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Tag Archives: Housing Affordability

Freddie, HUD Offer a Hand to Irene Victims

Freddie Mac and HUD recently stepped up home relief programs for eligible borrowers who saw their property and prized possessions wash away with the tidewaters of Hurricane Irene. The availability of federal relief will allow qualifying homeowners in distress to gain reprieve from late fees and penalties likely to result from delayed mortgage payments, avoid foreclosure and eviction from their homes, and take advantage of HUD insurance policies to revamp their residences.

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New Lows Visit 30-Year and 15-Year Mortgage Rates

application

With refinancing activity continuing a backslide, the number of homebuyers filing mortgage applications waxed over last week, falling by 4.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to a weekly survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The trade group recorded new lows for 30-year and 15-year loan contract interest rates. According to the MBA's Market Composite Index, a yardstick for mortgage loan applications nationally, numbers declined by a seasonally unadjusted 5.3 percent.

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Global Shocks Unlikely to Directly Crimp Housing

Mortgage application volume suffered a drubbing Wednesday, even as the U.S. economy fell behind in important global rankings and the euro zone crisis continues to trouble investors. With numerous economists attributing lows for consumer confidence to a bevy of international concerns, MReport spoke with analysts to spot any troubling signs for housing as the global economy wobbles. The verdict: Market watchers should keep an eye on euro zone fallout for mortgage rates and credit supply.

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Markets, Analysts React to the FHFA Suits

Partly in response to suits brought by the Federal Housing Finance Agency Friday, stocks for a number of the 17 companies-turned-defendants sank Tuesday, with Deutsche Bank leading the way down midday. Market watchers across the country offered up their reactions, with some portending considerable fallout for the economy and others waving away notions that a settlement by the banks would weaken the housing recovery. Deutsche, Barclays, Morgan Stanley, and others all saw their shares decline Tuesday midday.

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HUD Scorecard Touts Initiatives Despite Housing Health

Housing market conditions remained fragile despite numerous initiatives put forward by the Obama administration, according to a recent scorecard released Thursday by HUD and the Treasury Department. The administration cited numerous industry-respected analytics sources and painted a helpful portrait of the homeownership and refinance endeavors it has made possible. Sources polled for the government gauge of housing and economic health included CoreLogic and Standard & Poor's, among others.

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Appraisers Get New Standards

As of Thursday, appraisers and realtors must now use a new universal grading rubric when it comes to their assessments for properties with government-backed mortgages. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently revised their appraisal guidelines to streamline a sometimes unclear process, but some warn of the potential for fallout among appraisers, realtors, and homeowners unfamiliar with the new standards. Appraisers will need to weigh property values against new codes and abbreviations.

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Mortgage Rates Offer More Mixed News

Mortgage rates either stayed the same or plunged to record lows, depending on where market watchers obtained their news Thursday. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac and personal finance Web site Bankrate.com released separate figures, with the former seeing a static 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and the latter finding a new bottom for the benchmark loan. The 30-year loan went bottoms up, according to Bankrate.com, which posted a 4.37-percent low, down from 4.41 percent from the week earlier.

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FOMC Minutes Portray a Pessimisstic Fed

Fed

Minutes released by the Federal Reserve Tuesday portrayed the last Federal Open Market Committee meeting as one given to doubts about the health of the U.S. economy, housing recovery, and global markets. Discussions between the nation├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós central bank presidents reveal concern over the state of the economy and the Fed├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós ability to promote positive capital movements. The minutes also shed light on the controversial the Fed's decision to keep interest rates low until 2013.

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