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Tag Archives: Housing Affordability

Homeownership Rates Lowest Since Great Depression

abandoned house

Homeownership rates remain at depths not seen since the Great Depression, according to new Census Bureau numbers. Market watchers chalk up the lows to tight lending conditions, concerns about the regulatory environment, and fears about a double-dip recession. Releasing Housing Characteristics: 2010 Thursday, the bureau found homeownership rates deflating by some 1.1 percent to 65.1 percent over the last decade ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the biggest decline since between the years 1930 and 1940.

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Dispelling Fears, U.S. Adds 103,000 Jobs in September

The U.S. economy bucked low expectations Friday with news that it added over 100,000 jobs over September, masking other figures that continued to confirm the rising appeal of rental properties alongside a decline in homeownership. Nonfarm payroll employment tacked on 137,000 new faces in the private sector, alongside 103,000 for the nonfarm jobs payroll overall ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô a solid forward step in lieu of pale figures from August, which saw the number of lost jobs eclipsing new ones.

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Housing Industry Groups Wrestle With Federal Policies

Industry trade groups and lobbyists upped the ante in the war of policy, words, and influence following testimony by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke before a joint congressional committee this week. News reports and statements contributed to the exchange Thursday, with outlets referencing punches pulled by the Mortgage Bankers Association, National Association of Home Builders, and National Association of Realtors, among others. The Qualified Residential Mortgage remains under attack, while others upheld the role of the GSEs in markets.

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Mortgage Rates Drop Below 4% for First Time

Mortgage rates slammed into a new, record-setting low Thursday, with mortgage giant Freddie Mac reporting that figures for the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell below 4 percent for the first time in history. Finance Web site Bankrate.com noted a similarly record-smashing low for the loan. Making the biggest waves, the GSE found the 30-year loan dropping on average to 3.94 percent nationally, down from 4.01 percent last week and 4.27 percent over the same time last year.

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Mortgage Applications Fall 4.3% on Borrower Apathy


Historically low mortgage rates failed once more to entice interest from borrowers, with the Mortgage Bankers Association recording a seasonally adjusted 4.3-percent plunge in mortgage applications last week. The numbers arrive amid a flurry of action from the Federal Reserve. The trade group penciled in a 4.5-percent decline on a seasonally unadjusted basis, alongside downward revisions for the Purchase Index at a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent and seasonally unadjusted 1.7 percent.

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Group: Don’t Expect Housing Recovery Until 2014

As Fed officials hinted at more stimulus measures for the ailing economy, research consultancy Capital Economics released a note signaling that more trouble ahead for the housing sector could delay a recovery until 2014. Writing for the consultancy, senior U.S. economist Paul Dales painted a grim portrait of the housing economy, explaining that less confidence among consumers and tight lending standards contribute to the view that market conditions will keep a heel on the housing recovery until 2014.

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Fed Officials Promise More Action, See Trouble Ahead


On the same day that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke cautioned lawmakers about their fiscal behavior and hinted at more stimulus measures, one of the Fed├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós governors, Sarah Bloom Raskin, outlined potential peril in the mortgage servicing industry. The Fed chief noted ailing health in the economy while the other official sketched a need for change in servicing standards. News reports found the 30-year Treasury bond yields leaping forward on the promise of action by the Fed chief.

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Survey: Most Real Estate Investors Expanding Portfolios

Over eight in 10 U.S. real estate investors are making moves to shore up their portfolios even as talk of a double-dip recession persists, according to a recent survey. More shocking: most of the survey respondents parted ways with Americans at large by agreeing that the economy is headed in a northerly direction. Conducting the survey in early August, Colliers International, a real estate services company, deployed the 2011 Colliers International Global Investor Sentiment Survey as a way to measure investor appetite for risk and optimism.

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What the Lower Conforming Loan Limits Mean

Making good on promises by policymakers from both parties, Congress allowed the $729,750 threshold for conforming loans with federal guarantees to expire Saturday, pinching high-end borrowers in a marginal number of counties and potentially leaving a swath of new market share for private bankers. Homebuyers looking for more than $625,000 in financing for their mortgage loans will accordingly fall short of eligibility requirements needed for federal insurance.

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MReport Exclusive: 6 Ways for Originators to Survive Today’s Market

Despite mortgage rates hitting rock bottom Thursday, few analysts expect an uptick in demand anytime soon, with consumers concerned about their job security, underwriting standards still tight, and a foreclosure glut competing with home construction. Given tough times, MReport canvassed the industry ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô online, in the field, and on the speaking circuit ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô and uncovered 12 strategies relevant to originators in a tough market. Six of these hot tips made it into MReport's online exclusive.

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