Low Rates Give Homeowners One Last Chance to Refinance

After the Federal Reserve announced it would start tapering its mortgage stimulus program beginning this year, most analysts believed that meant long-term interest rates would start rising, signally the end of attractive refinancing options. Yet according to Freddie Mac’s latest U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook, less-than-stellar job market performance has dampened the mood of investors, helping to keep interest rates low and granting homeowners another chance to refinance into less expensive Read more [...]

Fed Continues Stimulus – What Will Happen to Mortgage Rates?

After its two meeting, the Federal Reserve announced yesterday that it will continue its stimulus program for the next few months, a move that surprised the financial markets and could have a real effect on long-term mortgage interest rates. The Fed has been buying up $85 billion worth of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) each month in an effort to bolster economic growth and keep rates low. These purchases have been credited with pushing mortgage interest rates to rock-bottom Read more [...]

Home Prices Post Double-Digit Gains in First Quarter

For the first time since the peak of the housing bubble, home prices jumped by double-digits in the first three months of this year, according to data from CoreLogic, a sign that inventory is limited and in high demand again. During the first quarter of 2013, home prices rose 10.2 percent from the year before with more than three-fourths of the metro areas tracked posting yearly price increases. And CoreLogic experts believe the coming months will bring more growth. "Record levels of affordability, Read more [...]

Interest Rates Knocked Back Down As Demand Dips

After making their largest leap in 26 years the week before, long-term mortgage interest rates retreated last week as mortgage demand dampened. The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate, conventional mortgage fell to 4.29 percent, excluding points during the week ended July 3, according to Freddie Mac, from 4.46 percent the previous week. The rate was still up significantly from a year ago when it averaged 3.62 percent. The 15-year fixed rate mortgage also took a rate hit, with the Read more [...]

Increase Your Mortgage IQ

If you are ready to buy a house, do you know what its going to take to finance your purchase? Roughly a third of American homebuyers are confused about even the most basic mortgage questions, according to a recent survey from real estate website Zillow. Learning from their wrong answers can improve your mortgage IQ and help you get the best mortgage terms possible. Here's what the survey's 1,000 current and prospective homebuyers didn't know: 34 percent of respondents did not understand the Read more [...]

Fannie and Freddie to Make Mortgage Relief Easier

The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced this week that it will now allow mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to roll back one of the cumbersome rules in the mortgage modification process. The new guidelines will no longer require homeowners to provide proof of “financial hardship” if they are at least 90 days behind on their mortgage payments. "Our goal is to give homeowners an efficient way to avoid foreclosure and remain in their home,” said Leslie Peeler, Fannie Read more [...]

U.S. Homes ‘Selling Like Hotcakes’

Good news. The latest reports show that home prices and sales are up. Yet perhaps even more telling about the state of the mortgage market is how quickly homes are selling. And they are selling fast. Selling like hotcakes. New data from housing site Redfin shows that in 19 of the country's major markets more than one-third of all homes were sold within two weeks of being listed  in February. That's up from 30.3 percent in January. And in some states things are moving even faster. California Read more [...]

Big Banks See Big Rise in Home Prices This Year

Both JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of American Corp. have recently revised their predictions for how much home prices will grow this year, as diminishing inventory and low interest rates continue to bolster demand. JPMorgan analysts wrote in a March 13 report that they believe U.S. home prices will gain an average of 7 percent through 2013, more than double what they had predicted earlier this year. The company's analysts are also now forecasting that prices will rise 14 percent from now through Read more [...]

Home Equity Loans Make a Comeback

After several years of limited activity, today many U.S. homeowners are starting to take a look at home equity loans again, a trend that is a product of rising home prices and low interest rates. According to credit reporting bureau Equifax, the number of new home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) rose 19 percent in the last part of 2012. And banks like JPMorgan Chase are seeing even more dramatic increases. "Nationally we've seen a 31 percent increase in HELOC's year-over-year," said a spokesperson Read more [...]

Mortgage Rates Near Record Lows and Likely to Stay

Average rates on U.S. mortgage loans fell close to all-time lows in the first week of 2013 and analysts believe that will be a lasting trend for this new year. The 30-year fixed rate conventional mortgage loan rate slipped to 3.34 percent, excluding points, during the week ended January 3, down from 3.35 percent the previous week, according to Freddie Mac. The lowest rate on record is 3.31 percent, from the week of November 21. The average rate on a 15-year fixed rate mortgage dipped to 2.64 percent Read more [...]