mortgages: Home Equity Continues to Expand Across US - 12/23/15 12:42 AM
More United States borrowers got into the black in 2015 and reported having equity in some form on their home. Now, many of these buyers also have more equity in general, as home prices have improved and the housing market has recovered.
Household holdings in real estate totaled 21.825 trillion dollars in the 3rd quarter of 2015. In 2014, real estate holdings totaled 20.461 trillion. From 2014 to 2015, holdings increased by 1.365 trillion dollars.
Home mortgage debt hit 9.46 trillion dollars in the 3rd quarter. Compared to 2014, that figure rose by 0.078 trillion dollars.
The difference in holdings growth (1.365 trillion) over … (1 comments)

mortgages: Federal Reserve Raises Short Term Interest Rate - 12/17/15 02:14 AM
By unanimous vote, the Federal Reserve agreed to raise the federal fund rate (aka short-term interest rate) showing their confidence in an improving United States Economy. The Fed will raise their rates from near zero to 0.25 to 0.5 percent, a decision that had been expected to come at several different points in 2015. The Fed will shift between 0.25 and 0.5 based on market conditions. They are also willing to adjust their strategy based on how the economy performs in response to the move.
The Fed has kept rates at near zero since 2008. During the recession, the Fed did all … (0 comments)

mortgages: Rural Mortgages Get Boost from CFPB - 10/02/15 07:47 AM
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, with changes to some current rules, will help buyers in rural areas get financed for home purchases. The CFPB made changes to its rules to increase the number of financial institutions that would be eligible to offer loans in rural areas. To do this, they broadened the definitions for lending as well as expanding the definition of a rural area.
The CFPB has expanded the definition of small creditor, raising the definition from 500 first-lien mortgage loans to 2,000, freeing up additional lenders to make rural loans.
They also expanded the definition of a rural area. They will … (0 comments)

mortgages: Fed Keeps Rates Near Zero, Mortgage Rates Fall - 09/29/15 04:25 AM
In light of the Federal Reserve’s decision to not raise the Federal funds rate, mortgage rates for a 30 year fixed rate mortgage fell to 3.86 percent this week.
The Federal Reserve continued to hold off on raising their interest rates, choosing to keep rates close to zero percent. The Fed attributed their lack of action to the lack of global growth that could potentially slow the domestic economy as well as the fact that inflation in the US remains subdued. The Fed committee also wanted to see additional evidence from the labor market to make sure it has and continues to … (2 comments)

mortgages: 91% of US Homes Have Equity - 09/23/15 08:29 AM
After 759,000 properties regained equity in the second quarter, almost 45.9 million homes now have a higher property value than the remaining balance on their mortgage. In essence, 91% of US homes with mortgages now have equity—great news for the recovering US Housing Market.
At the end of 2014, 89% of US homes had equity, totaling 44.5 million homes.
Ninety five percent of mortgaged homes valued at 200k or more currently have equity. At the end of 2014, that number was at 94 percent of mortgaged homes.
Homeowners with lower home values struggled to get over the equity hump in comparison to those buying … (3 comments)

mortgages: Delinquent Mortgages Falling Across United States - 09/08/15 08:49 AM
Delinquent mortgages continue to fall across the United States, providing great news to a recovering housing market. Delinquent mortgages are mortgages with an outstanding bill for payments due. Delinquent mortgages are a great way to gauge the housing market’s health as well as the financial health of current homeowners.  Having less delinquent mortgages implies that a stronger economy has formed or is forming—helping those with mortgages pay of current debts and giving buyers the sense (whether true or not), that they are taking less financial risk by taking out a mortgage.
According to a report by the Mortgage Banker’s Association, delinquency rates … (0 comments)

mortgages: Refinancing Drives Mortgage Application Increase - 09/01/15 04:23 AM
Homeowner’s looked to take advantage of low mortgage rates in late August and their attempts to refinance their loan helped raise total mortgage applications by 3.6 percent. Mortgage applications were 18% over numbers seen from a year ago.
As rates have dropped, homeowners have tried to take advantage and lock in low interest rates. According to CNN, turbulence in China caused these lower rates, allowing US homeowners a great opportunity to refinance. Refinancers surged over the week of the 16th, having 7% more applications than the week before – a large shift for an entire country.
The more mortgage activity, the better off … (0 comments)

mortgages: FHA Loan Activity, Interest Rates Up - 08/14/15 08:30 AM
FHA loan activity rose to a two year high in the second quarter this year. FHA loans typically have very low down payments, designed for first time homebuyers looking to get into home ownership but may not have the capital to do so. Having FHA loan activity rise implies that these buyers are now feeling financially stable enough in a growing economy to take the plunge—great news for housing and the overall United States economy.
Buyers using FHA loans made up 23% of all home and condo sales that were financed. That figure is up 19% from FHA activity in 2014 and … (0 comments)

mortgages: Jumbo Loan Market Still Booming in 2015 - 08/06/15 09:31 AM
The US Jumbo Loan market continues to perform extremely well in 2015 after an already wonderful 2015. A jumbo loan is any loan where more than $417,000 is borrowed for a home purchase. In high priced markets, jumbo loans are not counted until someone borrows $625,000.
In 2014, jumbo loans took 19% of the total mortgage market, which had not been seen since 2002. In 2015, that number has risen to 20%. Even more enlightening, after only taking 1% more market share for total mortgages, jumbo loans took 36% more dollar volume than in 2014, reaching 160 billion in the first half … (1 comments)

mortgages: Mortgage Rates and Loan Applications Have a Volatile July - 07/21/15 05:08 AM
Both mortgage rates and loan applications have seen big up and down swings over the first few weeks of July.
Earlier in the month, mortgage interest rates fell and continued to be on a downward trend. On July 10th, the rates fell to 4.04 percent. However, the past weeks since then have given a sense that mortgage rates may once again be trending up. This week, mortgage rates hit their highest level since October of 2014—hitting 4.09% this week. For now, its clear that at the very least, mortgage rates have been volatile and should be watched closely over the follow weeks … (0 comments)

mortgages: Retirees Keeping Their Mortgages in Higher Numbers - 06/03/15 04:50 AM
Some retirees are opting to keep their mortgages instead of using their retirement funds to cash out and have full ownership over their home. Why? Well for now, stock market returns and low interest mortgage rates might make it more financially advantageous for a retiree to keep their money in these investments. More often than not in the past, retirees with an active loan would use a piece of their retirement plan to pay off their premium so they no longer owe anything on their home.
However, with high capital returns from the stocks and bond market, coupled with the fact that … (1 comments)

mortgages: New Program Pays Portion of Homebuyer’s Closing Costs - 04/24/15 09:47 AM
Fannie Mae announced a new program to help first time home buyers take the final step in their home purchase. Fannie Mae rolled out their new Home Path Ready Buyer Program this last week, designed to help buyer’s who may be cash poor or credit poor.
First time home buyers can now receive up to 3% off the purchase price in closing cost assistance. Depending on the price of the home, that can mean big savings. For example, a $150,000 home can receive up to $4,500 in closing costs savings.
This past year, Fannie Mae also released new low down payment loans to … (1 comments)

mortgages: Home Buyers Paid Larger Down Payments in 2014 - 03/20/15 07:46 AM
The average home buyer had more capital to put down on a home in 2014, according to an analysis of nearly 20 million home sales. The average down payment made by home buyers in the United States was $58,496. On average, buyers were able to put down 15.4% of the purchase price. Having buyers across the country with more money to put down in 2014 shows the positive turn both the economy and housing market have taken in the past few years.
The average down payment has been between 13 and 15% over the past decade and only 2013 and 2014 have … (0 comments)

mortgages: Mortgages Rates Rising, Still Below 4 Percent In March - 03/17/15 04:30 AM
Mortgage rates in the United States have fluctuated over the last few weeks, but with a general upwards trend. Homebuyers will want to keep their eyes on the mortgage rates over the next few weeks to see if they continue to remain low. If they do not, home buyers may want to speak with lenders sooner as oppose to later, to lock in a more favorable loan.
30 year fixed rate mortgages returned to the start of year averages (to see January rates click here). A 30 year fixed rate mortgage gave a 3.86% interest rate in the week ending March 14th. … (0 comments)

mortgages: Mortgage Rates Hit 20 Month Low - 01/12/15 08:16 AM

Freddie Mac announced the average rate for a 30-year conventional loan fell to 3.73% this week. The average rate fell from last week’s number of 3.87% and from 3.89% in later December, thanks to another strong week for the domestic economy, especially in comparison to continued financial struggles in Europe and Asia.
The average rate for a 15 year fixed loan also fell this week to 3.05 percent--down from 3.15 percent. 15 year mortgages are most popular with those looking to refinance and the low rates should be noted by anyone paying a 30 year fixed rate mortgage. Many … (0 comments)

mortgages: Mortgage Credits Adjusting to the Market Recovery - 05/23/13 06:05 AM
Mortgage standards that have kept many potential buyers out of the market are beginning to loosen. In addition, banks are speaking about increasing their mortgage business soon and shore up their residential mortgage assets within the next year.  All these prospective changes are being driven by a sharp rise in mortgage demand in conjunction with more home purchase applications being approved (60% compared to 55% of a year ago). This will combat but not fully eliminate the highly competitive home buying market that will still require standards such as 20% down.
“Fear Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will force lenders to take … (0 comments)

mortgages: Costco Is Entering the Real Estate Market - 05/03/12 06:36 AM
Bulk quantities of food, electronics, furniture, you name it and Costco is the place to buy it. Now, after a year of testing to see the viability, the Costco we know and love will be implementing a full-service mortgage lending program on its website in partnership with 11 well know lenders. Over 10,000 mortgages have been issued under the program already. They are hoping that number will swell as word gets out.
What is your reaction to Costco’s bold move? Comment and Share

mortgages: Mortgage Principal Write-Downs - 11/28/11 02:07 AM
Mortgage Principal Write-Downs
20 Democrats of the House of Representatives are urging for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to reduce the mortgage principal of borrowers who owe more than their home is worth. The 

Representatives argue that this action would reduce the risk of defaults for 20% of Freddie and Fannie mortgages.
On the other side of the debate, the regulators of Fannie and Freddie, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, refuse to act due to concerns that writing down principal balances will create a ‘moral hazard by prompting other borrowers to cease in making loam payments on … (2 comments)