Amber Nelson

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Low Inventory, Market Volatility Hold Back Existing-Home Sales

Sales of existing U.S. homes declined in October, stymied by a lack of affordable inventory as well as consumer concern about the economy, according to the National Association of Realtors. On the bright side, mortgage rates remained low and distressed sales made up the lowest share over seven years. Total existing-home sales fell 3.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.36 million in October, down 5.55 million in September. Compared with one year ago, sales are up however, with a 3.9 percent Read more [...]

Millennials More Likely than Gen Xers to Be Saving, But Not For Down Payments

The country’s youngest adult generation, those aged 18 to 34, otherwise known as Millennials are more likely than both Generation Xers and Baby Boomers to be saving for short and long term financial goals, but saving a for a house is low on the priority list. The latest quarterly renters survey from mortgage giant Freddie Mac found that 92 percent of Millennials are saving for a major purchase (not necessarily a house though) and 94 percent are saving for a vacation. Those rates among Boomers Read more [...]

Interest Rates Jump on Upbeat Jobs Report

Long-term U.S. mortgage interest rates shot up in the latest week again, in response to investor optimism in the wake of a positive jobs report, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac Thursday. During the week ended November 12, 2015, the average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) jumped to 3.98 percent, excluding fees, up from 3.87 percent last week. The new rate is a two-and-a-half week high, but it is still slightly lower than a year ago when the average rate hit 4.01 percent. The Read more [...]

Mortgage Rates Rise to 6-Week High

Long-term mortgage interest rates grew to their highest level in six weeks, according to mortgage guarantor Freddie Mac, in reaction to the Federal Reserve’s suggestion of a rate increase in December. The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) jumped to 3.87 percent, excluding fees, during the week ended November 5, 2015, up from 3.76 percent the week before and the highest since the week of September 17. The new rate is still lower than the same time last year though when it averaged Read more [...]

Fed Keeps Rate at Zero, But Warns of December Hike

The Federal Reserve’s interest rate-deciding body, the Federal Open Market Committee, chose this week to leave its target rate at or near zero percent, but promised to rethink the issue at its December meeting. The federal funds rate – the rate at which banks charge each other for overnight trades – was left alone in the range of zero to 0.25 percent for the next six weeks. It has been at that rock bottom position since September of 2008 when the Fed attempted to prop up the failing economy Read more [...]

New Fannie Mae Rules Allow for ‘Non-Traditional’ Credit Histories

Mortgage guarantor Fannie Mae is easing its credit requirements for homebuyers, in the hopes of expanding the benefits of homeownership to qualified borrowers who may not have a traditional credit history. FannieMae, a company which backs mortgages made by private lenders and sells those loans in bundles as securities, announced Monday that it will allow lenders to use alternate forms of credit information to qualify applicants. Up to this point, lenders would input borrower data into Fannie Read more [...]

Mortgage Rates Rise in Latest Week But May Change Little Through 2015

Long-term mortgage interest rates moved up in the latest week, according to mortgage guarantor Freddie Mac, but with the Fed unsure of its own rate direction for 2015 there may be fewer mortgage rate increases through the end of the year. The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) rose to 3.82 percent, excluding fees, during the week ended October 15, 2015, up from 3.76 percent the week before. The new rate is down compared with the previous year when it averaged 3.97 percent. The Read more [...]

Zombie Foreclosures Tumble From Previous Year

The number of U.S. ‘zombie’ foreclosures – vacant properties in the foreclosure process but not yet repossessed by the lender – plunged 43 percent in the third quarter from the year before, according to data from foreclosure data firm RealtyTrac. There were 20,050 zombie foreclosures in the third quarter of 2015, a 27 percent decrease from the second quarter. Foreclosures have declined on a broad scale over the past several years, leading to fewer vacant properties overall. Vacant properties, Read more [...]

Mortgage Rates Stay Low As Global Markets Falter

Long-term mortgage interest rates made little movement in the latest week, according to data from mortgage giant Freddie Mac, even though foreign markets continued to scare investors, a condition that typically pushes rate down. The average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage slipped to 3.85 percent, excluding fees, during the week ended October 1, 2015, down from 3.86 percent the previous week. Compared with the year earlier, rates were down from 4.19 percent. Fifteen-year fixed-rate mortgages Read more [...]

Existing-Home Sales, Prices Decline in August

The U.S. existing-housing market cooled off considerably in August, according to the National Association of Realtors, with the probable cause being a lack of inventory and the beginning of the traditionally slower buying season. Total existing-home sales fell 4.8 percent in August, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.31 million, down from 5.58 million in July. Compared to a year ago however, sales are still up 6.2 percent and have increased on a yearly basis for the past 11 straight months. "Sales Read more [...]