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Tag Archives: Investment

Fixed-Rate Mortgages Still Popular with Consumers: Freddie

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Fixed-rate mortgages remained largely popular with consumers over the third quarter, according to Freddie Mac, despite the willingness by some lawmakers and policymakers to part ways with the loan product. The GSE found that more refinancing borrowers opted to contract their mortgage terms over the course of the second quarter. Forty percent of borrowers with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage exchanged their old products for 15- and 20-year mortgages, topping off the most such since 2003, Freddie found.

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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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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 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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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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LPS Names New VP of Investor Relations

A new head of investor relations has been announced at Lender Processing Services, with the appointment of Nancy Murphy to the leadership role. Formerly the director of investment relations for fashion retailer Stein Mart Inc., Murphy is returning to the financial industry, where she spent most of her career prior to joining the clothing company.

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Greek Turmoil, G-20 Decisions Target U.S. Lenders

Political trouble in Greece sent stocks and shares for major mortgage lenders tumbling Friday, even as the world's 20 wealthiest nations placed eight U.S. banks on a list that may require systemically risky institutions to shore up their capital reserves. The decision revealed the degree to which events overseas continue to shake U.S. mortgage lenders in an increasingly interdependent global economy, where international players fear the potential for a double-dip recession and ripple effects from systemically risky institutions.

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Credit Unions Vie with Banks for Consumers, Mortgages

Rising debit card fees drove some 650,000 consumers to credit unions over October, with social media movements responsible for galvanizing the exodus, according to a recent survey. The Credit Union National Association laid claim to the figures in a survey for which the trade group polled some 5,000 credit unions nationwide. The ruckus over debit card fees began in September when the nation├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós largest lenders floated the idea of an increase in monthly payments for debit-card users. This only marks the latest in a string of public relations problems.

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October Payrolls Add 80K, Chipping at Unemployment

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Nonfarm payrolls counted more than 80,000 new jobs for the economy over October, slashing the unemployment rate by a few percentage points but at a clip that analysts say will marginally improve an otherwise uncertain economic outlook. The Labor Department reported Friday that the jump to more than 100,000 new jobs over September - a facelift driven largely by a return to work by striking Verizon employees - slid back to new figures with few surprising numbers for several industries.

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