The Mortgage Week in Review

The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan dipped to a six-week low of 5.20 percent, down from 5.32 percent the previous week.

  • Freddie Mac  chief economist Frank Nothaft: “Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell for the second week in a row to the lowest level in six weeks amid market concerns over a weakening labor market.”

More people are applying for government-insured mortgage loans now than they have for almost the past 20 years. In June, the government loans like FHA and VA loans made up 35.9 percent of all mortgage applications.

  • Orawin Velz, Mortgage Bankers Association, associate vice president of economic forecasting: “A primary reason government-insured loans have retained a high share of the purchase market is that these loans typically require lower down payments than conventional loans. In addition, lending standards tend to be tighter for conventional loans, especially for loans that require private mortgage insurance.”

The FBI reported that mortgage fraud activity increased 36 percent in 2008, with the hardest hit states being California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, and Michigan.

  • FBI statement: “Several of these schemes have the potential to spread if the current economic downward trend, as expected, continues into 2009 and beyond” and “While the amount of mortgage fraud cannot be precisely determined, industry experts agree that there is a direct correlation between fraud and distressed real estate markets.”

A new report says foreclosures were down 11 percent in the second quarter of 2009, while pre-foreclosures or delinquencies were down 10 percent.

  • Alexis McGee, president of : “These huge drops—double-digit in many parts of the nation—are a sigh of relief for the economy and housing markets as they bump along toward recovery. Despite higher unemployment rates, industry and government stimuli are making a difference. It’s not just depressed properties that are selling anymore.”

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