mortgage rates: Freddie Mac: Mortgage Rates Fall For Third Straight Week - 03/03/11 07:14 AM
Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey came out this morning, and they found that mortgage rates declined for the third consecutive week as rising oil prices and unrest in the Middle East continues to roil the markets.
The average rate on a 30 year fixed rate mortgage fell from 4.95 percent to 4.87 percent last week, while the rate on a 15 year fixed rate mortgage declined from 4.22 percent to 4.15 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages also continued to fall, as 5/1 ARMs dropped 8 basis points to 3.72 percent, and 1 year ARMs fell 17 basis points to 3.23 percent.
The … (1 comments)

mortgage rates: New Hampshire, California Uphold MERS Property Transfers, Foreclosures - 02/28/11 06:55 AM
It seems increasingly likely that at some point the Supreme Court is going to have to make a ruling on the validity of real estate transfers and foreclosures through the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS).
MERS is a system that was created in order to allow mortgage originators to more easily securitize mortgages and bundle them into mortgage backed securities.  It enabled MERS users to avoid many of the transfer and recording fees that were typically charged by towns and counties under the paper system of transferring property.  MERS is the subject of many ongoing lawsuits that seek to establish the … (1 comments)

mortgage rates: U.S. Gov’t Owned 360,000 Foreclosed Properties at the End of 2010 - 02/24/11 07:32 AM
Quick update here: FHA REO inventory continues to skyrocket.
According to a report from Jon Prior of HousingWire this morning, the FHA had nearly 61,00 repossessed homes on its books at the end of 2010, a 47% increase from 2009.  This is not really shocking, as REO inventory has been increasing across the board for the last few years.  An additional 600,000 FHA mortgages are seriously delinquent, so look to see this number increase in the next couple of years.
Combined with the REO portfolios of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the U.S. government (and by proxy, you and I, the taxpayers) … (0 comments)

mortgage rates: Arizona Bill Would Make it More Difficult To Foreclose - 02/24/11 07:29 AM
We are through the looking glass people: according to a Bloomberg article, the Arizona legislature is about to pass a law that would require lenders to prove they have the right to foreclose on a home before they do it.  Incredibly, they would be the first state in the nation to pass such a law.
The bill, S.B. 1259, would void foreclosures and foreclosure sales if lenders cannot produce the full chain of title for the property.  Similar legislation has been proposed in New York, Oregon, and Virginia. Under the new law, lenders would be required to provide a list of … (0 comments)

mortgage rates: Are Adjustable Rate Mortgages Making a Comeback? - 02/17/11 09:00 AM
They are according to an article on CNNMoney.com today.
According to the article, adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) comprised nearly 70 percent of all mortgages during the bubble years.  After the housing collapse their market share plummeted, dropping to only 3% of all mortgages in 2009.  Now that number appears to be rising, ARMs make up 5% of all loans originated currently, and Freddie Mac predicts that number will rise to 10% by the end of the year.
The reason ARMs are making a comeback is simple: mortgage rates are on the rise.  Rates on fixed rate loans have increased substantially, rising … (2 comments)

mortgage rates: FHA Mortgage Fees to Rise in April - 02/15/11 07:16 AM
FHA mortgages are about to become more expensive.
HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan announced yesterday in a press release that the FHA will increase its annual mortgage insurance premium (MIP) by a quarter point on all 15 and 30 year loans.  Upfront MIP charges will remain at 1.0 percent.  The increase in premiums is part of the Obama Administration’s new budget.  The changes will take effect as of April 18, 2011.
FHA Commissioner David Stevens commented:
“After careful consideration and analysis, we determined it was necessary to increase the annual mortgage insurance premium at this time in order to bolster the FHA’s … (2 comments)

mortgage rates: Departure of QE2 Critic Improves Chances of Lower Long-Term Interest Rates - 02/14/11 06:37 AM
The resignation of Kevin Warsh, an interest rate hawk and QE2 opponent, from the Federal Reserve Board of Governors strengthens Ben Bernanke’s effort to decrease long-term interest rates.
Warsh has criticized the Fed’s second round of quantitative easing, or QE2, a plan to purchase $600 billion of U.S. Treasury Bonds to drive down long-term interest rates such as mortgage rates in order to cut unemployment and improve the economy.
With Warsh gone, the Fed is more likely to complete that plan and use all $600 billion to buy Treasuries sometime by this summer.
His resignation provides Obama a chance to shape … (0 comments)

mortgage rates: Home Sales Rise While Prices Stabilize - 02/11/11 05:00 AM
According to a report by the National Association of Realtors, the volume of home sales increased rather sharply during the final quarter of 2010. The third quarter showcased a sale of 4.16 million units, while the fourth quarter witnessed a 15.4 percent upsurge to 4.8 million units sold. The report suggests the drastic increase was driven by more stable home prices, based on year-over-year data.
The average sales price of homes from October through December 2010 was $170,600, which reflects a 0.2 percent increase from the same time period in 2009. The increase in home sales can also be attributed to … (0 comments)

mortgage rates: How to Get a Low Interest Rate Mortgage Loan? - 02/11/11 04:59 AM
Mortgage rates have steadily climbed up for the past four weeks. With rates on the rise, mortgage applications have declined, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s  Weekly Survey. Also, since the housing market crisis started, many mortgage lenders have tightened their loan requirement criteria making it more difficult for potential borrowers to qualify for home loans.
If you are a borrower looking to get a low interest rate mortgage loan in today’s tight market, it is important to prepare yourself and have the best possible profile to make sure you get one of the best mortgage rates available.
The first step … (0 comments)

mortgage rates: HAMP, FHA Short Refi, Numerous Other Housing Programs Could be Eliminated - 02/10/11 06:39 AM
Financial austerity, eliminating the defici, and eliminating the federal debt has suddenly become very popular in Washington, D.C.  The House Financial Services Committee is going to meet later today to discuss upcoming proposals for the Federal Budget.  Among other areas up for review, a large number of public housing programs would be reviewed for inefficiencies and redundancies and potentially eliminated.
Among the programs to be reviewed or eliminated:
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be reviewed and the committee will entertain proposals to “modify or eliminate” Fannie and Freddie’s statutory charters. The committee will consider what role, if any, the government … (0 comments)

mortgage rates: Jumbo Mortgage Rates Could Rise With Withdrawal of Government Support - 02/07/11 06:39 AM
The Obama Administration is currently working on a plan for the future of housing finance in the United States.  The report was supposed to be delivered last week, but the deadline was missed.  A rumored part of the plan would be to allow the high balance conforming loan limit to fall to $625,000 in September.  This could cause mortgage rates to rise for prospective homeowners in high cost areas such as California and New York.
There is a legal limit on the maximum size mortgage loan that government sponsored entities (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can purchase.  This is known … (1 comments)

mortgage rates: Obama Administration to Propose Reductions in Support for Housing Market, Lower Loan Limits - 02/07/11 06:38 AM
According to an article in this morning’s Washington Post by Zachary Goldfarb and Brady Dennis, the Obama Administration is set to release a report detailing its vision for the future of the housing finance system in the United States.  The report will likely recommend slowly weaning the housing market off of government support.  One part of the proposal involves reducing the size of mortgage loans eligible for purchase by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:
“The administration is now likely to suggest that Congress allow the policy to lapse as scheduled in September, lowering the loan limit to $625,000.”
There is a statutory limit … (0 comments)

mortgage rates: Obama Administration to Propose Reductions in Support for Housing Market, Lower Loan Limits - 02/04/11 07:54 AM
According to an article in this morning’s Washington Post by Zachary Goldfarb and Brady Dennis, the Obama Administration is set to release a report detailing its vision for the future of the housing finance system in the United States.  The report will likely recommend slowly weaning the housing market off of government support.  One part of the proposal involves reducing the size of mortgage loans eligible for purchase by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:
“The administration is now likely to suggest that Congress allow the policy to lapse as scheduled in September, lowering the loan limit to $625,000.”
There is a statutory limit … (0 comments)

mortgage rates: What Will The Housing Market Be In 2011? - 01/14/11 02:39 AM
2011 looks to be a harsh year for the housing market, depending on unpredictable changes to the nation's economic fortunes.  Currently, there is a very large number of unsold homes throughout the nation.  There is little demand for these pieces of real estate.  Simple economics can be used to conclude that real estate values will most likely go down unless there is a random immigration of wealthy immigrants or we demolish a lot of the current homes for sale (needless to say, this would be a enormously stupid waste of time, effort and resources).
The S&P reported that, by the end … (3 comments)

mortgage rates: Warren Buffett Predicts Rise In Mortgage Rates For 2011 - 01/06/11 07:35 AM
Does Warren Buffett, perhaps the world's top financial guru, predict that mortgage interest rates will go up in 2011? His recent financial transactions give good reason to believe that this is the case.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. borrowed 1,500,000,000 dollars by issuing fixed-rate bonds to pay off adjustable-rate loans. By locking into fixed-rate bonds at current rates and using that money to pay off adjustable-rate loans that may possibly increase in 2011, heBuffett is banking that interest rates, including mortgage interest rates, will go up.  Look at current mortgage interest rates.
Other investors closely look at every transaction "the Oracle of Omaha" … (0 comments)

mortgage rates: New Law Forces Lenders To Reveal Impact Of Credit Score On Offered Mortgage Rates - 01/06/11 07:29 AM
Starting on 1/1/11, mortgage lenders shall be forced to alert borrowers about how their credit scores could be preventing each individual from locking in the best possible mortgage rates.
The purpose of the credit score alert is mostly to caution mortgage borrowers about the impact of their credit score on mortgage rates and give the borrowers a chance to raise their credit score or if desired they may back out of the mortgage.
Sadly, this the alert system will more likely than not be just one more government-required piece of paperwork becoming unrecognizable in the neverending stack of documents that applicants … (0 comments)

mortgage rates: 2011: Year Of Foreclosure? - 01/06/11 07:17 AM
2011 is not likely to end well for the housing market.  This is due to multiple factors.  In a post yesterday I wrote about my prediction of an guaranteed decrease in home values in the coming year.  This post, I would like to talk about what appears to be another 2011 inevitability:  an increase in the number of foreclosures.
Data provider, Reality Trac, reported that foreclosure activity went down in the month of November.  There were 262,000 foreclosure notices issued, which is down 21 percent from October and also down 14 percent from November 2009.  As a matter of fact, this … (1 comments)

mortgage rates: NJ Chief Justice Threatens to Suspend Foreclosures as Lenders Summoned to Court - 12/21/10 05:39 AM
Well this is kind of interesting:
According to a Washington Post article by Zachary Goldfarb, Stuart Rabner, the chief justice of the New Jersey State Supreme Court announced that he would stop all foreclosures by major banks unless they can definitively show that they are complying with state law when foreclosing. On the one hand that statement is ridiculous, compliance with the law is not and should not be considered exceptional behavior from anyone. However, there is ample evidence that many laws are/have been skirted or ignored during the foreclosure process, so I see this development as a positive step.
Judge … (0 comments)

mortgage rates: Rising Mortgage Rates Push First-Time Home Buyers Into Housing Market - 12/21/10 05:28 AM
 
Rising mortgage rates prompted more first-time home buyers to purchase homes last month.
That was one of the conclusions of the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey.
While mortgage rates began increasing from record lows in early November the first-time home buyer share of home purchases surged from 34.4 percent in October to 37.2 percent last month.
“The recent surge in interest rates has made potential home buyers nervous,” said Thomas Popik, director of the HousingPulse survey. “If rates go up much more, then a good percentage of them will no longer qualify for the properties they want. As … (0 comments)

mortgage rates: im Geithner Weighs In On HAMP, Foreclosures - 12/17/10 07:37 AM
Earlier this week the Congressional Oversight Committee lambasted the Treasury Department and its foreclosure prevention programs, specifically the Home Affordable Modification Program.
Among other things, the report said:
“Treasury’s reluctance to acknowledge HAMP’s shortcomings has had real consequences.  Absent a dramatic and unexpected increase in HAMP enrollment, many billions of dollars set aside for foreclousre mitigation may well be left unused.  As a result, and untold number of borrowers may go without help – all because Treasury failed to acknowledge HAMP’s shortcomings in time”.
and
“Treasury has refused to specify meaningful goals to measure HAMP’s progress.  Treasury has also failed to … (0 comments)

 
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