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Tag Archives: Unemployment

B of A Moves to Shut Down Correspondent Lending Unit

An inconclusive search for a buyer will lead Bank of America to shutter the mortgage correspondent unit it had originally hoped to sell. The move means the mortgage giant will wipe its hands of the correspondent business by yearend, with a series of transitions in store for the 1,200 or so employees currently on the payroll. It also tracks a broader strategy deployed by the bank to trim billions in expenses, shore up liquidity, and fend off suits over mortgage-backed securities from federal agencies.

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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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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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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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Economists: Fed Buy-Up Will Do Little for Housing

Fed

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke again made waves Wednesday with an announcement that the central bank plans to sell $400 billion in short-term Treasuries to keep a heel on still-low interest rates and offset widespread fears that the U.S. economy may soon enter a downturn. The move follows successive efforts from the Fed, which more recently pledged to keep interest rates low until 2013. Speaking with MReport, economists largely panned the effort.

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Mortgage Applications Jump to Seasonal 6.3%

Mortgage application volume jumped from the previous week by 6.3 percent, reflecting the highly attractive plunge by interest rates to record lows, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Even so, the good news comes amid a fall in home valuations and cash buyer interest, which Capital Economics says will likely depress sales activity across the housing market. Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist for Freddie Mac, spoke to MReport about the forces behind anemic demand for home purchases at the Five Star Conference and Expo in Dallas.

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