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New Home Sales Slip In October - 11/30/10 05:51 PM
After posting a strong September, the number of newly-built homes sold nationwide slipped in October. Total units sold on an annual basis dropped by 25,000 from September; supplies of new homes climbed 0.7 months. Home supply is back to its rolling, 6-month average of 8.6 months. Like everything else in real estate, however, the October's New Home Sales results varied by location. For example, except for the South, each U.S. region posted a loss. In the South, there was a 3 percent gain. This is statistically significant because more new homes are sold in the South than in all other U.S. (0 comments)
What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week : November 29, 2010 - 11/29/10 01:49 PM
In a holiday-shortened week on Wall Street, mortgage markets improved on 3 of 4 days, but still posted its fourth consecutive losing week. Unfortunately for rate shoppers and home buyers , last week's 3 days of gains were mild improvements; the one day of deterioration was among the Top 10 worst days for mortgage bonds this year. Mortgage rates are at their highest levels since mid-July. The Refi Boom is unwinding quickly. Last week underscores the importance of the global community to the future of the U.S. mortgage market. Two of the main reasons why mortgage rates increased were non-domestic. Concerns (0 comments)
Fed Minutes Help Push Mortgage Rates To 4-Month High - 11/29/10 01:46 PM
The Federal Reserve released its November 2-3, 2010 meeting minutes Tuesday afternoon. Mortgage rates have been on the move since. The Fed Minutes is a comprehensive review of Federal Open Market Committee meetings; a detailed look at the debates and discussions that shape our country's monetary policy. The report is published 3 weeks to-the-day after the FOMC adjourns. Fed Minutes add depth to the briefer, more well-known "statement" to the markets which is issued upon adjournment. As a comparison: The November 3 statement contained 497 words The November 3 meeting minutes contained 6,623 words If the Fed Statement is the executive (2 comments)
Applying For A Mortgage Soon? Don't Open New Credit Cards On Black Friday. - 11/23/10 04:13 PM
Black Friday is 3 days away. It's the official start of the 2010 Holiday Shopping Season. Sales are expected to top $111 billion this year and, already, businesses are vying for shoppers and their dollars. Newspaper circulars are getting larger, and in-store discounting is more prevalent. But one discount that shoppers should think twice about is the popular "Open A Charge Card, Save 20%" promotion. The short-term savings may be tempting, but the long-term costs may be huge. It's because of how credit scores work. According to myFICO.com, "new credit" accounts for 85 out of 850 possible credit scoring points, with (2 comments)
Understanding the New Taxes Coming in 2013 - 11/23/10 04:09 PM
The health care bill that passed in March 2010 has two new taxes starting in 2013 to help pay for it – an extra 0.9% levy on wages for couples earning more than $250,000 ($200,000 for singles) and a new 3.8% tax on investment income, which in effect adds a “payroll” tax on unearned income. How does the 0.9% tax work? If a couple earns $350,000 under current rules, they owe 1.45% or $5,075 and their employer owes a matching amount (Medicare tax due). In 2013, the couple will owe an extra 0.9% on any wages above $250,000. For this example (0 comments)
What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week : November 22, 2010 - 11/23/10 03:44 PM
Mortgage markets worsened last week as the U.S. dollar gave up ground in currency markets, and inflation concerns mounted. In response to the events, conforming mortgage rates rose for the third straight week. Mortgage rates have now climbed by as much as half-percent since the start of the month, and Freddie Mac reports average loan fees to be higher, too. The 7-month rally in rates may be nearing its end. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage is at a 4-month high after reaching an all-time low just 3 weeks ago. The abrupt change in rates makes for an interesting study in expectations, (1 comments)
What are three things buyers or sellers can do to make the transaction smoother? - 11/23/10 03:40 PM
There’s not any three particular things that can be done to make everything smoother as there are so many different parts of every transaction that need to be monitored. What does this mean? It means there is one specific thing in particular that needs to happen. Buyers and Sellers need to find a Realtor® that they can trust and have confidence in. Listen to their advice because it comes from years of experience in the market. I find the greatest obstacle to getting my clients the best terms and a smooth transaction is building enough trust that they will listen to (0 comments)
Rock-bottom mortgage rates may be gone for good. This week's Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows in numbers what rate shoppers have learned the hard way -- mortgage rates are spiking. During the 7-day period ending November 18, the average 30-year, conforming fixed rate mortgage jumped to 4.39 percent, an increase of 0.22% from the week prior. And it's not just rates that are soaring. The average number of points charged to consumers increased to 0.9 percent last week. For most of the year, that cost had been 0.7 percent. One "point" is equal to 1 percent of your (0 comments)
Housing Starts Data Much Better Than The Headlines Would Have You Believe - 11/23/10 03:26 PM
Newspaper stories can be misleading sometimes -- especially with respect to real estate. We saw a terrific example of this Wednesday. A "Housing Start" is a privately-owned home on which construction has started and, according to the Commerce Department's October 2010 data, Housing Starts data dropped by nearly 12 percent as compared to September. The media jumped on the story, and its negative implications for the housing market overall. A sampling of the headlines included: Housing Starts Plunge: Market's 'Pulse is Faint' (WSJ) Housing Starts Tumble (Reuters) Housing Starts Sink 11.7 Percent In October (NPR) Although factually correct, the headlines are (0 comments)
Homebuilders Expect A Surge In New Home Sales - 11/23/10 03:23 PM
Homebuilder confidence is higher for the third straight month this month. According to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, a combination of shrinking new home inventory plus higher-quality foot traffic is boosting builder optimism. November's confidence reading of 16 is the highest since June 2010.The Housing Market Index is now above its 3-year trendline, too. The purpose of the Housing Market Index is to measure "the pulse of the single-family housing market". The survey is sent to home builders around the country, asking them to report on their business. The survey is 3 questions: How are market (0 comments)
How Much Insurance is the Right Amount of Insurance to Have? - 11/23/10 03:17 PM
Homeowners may not realize it, but it is their responsibility to make certain they have sufficient coverage to replace their home (if it were to burn down)! Insurance carriers do not offer "Guaranteed Replacement" coverage anymore. They offer "Extended Replacement" coverage. This adds an amount over the rated Dwelling amount to take care of any discrepancies. Typically this is 25-50% over the rated amount. But, the base amount needed is the responsibility of the Policy holder. Thats not to say a good agent will not be able to give you a good idea of what would be appropriate for the area. (0 comments)
If consumer spending is a key to economic recovery, the nation is on its way. Monday, the Census Bureau released national Retail Sales figures for October and, for the second straight month, the data surged past expectation. Last month's retail figures jumped 1.2 percent -- the largest monthly jump since March -- as total sales receipts climbed to a 2-year high. Consumer confidence is rising, too. Though still below the long-term trend, confidence in the future up-ticked in October. The current confidence reading is now double the low-point from February 2009. It's no surprise that both Retail Sales and Consumer (0 comments)
According to October data from foreclosure-tracking firm RealtyTrac, foreclosure filings topped 300,000 for the 20th straight month last month as 1 in every 389 U.S. homes received a foreclosure filing. The generic term "foreclosure filing" is defined to include default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions. Versus the month prior, filings fell 4 percent, and as compared to October 2009, filings were essentially the same. As usual, foreclosure density varied by region last month, with just 5 states accounting for close to half of the nation's repossessed homes. California : 14.8 percent of all bank repossessions Florida : 14.4 percent (0 comments)
10% down and not FHA! - 11/23/10 02:45 PM
Property type: Three-bedroom, two bath in Half Moon Bay Appraised value: $585,000 Loan amount: $508,000 Loan type: 30yr fixed Rate: 5% For a long time in this economy the only way to do a 10% down mortgage was through FHA. This loan makes the blog because it was the first loan we've done in a long while that was approved at 10% down outside of FHA!! And, as always, it closed in less than 30 days! Visit us online! (0 comments)
It's getting tougher to get approved for a mortgage. Still. In its quarterly survey of senior loan officers around the country, the Federal Reserve asked whether "prime" residential mortgage guidelines" have tightened in the prior 3 months. A "prime" borrower typically carries a well-documented credit history with high credit scores, has a low debt-to-income ratio, and uses a traditional fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage. For the period July-September 2010, 52 of 54 responding loan officers admitted to tightening their prime guidelines, or leaving them "basically unchanged". Just 4% of banks loosened their lending standards. If you've applied for a home loan (0 comments)
Pending Home Sales Slip In September, Suggesting A Buyer's Market Until January - 11/09/10 03:04 PM
After 3 straight months of improvement, the Pending Home Sales Index slid lower in September. As compared to August, September's reading fell 2 percent. A "pending home sale" is a home under contract to sell, but not yet closed. The data is drawn from a combination of local real estate associations and national brokers, and represents 20 percent of all purchase transactions in a given month. Because of the large sample set, and because 80 percent of homes under contract close within 60 days, the Pending Home Sales Index is a terrific future indicator for the housing market. A high correlation (0 comments)
What makes Burlingame special? How is the market there now? - 11/09/10 03:02 PM
Burlingame is what I refer to as a destination market. This means it’s a place you want to live, not somewhere you settle for until you can afford where you want to live! It’s a place to stay. We see young couples doing everything to squeeze themselves into the cheapest home on the market just to be in the area! We also see people moving up from the nice 3 bedroom to the grand home of their dreams, but still within Burlingame! Retired couples will bite the bullet on property taxes so that they can remain in the area they want (0 comments)
What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week : November 8, 2010 - 11/09/10 03:00 PM
Mortgage markets took a roller coaster ride last week, powered by the dual-force of the Federal Open Market Committee, and the government's monthly Non-Farm Payrolls report. As standalone events, both releases would have ranked among the top market movers of the year anyway, but throw in the rest of the week's data --including the release of key inflation figures and the midterm elections -- and it's no wonder the bond markets were so bumpy. Huge gains and losses characterized day-to-day trading last week. Overall, however, conforming mortgage rates improved; fixed-rate mortgage rates fell slightly less than adjustable-rate ones. Recapping last week's (0 comments)
Today's Jobs Report Will Keep Mortgage Rates Highly Volatile - 11/05/10 12:50 PM
Mortgage rates have been falling since April, shedding more than 1 percentage point since the Refi Boom began. Today, that momentum could lose some steam. The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the October jobs report at 8:30 A.M. ET. With a stronger-than-expected reading, mortgage rates should rise, harming home affordability nationwide. As cited by the Fed earlier this week, jobs are a key part of economic growth and growth affects mortgage rates. Looking back at jobs, starting in January 2010, after close to 24 consecutive months of job loss, the economy added jobs for the first time since 2007. It started (0 comments)
A Simple Explanation Of The Federal Reserve Statement (November 3, 2010 Edition) - 11/03/10 04:44 PM
Today, the Federal Open Market Committee voted 9-to-1 to leave the Fed Funds Rate unchanged within in its target range of 0.000-0.250 percent. In its press release, the FOMC noted that, since September's meeting, the pace of economic and job growth "continues to be slow". Housing starts are "depressed", income growth is "modest" and commercial real estate investment is "weak". With respect to its prior economic stimuli, the Fed deemed the recovery "disappointingly slow", while, at the same time, noting that growth will come. The Fed also noted that inflation is running lower that what's optimal, hinting at the potential for (0 comments)
Mortgage Rate Lock Alert : Expect Rate Changes Wednesday Afternoon - 11/03/10 04:40 PM
The Federal Reserve ends a scheduled, 2-day meeting today. It's the seventh of 8 scheduled Fed meetings in 2010, and the eighth overall this year. The Fed held an unscheduled meeting May 9, 2010. When today's meeting adjourns, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke & Co. will publish a formal statement within which the Fed is expected to announce "no change" to the Fed Funds Rate. But that doesn't mean that mortgage rates won't change. To the contrary, expect mortgage rates to move by a lot this afternoon. Here's why. The Fed's mission is to preserve stability within banking and the economy and, (0 comments)
This week marks the start of the Refi Boom's 7th month; rates have been falling since early-April 2010. Whether you're looking to refinance or buy a home, however, know that not everyone will qualify for today's low rates. Mortgage approvals are primarily based on good income, good equity and strong credit, and, without all three, the best rates of the day remain out of reach. Now, you can't always ask for a raise and equity is a function of the housing market, but you can do something about your credit score. In this 4-minute segment from NBC's The Today Show, (0 comments)
What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week : November 1, 2010 - 11/01/10 05:50 PM
Mortgage markets remained highly volatile for the second straight week last week. Yet, over the course of 5 days, mortgage bonds ended the week relatively unchanged. Conforming rates worsened Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday -- rising as much as 3/8 percent as compared to the week prior -- before settling lower through Thursday and Friday. On the week overall, 30-year fixed rates worsened, 15-year fixed held steady, and 5-year ARMs improved. And despite all the data released last week, it wasn't the fundamentals that were causing rates to move. Instead, Wall Street was firmly focused on the Federal Reserve's scheduled 2-day meeting (0 comments)
Foreclosures are a big part of the housing market, with distressed properties accounting for 35 percent of all home resales last month, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. But for as common as foreclosures can be, they remain a localized concern. Data from foreclosure-tracking firm RealtyTrac shows that more than half of last quarter's foreclosures came from just 19 metropolitan areas, with the Miami-Fort Lauderdale are accountable for the largest number of filings. A "foreclosure filing" is defined as a default notice, scheduled auction, or bank repossession. On a per-household basis last quarter, the Las Vegas area was hardest (0 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.