HSH: Tepid Economic Growth Will Keep Mortgage Rates Stagnate

The latest two-month mortgage rate forecast has just been released from loan information company HSH.com and after months of bumping along the bottom with record-low rates, the new prediction says - drum roll please - nothing will change. Hmm, not exactly earth-shattering, but good to know anyway. HSH is forecasting that mortgage interest rates on 30-year conforming fixed rate loans will remain in the range of 3.42 percent to 3.64 percent between now and January 11. During the past two months, Read more [...]

No-Fee Mortgages In The Works

In an attempt to make mortgage easier to understand, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has proposed that lenders be required to offer no-point, no-fee home loans to borrowers. "Consumers have a hard time comparing loans when they are dealing with a bewildering array of points and fees," said Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in a statement. "We want to provide consumers with clearer options and enable them to choose the loan that they believe is right Read more [...]

Experts Divided on Economic Benefits of Refinancing

Long-term mortgage interest rates are at all-time lows today, with the average on a 30-year conventional fixed rate loan recently falling to 3.49 percent, according to mortgage finance company Freddie Mac. Moreover, the rate has not been over 4 percent since March of this year. Of course, these insanely affordable interest rates are making refinancing very attractive to homeowners, as evidenced by data from the Mortgage Bankers Association last week, when refinance requests made up 81 percent Read more [...]

Federal Reserve: Speculators Were Responsible for Housing Bubble

Real estate speculators played a big part in creating the U.S. housing bubble that crashed in late 2006, according to the latest report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The report explores the role of real estate investors, a "mostly undocumented but important dimension of the housing market crisis." The New York Fed researchers found that speculative investors, or those looking for an easy profit from 'flipping' homes, helped contribute to the run up in home prices, especially in Nevada, Read more [...]

Revamped Mortgage Program to Help 1 Million Underwater Borrowers

The Obama Administration estimates that its mortgage refinance program will help as many as 1 million homeowners across the nation avoid foreclosure. The terms of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) have eased thus allowing mortgage finance giants, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to help borrowers owing over 125 percent of the value of their homes. Previous, borrowers owing more than 125 percent were shut out of this program. Other program terms are now relaxed as well. Background checks Read more [...]

Mortgage Rates Low | Rates Hit 50-Year Low

Continued consumer concern about the economy sent long-term mortgage interest rates plummeting to a 50-year record low this week, according to mortgage finance company Freddie Mac. During the week ended August 18, the average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) dropped to 4.15 percent, excluding points, falling below the previous low on record of 4.17 percent from the week of November 11, 2010. One year ago, the average rate was 4.42 percent. "The Federal Reserve's policy statement last Read more [...]

Fixed Rate Loans Remain Top Choice

Homeowners continue to flee to the safety of fixed rate mortgages, according to recent data from housing finance company Freddie Mac. And with interest rates remaining low, borrowers are also getting into shorter-term fixed rate loans. The Freddie Mac survey showed that 95 percent of refinance loans in the second quarter of 2011 were fixed rate mortgages, a major shift from the housing boom days, when adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) were extremely popular. A full 55 percent of those with hybrid Read more [...]

The Newest Loan Fad: Shorter Mortgage Terms

As the mortgage market repents of its boom time sins, many homeowners are choosing to refinance into loans with terms as short as seven years. That is a major trend reversal from five years ago, when some mortgage lenders were even offering 40-year home loans. "In this tight economy, it's clear that many homeowners are seeking a little extra peace of mind when it comes to their finances," said Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft in his most recent Executives Perspectives blog post. "By choosing Read more [...]

Homeowners Trim Mortgage Debt Back to Pre-Bubble Levels

Total U.S. mortgage payments have reset to levels not seen in a decade, another sign that the housing market is still bottoming out. As of the first quarter of 2011, Americans hold $10.3 trillion in mortgage debt, a significant drop from the almost $11 trillion reported at the 2008 peak, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Mortgage interest payments alone are down 11 percent, roughly $67 billion a year, since that time. So what's causing the tumble? It's a 3-way tie: defaults, Read more [...]

Housing Market Is Affordable – But Not Recovering Yet

Mortgage rates have risen fairly consistently in 2011, with the average rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan now up to 5.0 percent, according to a survey from Freddie Mac last week. And that rising pattern is likely to continue, most analysts say. We may not see lows like the 4.17 percent rate in November for some time to come. But higher rates may not have much impact on the housing market anyway, as home prices remain historically very affordable. As of December 2010, the national median home Read more [...]