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NAR Pending Home Sales Index Jumps in May
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RealtyTrac: Home sales tick up slightly in March
Up 0.3% over February and 8% year-over-year
Trey Garrison - Single-family homes, condominiums and townhomes sold at an estimated annual pace of 5,253,464 in March, an increase of 0.4% from February and up 8% from a year ago, according to RealtyTrac’s March and Q1 2014 Residential & Foreclosure Sales Report.
This report includes all sales, not just new home sales, which took a beating in March, dropping 14.5% for the month and 13.3% year-over-year. >>Read More HousingWire
Massive New Fraud Coverup: How Banks Are Pillaging Homes—While the Government Watches
When financial crimes go unpunished, the root problem of fraud never gets fixed -- and these are the consequences
By: David Dayen - Joseph and Mary Romero of Chimayo, N.M., found that their mortgage note was assigned to the Bank of New York three months after the same bank filed a foreclosure complaint against them; in other words, Bank of New York didn’t own the loan when they tried to foreclose on it. >>Read More Salon
Six New Markets Rebound Fully in February
By: Tory Barringer - arkets around the nation that have seen home values recover fully rose by six in February, according to data from Homes.com.
The company’s February Local Market Index, released Wednesday, shows annual home value gains in all 300 of the country’s top markets. For the ninth straight month, California dominate the list of the top 10 markets, with Los Angeles leading the way at an appreciation rate of 25.8 percent over the last year. >>Read More MReport
Pending Home Sales Wake Up After Long Sleep
By: Tory Barringer - Following months of stagnancy, the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) measure of pending home sales rose in March, the group reported.
According to the latest release, NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) rose to 97.4 last month, up 3.4 percent from February’s upwardly revised 94.2. It was the first real pickup in the last nine months, the association said. >>Read More MReport
What Recent Buyers Wish They Knew
By: Tory Barringer - Following a Redfin report indicating one in four homeowners have buyer’s remorse over their current home, new research from Chase shows more than half of recent homebuyers wish they had gone into the process with greater knowledge about the financial aspects.
In a survey of more than 800 recent homebuyers, a combined 56 percent said they wish they were armed with more knowledge about the financing aspects of purchasing a house. >>Read More MReport
Mortgage Rates Improve on Weak GDP
by: Matthew Graham - Mortgage rates fell at a solid pace yesterday following a reading on 1st Quarter GDP that was much weaker than expected. Downbeat economic data tends to benefit bond prices, including the mortgage-backed-securities (MBS) that most directly influence rates. When MBS prices rise, rates fall.
The good times kept rolling in the afternoon when the Fed Announcement arrived essentially unchanged from the previous version>>Read More Mortgage News Daily
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Americans ready to spend money...especially on housing
32% of people looking to buy a home in the next two years
By: Brena Swanson - Americans are becoming more optimistic about buying a home, with 67% of people saying they plan on purchasing a home, and of that amount, 32% are looking to buy within the next two years.
The PulteGroup (PHM) Home Index surveyed 1,004 adults on their sentiment about the U.S. economy and how current housing conditions are impacting future homebuyers. >>Read More Housing Wire
Senators urge crackdown on reverse mortgage abuse.
by Ryan Smith - Two Senate Democrats are urging the Department of Housing and Urban Development to crack down on reverse mortgage servicers for what they say are abuses. But the head of an industry group says the problem is most likely not with lenders and servicers, but with a vagary of the law.
Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) sent a letter today to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan asking him to enforce the rules for reverse mortgages. >>Read More MPA Editor
Best Housing Deals Now in the Mid-Tier Market
By: Tory Barringer - As home price growth continues to moderate to a more sustainable pace, another promising trend iw forming: The mid-tier housing sector now has the best deals for buyers, hopefully drawing more interest to the market’s largest segment.
Dr. Alex Villacorta, says: “Looking at home price trends by tier, it’s apparent the impact of investor activity has been concentrated in the low price tier segment,” Villacorta said. “Conversely, the segment of the market that represents the middle 50 percent of all transactions is still more than 30 percent off peak values. >>Read more MReport
Mortgage Rates Fall Back to Best Levels of 2014
Mortgage rates fell back to their lowest levels of 2014, with most lenders in similar territory to last Friday. Market movement was moderate, but grew increasingly positive for MBS (the mortgage-backed-securities that dictate lenders' rates) as the day progressed. As such, some lenders released positive mid-day reprices. Before those, rates were just slightly higher on average. The most prevalently quoted conforming 30yr fixed rate for best-case scenarios (best-execution) remains at 4.25%, and is currently closer to 4.125% >>Read More Mortgage News Daily
Non-Prime Loan Share on the Rise
As the creation of new mortgage account originations continues to slide, non-prime borrowers are grabbing a greater share of the market, TransUnion reported in a new release.
The latest numbers released by the credit reporting agency show 53.47 million mortgage accounts as of the first quarter of 2014, up slightly from 53.06 million a year ago.
Still, that’s down nearly 10 million from the same period in 2008, TransUnion reported. >>Read More MReport
Builder Confidence Rises in 55-Plus Housing Market
Builder confidence in the single-family 55+ housing market for the first quarter of 2014 is up year over year, according to the National Association of Home Builders' (NAHB) latest 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI) recently released. Compared to the first quarter of 2013, the single-family index increased four points to a level of 50, which is the highest first-quarter reading since the inception of the index in 2008 and the 10th consecutive quarter of year over year improvements. >>Read More Mortgage Professional
Fannie, Freddie replacement stalled in Senate
by Ryan Smith - A plan to wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac appears to be stalled in the Senate.
The bill, written by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) would dismantle the mortgage finance giants and replace them with a new federal mortgage insurer while moving more risk onto private capital. >>Read More MPA
Loan Risk Index Rises to New High in Early April Data
By: Tory Barringer - An early look at April purchase lending suggests mortgage risk has turned up sharply as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) takes more of the market.
The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) put out on Monday a “flash release” of its National Mortgage Risk Index (NMRI), a measure of the likelihood of purchase loan defaults under stressful economic conditions. The full index, which features a more complete look at data, is scheduled for release May >>Read More MReport
Survey Finds Consumer Credit Knowledge Lacking
By: Tory Barringer - collaboration-twoSurvey results released Monday show Americans—and Millennials especially—continue to have only a vague understanding of how their credit scores are calculated and used.
For the latest annual survey, the fourth of its kind, more than 1,000 representative American consumers were asked 19 questions designed to gauge their knowledge of credit scoring. The study was commissioned in partnership between VantageScore Solutions and the Consumer Federation of America (CFA).>>Read More MReport
Home Buyers Will Save Thousands With New FHA Counseling.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has launched a new incentive program that gives borrowers "tangible savings" on FHA-insured home loans when they complete housing counseling before and after closing.
The Homeowners Armed with Knowledge (HAWK) pilot program aims to further incorporate housing counseling into the home buying process for borrowers using FHA insured financing. The FHA proposes that homeowners who complete U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-approved housing counseling before signing a contract to purchase a home and who complete additional pre-closing housing counseling will receive a 50 basis point reduction in the upfront FHA mortgage insurance premium (MIP) and a 10 basis point reduction in the annual FHA MIP>> Read More MorgageOrb
Mortgage Rates Hit 6-Month Low
By: Tory Barringer - Mortgage rates pulled back slightly again this week, responding to what little major economic developments there were.
According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year average fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) eased to 4.20 percent (0.6 point) for the week ending May 15, a drop of just 1 basis point from the last survey. It was the third straight week of declines, Freddie Mac reported, bring the 30-year fixed average to a six-month low. >> Read More MReport
Experts Split on Housing Affordability Concerns
By: Tory Barringer - A new survey from Zillow finds real estate and investment experts are divided on the likely culprits behind affordability concerns in the market.
In a survey of 106 economists, real estate experts, and investment and market strategists, Zillow found a slight majority—28 percent—pinned the most blame for declining affordability on stagnant income growth across the country, even as the rest of the economy has moved in a generally positive direction. >>Read More MReport
Realtor Incomes Increase for Third Year
by: Jann Swanson - It has been a tough few years for real estate agents but according to information released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) that appears to be turning around. NAR's 2014 Member Profile indicates that income and sales volume among NAR's near million members has "jumped" for the third year in a row, a reflection in part of the 11.5 percent rise in home prices over the last year.
The median income of a Realtor (a member of NAR), increased to $47,700 in 2013 from $43,500 in 2012, a 9.6 percent increase. >>Read More Mortgage News Daily
Housing Inventories Down for Fourth Straight Month
By: Colin Robins - For the fourth straight month, the inventory of homes for sale has declined 0.4 percent annually in April, according to Zillow. Despite home values falling modestly month-over-month, inventory remains tight with 21 of the nation's largest 35 metros experiencing waning inventory.
After rising slightly to close out 2013, home inventory has been steadily declining ever since >>Read More MReport
Existing Homes Sales Post First 2014 Increase
by: Jann Swanson - There were stirrings of a spring market in April as both existing home sales and the inventory of available homes increased. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said that home price growth also slowed, an encouraging sign of continued affordability.
It was the first increase thus far in 2014 and sales remain 6.8 percent below the 4.99 million unit rate in April 2013. March sales were at a rate of 4.59 million. >>Read More Mortgage Daily News
All-Cash Sales Hover Near One-Third of Transactions
By: Scott Morgan - paying-moneyThe mortgage meltdown and its somewhat predictable fallout—tighter regulations that ensure such a crisis cannot recur but choke lending and borrowing at the source—have led to an equally inevitable outcome: a glut in cash sales for homes. A recent report by Redfin shows that in 17 metro markets in the United States, a full third of sales this year have been all-cash deals. And that figure has been essentially flat since 2011.
Moreover, financed purchases are still way down from their 2000 peak, when 800,000 homes were mortgage buys. By 2011, that number plunged to 440,000 and only recovered to 520,000 in 2013. >>Read More MReport
Here are the top 10 markets for luxury homes
By: Brena Swanson - Despite reports of tight inventory across the nation, not all markets are struggling to survive. In fact, one market segment is reporting record growth, according the latest Redfin report.
Luxury home sales are skyrocketing and are on pace to beat last year’s numbers.
Sales of the priciest 1% of homes are up 21.1% so far this year. This follows a gain of 35.7% in 2013. >>Read More Housing Wire
April home sales climb as short sales, foreclosures decline
Median prices hit highest since December 2008
Trey Garrison - Residential properties sold at an estimated annual pace of 5,213,793 in April, a decrease of less than 1% from March but an increase of 4% from April 2014, according to RealtyTrac.
The median sales price of U.S. residential properties — including both distressed and non-distressed sales — was $172,000 in April, an increase of 4% from the previous month and an increase of 11% from April 2014 — the biggest year-over-year increase since U.S. median prices bottomed out in March 2012. >>Read More Housing Wire
Purchase Market Grows; Loans Take Less Time to Close
By: Krista Franks Brock - The purchase loan share of the mortgage originations market continues to grow, according to the latest data from Ellie Mae. In April, purchase loans made up 63 percent of originations, up from 60 percent a month earlier and significantly higher than 42 percent a year ago.
The refinance share of the market, necessarily then, is declining, falling to 37 percent in April, according to Ellie Mae.>>Read More in MReport
Rate Resets to Spell Trouble for Underwater Borrowers
By: Tory Barringer - underwaterWhile the country's negative equity rate has continued to improve—albeit at a slower pace in recent months—the picture looks very different for modified loans, Black Knight Financial Services says in its latest Mortgage Monitor Report.
Based on mortgage performance data as of the end of April, Black Knight noted there are approximately 2 million modified mortgages due for mortgage rate resets in the coming years. With the economic recovery still hobbling along, the company estimates more than 40 percent of that group remain underwater. >>Read More MReport
Majority of Americans Believe Housing Crisis Isn’t Over
By: Tory Barringer - Recession-RecoveryWhile the housing market continues to make strides toward recovery following last decade's crash, a new survey finds the majority of the American public still harbors doubts about whether the worst of it is truly over.
In its second annual survey of housing attitudes, the MacArthur Foundation found 51 percent of American consumers still believe the country is in the midst of its housing crisis, while another 19 percent believe the worst is yet to come. Only 25 percent said they believe "the housing crisis is pretty much over." >>Read More MReport
Total Home Flipping Down Yearly, but Profit Increases
By: Colin Robins - RealtyTrac VP Daren Blomquist analyzed data from the company's newly created and interactive, county-level heat map, which shows the returns on home flipping over the last 12 months in 1,050 counties nationwide. He found that although flipping was down nationally in the first quarter of 2014 compared to a year ago, flippers are making bigger profits per flip.
In the first quarter of 2014, the average gross profit per flip was $55,574. The average gross profit per flip in Q1 2014 saw a 30 percent return on the initial purchase price.>>Read More DSNews
6 Horrible House Hunting Pitfalls to Help Buyers Avoid
Trulia Staff - Sometimes it’s not the market or their agent (we know, we know) that stops buyers from snagging their dream home. And despite their good intentions, sometimes buyers unknowingly self-sabotage their home search. Which got us thinking: As agents, what can we tell buyers from the get-go that can help them avoid some of the worst house hunting pitfalls?
We reached out to Arron Sweeney, founder of Your Berkeley and realtor at King Realty Group in San Francisco, as well as Lance King, broker and owner of King Realty Group. They shared six home buying hang-ups and what agents can say to clients to help them avoid these common missteps. >>Read More Trulia
Your Mortgage Mentor
Report: BofA, Feds Negotiating $12B Settlement
Author: Tory Barringer - Bank of America is negotiating a settlement of at least $12 billion to end investigations into alleged misconduct related to toxic mortgages, according to media reports.
Citing reports from "people familiar with the negotiations," the Wall Street Journal reported late Thursday that the megabank has been working fervently over the week to come to an agreement with the Justice Department and put an end to speculation on the potential size of the settlement.
Representatives for BofA and for the Justice Department declined to comment on the report. Read More MReport
Foreclosures skyrocket in Northeast, West Coast
Nationwide foreclosure activity lowest since December 2006
Trey Garrison - Foreclosures of all types were filed on 109,824 residential properties in May, a 5% decrease from the previous month and a 26% decrease from May 2013, which brought it to the lowest monthly level since the early days of the housing bubble and crash in December 2006.
The quick read – Northeastern and West Coast markets are having the most trouble with rising foreclosure activity, along with Chicago. >>Read More Housing Wire
Refinance share continues to grow
Trey Garrison - After weeks of steady declines and levels well below originations the same time last year, mortgage applications jumped a surprising 10.3% from one week earlier, according to data for the week ending June 6 from the Mortgage Bankers Association.
The previous week’s results included an adjustment for the Memorial Day holiday.
The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 10.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. >>Read More Housing Wire
Mortgage applications unexpectedly jump 10% for week
Realtors expect median home prices to rise 4%
Going against the surge of negative reports, survey shows optimism
Trey Garrison - Realtors expect home prices to continue to appreciate over the next year, with a median price increase expected of 4% over the next 12 months, according to the latest survey of the National Association of Realtors in their confidence index.
The index reflects the responses of more than 3,000 NAR members about their sales transactions. >>Read More
May Home Sales Fail to Match Rise in Inventory
By: Derek Templeton - The housing market took an unexpected dip in May, with home sales dropping year-over-year despite a surge in new listings.
A report published by Redfin's Research Center indicated that home inventory was up 9.1 percent in May. That number represents the highest number of new listings to come onto the market in the last four years. The biggest increases in new listings were in Ventura, West Palm Beach, and Baltimore. >>Read More MReport
Home Price Appreciation Continues in April
By: Tory Barringer - Price gains among non-distressed homes accelerated among the nation's largest markets from March to April, according to one measure released Monday.
The latest Residential Price Index (RPI) report from FNC, Inc., shows home price appreciation continued in April at a monthly pace of 0.6 percent nationally, matching March's month-over-month increase. >>Read More DS News
You Don't Need That Much of a Down Payment
Daily Real Estate News |
Many consumers are overestimating the down payment they need in order to purchase a home, according to Christina Boyle, vice president and head of single-family sales at Freddie Mac.
Consumers believe they need 11 percent to 15 percent in order for lenders to approve them for a loan, according to a survey of renters and non-home-owners conducted by Zelman & Associates in New York. Thirty-nine percent say they need at least 15 percent of the purchase price in order to qualify for financing. Only 28 percent of respondents say they would even qualify for a mortgage >>Read More Realtor Mag
Three Charged in Massive Mortgage Modification Scam
Author: Brian Honea August
Three men were arrested and charged in connection with what is believed to be one of the biggest mortgage modification schemes ever perpetrated, according to an announcement made by Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), and Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
The three defendants are Ped Abghari, aka Ted Allen, 37, of Irvine, California; Dionysius Fiumano, aka D, 43, of Irvine, California; and Justin Romano, 40, of Blue Point, New York. They are alleged to have stolen a total of $18.5 million from more than 8,000 financially struggling homeowners in all 50 states by falsely promising them pre-approval for lower payments through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and aggressive legal representation, among other things.
Is this why 3.6 million ready homeowners aren’t selling in 2014?One in three current mortgage holders have a rate below 4%
Trey Garrison - As home price appreciation has slowed dramatically, normally it would be a good time for homeowners looking to relocate, upsize or downsize. However, there’s a new problem many are facing.
That problem is that doing so, for many homeowners, would mean surrendering a dynamite mortgage interest rate, which means even if the home they want to buy is about the same price or just a little more, they could end up paying much more per month.
RealtyTrac: One-third of U.S. counties drop in home affordability
By Brena Swanson -
As of the second quarter of 2014, one-third of counties surveyed by RealtyTrac have surpassed their historical averages for income-to-price home affordability percentages since 2000 — making residential properties less affordable now than they have been on average over the last 14 years.
The survey analyzed the affordability for buying a residential property in more than 1,000 counties nationwide.
FHA pushes blueprint to help lenders lift credit overlays
BPC Summit: Forward plan to broaden the FHA credit box
The most important agenda for the Federal Housing Administration moving forward is creating a more transparent blueprint for lenders so that they have more underwriting confidence and can remove some of their credit overlays and lend to a broader credit box for FHA-backed loans.
That’s the word from Assistant HUD Secretary and outgoing FHA Commissioner Carol Galante, speaking to HousingWire while currently attending the Bipartisan Policy Commission’s housing policy summit in Sun Valley, Idaho.
HousingWire is the BPC’s media partner in the mortgage finance trade. The two organizations are joining forces to promote and cover the BPC Housing Commission’s upcoming Housing America’s Future: 2014 Housing Summit next month in Washington, D.C.
Housing Continues Slow Crawl Toward Stability
Author: Tory Barringer
The country's housing market continued to inch closer to normalcy in June, but the slow rate of progress remains a concern for analysts.
Freddie Mac's Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi) rose 0.04 percent from May to June, ending the year's first half at a reading of 73.7, the company reported Wednesday. On a yearly basis, the gauge improved 7.67 percent.
The monthly index tracks housing market stability at the national, state, and metro level, using home purchase applications, payment-to-income ratios, employment, and proportion of on-time mortgage payments as measures of health. As of the June report, Freddie Mac rescaled the MiMi to make it easier to read, though the underlying data was left untouched.