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Tag Archives: Housing Affordability

Freddie: Plunging Mortgage Rates Smash New Records

Mortgage rates again smashed records Thursday by falling to new lows as investors continued to flee Europe, buying up safer U.S. Treasury debt, keeping interest rates low, and setting up all-time highs for housing affordability. Finance Web site Bankrate.com differed by posting slight upticks for the benchmark 30- and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. According to the GSE, rates for the 30-year loan collapsed to 4.01 percent, while Bankrate.com duly noted a rise in interest rates for the 30-year loan to 4.30 percent.

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Mortgage Fraud Declines as Perps Bilk Lenders in New Ways

Experts anticipate that fewer fraudsters will move on residential mortgage originations over the remainder of the year, drawing a contrast with the number of times alleged perpetrators bilked lenders and homeowners over 2010, according to a new report. Releasing the study, CoreLogic offered up predictions that originations will fall to $7.4 billion over 2011 even as more people find new ways to defraud their victims. CoreLogic chalked up less fraud to simple economics.

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Home Prices Hold Steady in July Despite Economic Headwinds

The rocky economic landscape could give way to a smoother housing sector if recent home prices signal anything, with a major Standard & Poor├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós/Case-Shiller index revealing Tuesday a marginal uptick in numbers over July. Economists chalked up the gains to a seasonal boost and suggested more stability may be on the way for a troubled housing economy. The indices reflected a 0.9-percent boon for measures of activity across 10 and 20 major metropolitan cities, a consecutive four-month increase.

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Trulia: More Renters Still Want to Own Homes

Even with new-home sales tanking and recession fears redoubling over August, more renters clung onto the hope of homeownership, with 59 percent still aspiring to pocket a pair of keys and ink their names to mortgages, according to Trulia. The consensus: more than half of all homeowners believe in making the home their most important investment. According to Trulia, 70 percent of survey respondents held firmly to the idea that homeownership is central to the American Dream.

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Economic Worries Trample on New-Home Sales Over August

Despite the lure of record-low mortgage rates, fewer consumers stepped out from behind the fear of a global economic slowdown to purchase new homes, curtailing new sales by 2.3 percent month-over-month in August. Market watchers chalked up a six-month dearth to consumers wary about their job security, stock markets, and the threat of a new recession. The Census Bureau signaled a fallback to 295,000 housing units on a seasonally adjusted basis, down from 302,000 from July.

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Fed: Lower Jumbo Loan Limits Unlikely to Crimp Markets

Ahead of lower limits for conforming jumbo loans, nearly assured in October as Congress disagrees even over stopgap spending bills, the Federal Reserve offered a revealing look at the market Friday by releasing a report on the health of the housing market. The consensus: falling limits will likely only nudge the jumbo loan market, not tip it over, as some critics claim. The Fed found that the current criteria for a jumbo fences in only 1.3 percent of all loans backed by GSEs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

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Lawmaker: $34B in U.S. Assets Exposed to Europe Debt

With the European debt crisis underway, lawmakers convened a hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday to address fears about systemic risks to the U.S. banking system as more euro zone markets falter. The verdict: billions of dollars in liquidity may face exposure to the European debt contagion ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô a reality that U.S. authorities should continue to monitor without overreacting. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia) said that some $34 billion in U.S. liquidity may be in potential exposure to a wave of euro zone troubled assets.

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Analysts: Mortgage Rates Stay Low, Likely to Fall Further

Debt crises and stimulus measures stole the mortgage-rates show as more investors flee to U.S. Treasury debt, with mortgage giant Freddie Mac holding that rates dithered by a few percentage rates and finance Web site Bankrate.com finding a fifth-consecutive week for record lows. Homebuyers nonetheless remain on the sidelines despite all-time highs for affordability, reflecting a dearth in demand, confidence, and jobs. Analysts fault a dismal economy and suggest that mortgage rates will remain low.

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Multifamily Debt Outstanding Goes Up, Alongside Renter Interest

With single-family home sales lagging and more households struggling with debt issues, the Mortgage Bankers Association alleviated few concerns about the industry with news Thursday that mortgage debt outstanding for commercial and multifamily properties rose half a percentage point to hit $2.4 trillion over the second quarter this year. Multifamily mortgage originations are typically those used to finance new rental purchases. The trade group signaled a roughly $4-billion thrust upward in debt outstanding for both loans.

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