic recovery picked up steam in January as the private sector added 243,000 jobs, driving unemployment figures to lows not seen in three years. The Labor Department said that the national unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent, also signaling a fifth straight month for declines in the number of jobless Americans. Construction added 21,000 jobs from December, with gains for nonresidential construction and specialty trade contractors. Financial services lost some 5,000 jobs from last month by comparison.

Read More »

Mortgage Rates Plummet On Fed Action, Economy

Mortgage rates yet again slammed into all-time lows, with signs emerging that the economy may still need to improve and action from the Federal Reserve to keep a heel on interest rates until 2014. Finance Web site Bankrate.com and mortgage giant Freddie Mac offered up reports on interest rates for mortgage loans in two separate weekly surveys. The former found rates for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage falling to 4.12 percent, down from 4.25 percent last week, while the GSE said that it declined from 3.98 percent to 3.88 percent over the same time frame.

Read More »

Home Prices Fell 4.7% in 2011: CoreLogic

Home prices for transactions fell by 4.7 percent year-over-year in 2011, making last year the fifth straight one in which prices underwent declines, according to CoreLogic. The data and analytics provider released the latest figures Thursday in a home price index that also recorded year-over-year declines by 2 percent over November last year. Those with the steepest declines in home prices included Illinois, Nevada, Georgia, Ohio, and Minnesota, each by 11.3 percent, 10.6 percent, 8.3 percent, 7.7 percent, and 7.5 percent, respectively.

Read More »

Refi Applications High as Overall Volume Drops 2.9%: MBA

Mortgage application volume contracted by 2.9 percent from the week before, even while refinance volume continued to soar amid signs that more homeowners are seeking to take advantage of the Home Affordable Refinance Program. The Mortgage Bankers Association found in a weekly survey that mortgage loan application volume simultaneously went up 9 percent on a seasonally unadjusted basis. The trade group├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós Purchase Index climbed by 17.1 percent but remains 4.3 percent lower than figures seen during the same week last year.

Read More »