Real Estate News

NAR president pushes for housing sector help Speaking at a recent forum, National Association of Realtors president Ron Phipps relayed that the struggling housing sector needs to remain the nation's top priority.
Phipps explained that homeownership affects all Americans and that a recovery in the housing sector could prompt better economic times.
"As the leading advocate for homeownership, Realtors know that issues like affordable financing, natural disaster insurance, the mortgage interest deduction and foreclosures and short...
Interest rate for 30-year fixed loans sinks to record low According to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, October has started with a bang for prospective homeowners.
For the week ending October 6, the average rate for a 30-year fixed loan sunk to 3.94 percent, down from 4.01 percent the week before and 4.27 percent during the same week the previous year. This marks the first time the rate has dropped below 4 percent since the beginning of Freddie Mac's survey in 1971. The average rate for a 15-year fixed loan was 3.26 percent, down...
Texas has several improving real estate markets. According to the National Association of Home Builders' second edition of its First American Improving Markets Index, the number of improving housing sectors nearly doubled.
The company's IMI showed that 23 individual housing markets showed better conditions during September, up from 12 in the previous report. To qualify, a market must show sustained improvement in terms of housing permits, employment and prices of homes for sale for at least six months.
Texas had the most markets on the...
A large number of the nation's prime mortgage borrowers are underwater. A recent report from Fitch Ratings revealed that a significant number of prime mortgage borrowers nationwide are experiencing troubles with their loan.
The report relayed that more than one-third of all prime borrowers in private-label securitizations currently have negative equity. Fitch Ratings managing director Grant Bailey explained that despite modest gains recently, home prices will need to plunge further before a sustained recovery can take place.
"With home prices likely to decline...
Number of homeowners declines The amount of Americans who own their homes has seen its largest drop since the Great Depression, says the US Census Bureau.
Home ownership fell to 65.1 percent in 2010, 1.1 percent lower than a decade earlier. In the 1930s homeownership plunged 4.2 percent.
"Home ownership during the 2000s was really high in the middle of the decade, up to almost 70 percent at one point around 2004," said Ellen Wilson, a survey statistician with the bureau.
However, certain areas were hit harder than...
Government reducing role in mortgage industry The US government recently began to pullback the assistance it has been providing to the mortgage market to see if private lenders can pick up the slack, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Critics are concerned the move will cause more issues in regions where housing demand has not yet recovered amid the slow economy.
One recent move reduced the loan limits Congress expanded in 2008, allowing Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration to buy mortgages up to $729,750. The FHA...
Former senior advisor Axelrod calls for mortgage finance fix Creating a fairer mortgage system and repairing the housing market will ease the frustration the country has with Wall Street, former senior adviser to President Obama, David Axelrod told the Mortgage Bankers Association, according to HousingWire.
Calling for a more transparent financial system, Axelrod examined how putting subprime mortgages into securities was the key factor in the economic downturn and should have been prevented. "Loans need to be given on terms borrowers can...
Jeb Bush offers advice on housing market Former Florida Governor and Texas native Jeb Bush has recently shown doubt that President Barack Obama will take a firm stance on the country's current housing crisis, HousingWire reports.
Bush is currently the head of his own consulting firm, Jeb Bush & Associates, and spoke to the Mortgage bankers Association at their 98th Annual Convention and Expo in Chicago.
"The hope and feeling of optimism (has been) replaced with despair. All the polling numbers have been so bad as to the...
Foreclosure rates are slowly stabilizing The nation's fragile housing market may start to stabilize after another year or two, reports the Wall Street Journal.
While gathered at the Mortgage Banker Associations annual conference, chief economist at Moody's Analytics Mark Zandi told industry leaders that a few minor tweaks, instead of a major industry overhaul, should be enough to stabilize the housing market.
"The key to home prices is the share of home sales that are distressed. A year, year-and-a-half down the road that...
Harris County preparing to file suit against major lenders The major settlement between major banks and many of the state attorneys general may not absolve banks of all liability over problems with the mortgage process, Bloomberg reports.
Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is leading a settlement with the lenders that is getting closer to finalization. However, he pointed out that the settlement would not prevent towns or individual states from suing lenders that allegedly cut them out of millions of dollars through filing fees, said the news source.
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