Existing Home Sales Fall Even As Prices Climb

Sales of existing U.S. homes dropped for the second month in October, according to the National Association of Realtors, a product of restricted inventory and tight credit standards. Total existing-home sales fell 3.2 percent in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.12 million, down from September’s 5.29 million pace. Compared with a year ago however, sales are still up 6.0 percent. On a yearly basis, sales have now been up for 28 consecutive months. The national median price Read more [...]

Mortgage Rates Drop to Three-Month Low

Interest rates on a long-term mortgage fell for the third consecutive week and dropped to a three-month low, but eager buyers may have trouble taking advantage of these low rates if the government shutdown drags on. The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) sank to 4.22 percent, excluding fees, during the week ended October 3, according to Freddie Mac, down from 4.32 percent the week before and down from 3.36 percent last year at this time. The 30-year rate has not been this low Read more [...]

Even As Rates Rise, Home Sales Continue to Climb

Sales of existing U.S homes pushed upward in August, reaching a six-and-a-half year high, according to the National Association of Realtors, but the trend may slow in the fall if market conditions continue their track. The NAR reported that total existing-home sales rose by 1.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million in August, up from 5.39 million in July. Compared with the year before, sales were up 13.2 percent. August marks 26 straight months of year-over-year sales increases. Prices Read more [...]

Home Prices Moderate, Increasing Market Stability

U.S. home prices rose in the latest quarter, but they are not rising as quickly, according to new data from the S&P/Case-Shiller National Home Price Index, but that might be more helpful to the housing recovery. The S&P index, a measure of U.S. home prices based on 20 of the major metropolitan areas, rose 2.2 percent in June, but not quite as fast as the 2.5 percent increase in May. Only six cities - Charlotte, Cleveland, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, New York and Tampa - saw their prices rise Read more [...]

When Is the Best Time to Get a Mortgage Loan?

With interest rates bouncing up and down from week to week, it can be hard to know when is the right moment to jump into a mortgage loan. For example, rates on long-term home loans hit a two-year high of 4.51 percent last week, during the week ended July 11, according to Freddie Mac, up from 4.29 percent the week before. This week, the average rate sank back down to 4.37 percent. What's going on with rates and how can you be sure the time is right to buy? The spikes and falls of rates lately have Read more [...]

Foreclosures Sink to Pre-Boom Low in Latest Month

The number of foreclosure filings fell in June to the lowest level since the Great Recession, according to recent data from RealtyTrac. Total foreclosure filings dropped to 127,790 last month, down 14 percent from May and 35 percent from June 2012. Filings have not been so low since December 2006. Initial filings fell in June as well, with 38 states experiencing a monthly decrease and sinking 45 percent compared with a year ago. Bank repossessions fell 9 percent from May and were down on a Read more [...]

Refinancing a Jumbo Loan In Today’s Market

Fewer and fewer homeowners with jumbo loans are underwater these days, making it possible for them to take advantage of today's low interest rates. In fact, recent data from Zillow.com showed that during the first quarter of 2013, just 20.6 percent of all Americans with jumbo loans (those over the conventional loan limits of $417,000 in most parts of the country) owed more than their homes were worth. That's down significantly from 32.3 percent one year earlier. And in five of the nation's major Read more [...]

FHFA’s Streamlined Homeowner Relief Begins This Week

For a select number of struggling U.S. homeowners, life might get a little easier starting this week. The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that it will be sending out notices to qualified borrowers about its new Streamlined Modification Initiative, a plan to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. The new program is available to homeowners whose mortgages are backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and who are at least 90 days late on their payments. Borrowers must also have had their loans for Read more [...]

Mortgage Rates Are Rising – How Much Does It Matter?

Interest rates on long-term mortgage loans have jumped dramatically in the past couple months, as the Federal Reserve has hinted that it will ease up on its rate-dampening actions sooner than later. The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage rose to 3.98 percent last week, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac, up from a recent low of 3.35 percent during the week of May 2, just seven weeks before. The jump in rates has pushed many reluctant buyers and refinancers to get into the market Read more [...]

Real Estate Economists: No ‘Bubble Trouble’ Yet

Even with rapidly rising home prices, we are not in danger of another housing bubble, said three of the housing markets' top economists at a conference Friday. "We are not in 'bubble trouble,'" said Jed Kolko, Trulia chief economist at the National Association of Real Estate Editors  conference. "Prices are undervalued 7 percent relative to long-term income and rent norms. We see no signs of overbuilding, and few signs of people overborrowing." Kolko said that compared to the 40 to 70 percent Read more [...]