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Tag Archives: Investors

Housing Optimism Continues to Climb

A report released by Prudential Real Estate finds that the number of consumers--particularly young ones--who are optimistic about residential real estate took a healthy step higher in December. According to Prudential, 78 percent of consumers (and nearly 90 percent of Millennials) surveyed look favorably toward the residential market in 2014. This is a full 5 percentage points more than the company's third-quarter 2013 results and 15 points more than its end-of-year 2012 results.

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Consumer Sentiment Withstands Economic Stumble

The University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters Index of Consumer Sentiment stood at a reading of 81.2 in an early-look report released Friday. The index was unchanged from its final January reading. The mid-February reading was affected by deterioration in the gauge measuring perceptions about current conditions, which fell to 94.0 from January's 96.8. That was offset by a pickup in the measure of six-month expectations, which rose to 73.0 from 71.2 previously.

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MGIC Announces Additions to Sales Team

To help keep up with growing demand for private mortgage insurance, Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation (MGIC) announced the addition of six veteran industry professionals to its sales team.

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Already Low Inventory Drops Lower in January

Housing inventory declined more than 9 percent over the month of January in the 19 markets in which online real estate brokerage Redfin has a presence, according to the company's Real-Time Price Tracker for January. ""A year ago, we didn't think inventory could go any lower, yet we're beginning 2014 with another disappointment,"" Redfin stated in its January report. With the caveat that ""it is too soon to tell,"" the brokerage did offer some optimism regarding inventory in coming months.

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Mortgage Rates Up in First Increase of 2014

Freddie Mac released Thursday its weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey, which shows the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) moved up to 4.28 percent (0.7 point) for the week ending February 13. In its own national survey, Bankrate.com recorded the 30-year fixed average at 4.48 percent, while the 15-year fixed rose slightly less at 3.53 percent. Analysts for the finance site said it was Janet Yellen's first testimony as the head of Federal Reserve that provided the week's lift.

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Despite Heightened Interest, Home Offers Decline

The year started off with relatively strong homebuyer interest, but that interest has not translated into actual home purchases, according to the latest Real-Time Demand Pulse released Thursday by Redfin, a national online real estate brokerage. After a normal lull during the holiday season, the number of consumers taking home tours increased 53.8 percent in the first month of the year. Meanwhile, the number of offers made in January is only up 28.7 percent compared to last year's 42.6 percent.

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DataQuick Announces Improvements to AppraisalQ Interface

Out of San Diego, DataQuick announced improvements to the interface on its automated appraisal review solution, AppraisalQ. ""AppraisalQ offers the most comprehensive and efficient appraisal review solution on the market. With these enhancements, we're making the solution even easier to use,"" said DataQuick president John Walsh.

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Regulator Voices Worries on Growth of Non-Bank Servicers

The New York regulator who put a hold on Ocwen's latest mortgage servicing rights (MSR) deal with Wells Fargo expressed on Wednesday his concerns about the rapid growth of non-bank servicers in the industry--and his belief that regulators should step in when necessary. In remarks before an audience of bankers, Benjamin Lawsky voiced doubt over whether these growing firms could keep up with their own growth and accused them of cutting corners and causing harm to homeowners as a result.

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Applications Point to Spike in New Home Sales

A survey of loan application volume from mortgage subsidiaries of homebuilders across the country suggests sales of new homes experienced a substantial leap in January. The Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Builder Applications Survey indicates new home sales ran at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 543,000 last month, reflecting a month-over-month increase of 35 percent. On an unadjusted basis, the group estimates there were 38,000 new home sales in January, a 36 percent increase over December.

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