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Tag Archives: Housing Affordability

Home Sales Expected to Lift in 2012: NAR

Today├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós record-low mortgage rates and southerly home sales will post gains into next year, according to the economist with one trade group. Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of Realtors, predicted at the 2011 Realtors Conference and Expo that home sales and existing-home sales would rise, along with mortgage rates. He said that GDP would climb from a 1.8-percent slump to 2.2 percent over next year, as job growth marches toward 2.2 million and the unemployment rate falls to 8.7 percent.

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Lawmaker Wants Dodd-Frank Financial, Regulatory Analyses

As pressure builds to repeal the Dodd-Frank Act, one lawmaker pushed back by formally requesting an analysis of the rulemaking effort and financial consequences under the financial legislative overhaul. Sen. Tim Johnson wrote two letters to public officials Thursday to make the request, with clear intentions to secure a formal, objective analysis that lends credibility to the financial law and overall rulemaking process. Included agencies in the requested analyses: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Federal Housing Finance agency.

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Senator Proposes Bill to Wean GSEs Off Federal Funds

Fielding more pressure for housing finance reform, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) introduced a bill Wednesday that aims to decouple government assistance from the GSEs and shore up private-sector involvement in mortgage markets. The bill, titled the Residential Mortgage Market and Privatization Act, proposes gradually reducing the percentage of principal in the GSEs├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ó mortgage-backed securities, streamlining underwriting standards and origination databases, and removing federal guarantees to create a much-discussed to-be-announced market.

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Mortgage Rates Fall Below 4% for Second Time: Freddie

Ongoing trouble in Europe meshed with low home prices to keep a heel on mortgage rates this week, with Freddie Mac offering up news that interest rates for loans fell below 4 percent for the second time this year. The GSE released a weekly survey alongside finance Web site Bankrate.com, which disagreed by reporting that mortgage rates climbed this week. For Freddie, rates for the benchmark 30-year loan fell to 3.99 percent, down one percentage point from last week. Bankrate.com said that the fixed-rate mortgage went up to 4.25 percent.

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Lawmakers Aim to Jumpstart U.S. Covered Bonds Market

If a new Senate bill becomes law, it could finally create a long-awaited covered bond market for the nation, effectively making mortgages easier to securitize and increasing their appeal for investors. Earlier Wednesday a bipartisan group of senators, led by Sens. Kay Hagan and Bob Corker, introduced the United States Covered Bond Act of 2011 in order to kick-start what some regard as necessary for a full-fledged housing recovery. European nations have long benefited from a covered bond market, with legal bodies in place for bonds.

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Mortgage Applications Surge Forward by 10.3%

More refinance loan applications inspired a 10.3-percent leap forward in mortgage applications last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The MBA released a weekly survey responsible for tracking mortgage application volume. The surge in mortgage loan application volume follows a shortfall in contract interest rates on average for fixed-rate mortgages, with the 30-year loan seeing a drop from 4.31 percent the week before to 4.22 percent last week.

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Q3 Home Prices Fall While Some State Sales Rise

Existing-home prices sagged in most metropolitan areas over the third quarter, pointing to a soft spot in job security for people across the country as home affordability hovers around record highs. A quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors revealed that more than two-thirds of all metropolitan areas suffered plunges in home prices from last year. The NAR found state existing-home sales falling by 0.1 percent to crest at a seasonally adjusted 4.9 million over the third quarter. First-time buyers bought up 32 percent of homes.

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Nearly 70% Want Housing Solutions from Candidates: Survey

Nearly three-quarters of Americans will look for positions on housing from presidential candidates for the 2012 election cycle, according to a recent survey. Move, Inc. released the findings in a survey that it facilitated in phone interviews with respondents in early October. According to the survey, some seven in 10 Americans, or roughly 70 percent, expect candidates for the presidency to address housing concerns. Of these, nearly 71 percent identified themselves as Millennials. About 82 percent called housing "critical" to the recovery.

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Freddie: Equity-to-Cash Conversions Lowest in 16 Years

Giving homeowners more reason to refinance their loans, third-quarter results show that a majority of borrowers who exchanged their fixed rates for today├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós low rates on first-lien mortgages either saved big on principal or kept their current payments. Of the 82 percent of borrowers who refinanced their first-lien mortgages, 37 percent of homeowners substantially reduced their principal balance by paying in. The GSE said 44 percent maintained their original monthly loan amounts by refinancing.

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U.S. Lenders Wary Ahead of Euro Crisis: Survey

A third-quarter opinion survey for loan officers revealed that more financial institutions tightened their credit supply over fears that debt-ridden euro zone countries would tear apart the content├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós currency and expose U.S. banks to danger. The Federal Reserve polled senior loan officers from 51 U.S. banks and 22 branches for the nation├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós financial institutions at foreign branches for the October 2011 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices.

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