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Home mortgage rates and real estate news -

This is how long it takes to sell a house

It's a sellers market, which means wanna-be homeowners have to be move fast when a home hits the market.

Hurricanes could bring another disaster: Foreclosures

Read full story for latest details.

What will your monthly mortgage payment be?

In the market for a new home? Or planning to refinance? Find out what your monthly payment will be.

Who's affected by the mortgage changes in the House tax bill

The Republican tax bill proposes capping the mortgage interest deduction at $500,000. That's bad news for these home buyers.

Aston Martin is getting into... luxury real estate?!

Aston Martin is getting into the real estate business with a new 66-story residential tower in Miami.

How to buy your first home

Buying a home is one of the most -- if not the most -- significant purchases of your adult life. So, you'll want to make sure you're really ready.

Was my home a good investment?

Calculate the return on your home and how it compares to returns on stocks, bonds and overall home prices.

Should you rent or buy a home?

Read full story for latest details.

Toronto faces highest risk of a housing bubble

Read full story for latest details.

How to save enough money for a down payment on a home

Read full story for latest details.

Chinese billionaire dumps huge London real estate deal

One of China's richest men drops plans to buy $600 million of London real estate as his overseas deal-making comes under scrutiny from the Chinese government.

Does the American Dream no longer include homeownership?

Read full story for latest details.

U.S. home sales to foreigners surge 49% to new record

Foreigners and recent immigrants spent $153 billion buying American homes over the course of the last year, according to the National Association of Realtors.

7 first-time homebuyer mistakes to avoid

It's tough being a first-time buyer in today's housing market. Don't make it even harder (or more expensive) for yourself by making these common mistakes.

4 costs you haven't factored into your homebuying budget

Out-of-pocket costs that crop up during the homebuying process, or even when you're moving in, can put an unexpected strain on your already-hurting bank account.

Home prices are sky high, but mortgages are still cheap

Home prices have reached another record high, and buyers are feeling the pressure. But there has been one saving grace for buyers: mortgage rates.

Best cities for first-time homebuyers

A recent Zillow analysis on the best markets for first-time homebuyers finds that the best deals are in the Southeast and the Midwest.

Where should I stash my down payment savings?

If buying a house is on your short-term to-do list, experts say keep your down payment funds liquid. Looking to buy further down the road? You have some more options. Real Estate

Gardens and Mountains in Australia

This luxury period-style home on more than 50,000 square feet of land has a national park out the back door and is just a 90-minute drive from Sydney.

The Challenges of Selling a Hollywood Home

In Los Angeles, an abode that has housed generations of Hollywood legends can be the ultimate status symbol, but there are complications when it is time to sell.

Ziff Family Florida Compound Is Seeking Almost $200 Million

Known as “Gemini,” the nearly 16-acre estate south of Palm Beach is one of the highest priced listings in the country

An Apple Manager's Headquarters for High Jinks

A creative director crafts a San Francisco home dedicated to daring, whimsy and fun.

Japan's Creative, Ephemeral Homes

Buyers value new, highly personalized houses—forget resales. This model has one happy side-effect: a flourishing of some of the world’s most wonderfully bizarre architecture.

Soho Penthouse Seeks $29.995 Million

The seller is Jon Venetos, the former head of Surveyor Capital, which is part of hedge-fund giant Citadel.

Developers Put on the Glitz for Busy Fall Selling Season

Increasingly, developers use a wide range of splashy affairs to promote luxury residential real-estate sales in autumn, the most important sales period after spring.

Microsoft Opens Flagship Store on Fifth Avenue

Microsoft will step onto one of the world’s biggest retail stages Monday when it opens its Fifth Avenue store in Manhattan as part of its strategy to boost direct contact with consumers.

A Resnick Scion Strikes Out on His Own

With a new Chelsea condominium that’s 80% sold, Scott Resnick shows he’s up to the challenge of developing residential projects on his own.

Shopping Mall Developer Taubman Dies

A. Alfred Taubman, the self-made billionaire who cemented the enclosed shopping mall into American culture has died. He was 91.

Fannie, Freddie to Lower Fees

The Federal Housing Finance Agency is set to direct Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to reduce mortgage fees on some borrowers.

An App That Helps Glimpse the Future

Rokitt’s augmented-reality technology helps architects and residents see a skyline’s potential.

What's the Deal

A roundup of real-estate news in the tri-state region

New York's Institutional Building Spree

Projects by schools, hospitals and others more than tripled in the first half of this year compared with a year earlier.

Stonewall Inn, Historic Gay Site, May Become New York City Landmark

The city Landmarks Preservation Commission is scheduled to hold a hearing Tuesday on designating the Stonewall Inn as an individual landmark for its pivotal role in New York City’s social history.

Red Berries Are Coming Back to New Jersey

In a sign of the changing beverage market, a longtime plant and distribution facility of juice maker Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. will soon be home to the company Bai Brands, which produces drinks made from the coffee fruit.

Rent Regulations Expire as Deal Eludes Lawmakers

New York City’s rent regulations expired at midnight Monday as Albany lawmakers couldn’t agree on how to renew a law that afforded protection to more than two million people.

A House Made for a Sailor

The Kroeses are selling their waterside home in Westbrook, Conn., designed to complement lives spent largely on sailboats. The nautically themed home is on the market for $1.975 million.

Group Wants Parking Lots Converted to Elderly Housing

A study by the advocacy group LiveOn NY has identified 39 parking lots in the five boroughs that it says are underused and would be better used as housing for seniors.

What's the Deal: News Digest

A round-up of commercial real-estate news in the Greater New York region.

Rent a Desk, or Bathroom, in New York City With an App

A slew of innovative app-based services help New Yorkers instantly book short stints at the smallest of city spaces—a bathroom, a living room, an office. Need a pit stop? Try Airpnp.

In Franklin Lakes, People Tend to Stay Awhile

The affluent New Jersey community, population 10,600, is about 25 miles from Manhattan. Residents are drawn by its well-regarded public schools, relatively low property taxes and bucolic atmosphere.

Avison Young Hires Big to Accelerate Growth in New York

A. Mitti Liebersohn has left his longtime brokerage team at JLL to join Avison Young’s New York office.

What's the Deal: News Digest

A roundup of real-estate news in the Greater New York area.

Designers Put Cork in It

Once dismissed as cheap and ugly, cork is becoming cool as top designers create pieces that are not only sustainable, but covetable.

Five Midcentury Homes for Interiors Inspiration

Take a tour of these classic residences, including Modernist designer Eileen Gray’s 1929 villa, now open to the public after years of restoration.

Design's Best-Kept Secret: Eames Radios

Collectors are tuning into radios designed by Charles and Ray Eames—a more accessible way to own an original by the midcentury masters.

Basic Home Essentials That Are Anything But Ordinary

Even if you aren’t ready for Marie Kondo’s life-changing magic, you can still embrace the beauty of simplicity by investing in items that are functional and stylish.

Five Fresh Spring Vases

Choose the perfect vase to display those long-awaited spring flowers at their best.

Ways to Give Your House Away

Anyone inspired to donate their home to charity should know that the tax rules are complicated.

Chita Rivera on the Leap That Launched Her Dance Career

The actress/dancer was a tomboy who grew up in a lively Washington, D.C., home.

Comedian Mike Myers Lists New York Duplex for $16.95 Million

The “Austin Powers” creator purchased the 4,200-square-foot penthouse in Soho for roughly $7.9 million in 2007

Philadelphia Penthouse Is Listing for a Record $17.6 Million

Under construction, the apartment has the highest asking price in the city.

Where Luxury Homes Sell the Fastest

An analysis of home listings over a two-month period identifies San Jose, Calif., as the place where home buyers need to act quickly.

Extreme Closet Makeover

A look inside the $85,000 closet renovation of a California doctor.

Westchester's Priciest House Is Listing For $29.5 Million

The 98-acre property in Mount Kisco, N.Y. was once owned by showman Billy Rose

Advantages of a One-of-a-Kind Home

Homes with a special feature that is no longer allowed under local building rules may give owners an edge when it’s time to sell.

The French Riviera at a Bargain

There are rare deals in glittering Cap d’Antibes, the onetime party spot of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.

Barcelona's Draw as 'Urban Resort'

Spain’s second city is luring new home buyers who like the city-and-surf lifestyle of the coastal metropolis.

After Foreclosures, Home Buyers Are Back

Many who lost their homes during the early part of the financial crisis are rebounding after credit-penalty phase.

NYC Council Stops Midtown Tower Construction

Work on an 800-foot-tall tower in East Midtown that has been under construction for six months was halted last week following a vote by the New York City Council to limit skyscrapers in the area,.

Malls Never Wanted Gyms. Now They Court Them

Mall owners long treated gyms, massage parlors, and billiards halls as unwanted tenants that attracted lower-rent visitors who were unlikely to shop. Now they’re giving health clubs some of their best real estate.

New Jersey Office Rents Near Records

Asking rents for New Jersey office space are nearing records as landlords undertake extensive renovations and fill older properties with top-notch amenities.

Brookfield Property Makes $14.8 Billion Offer to Acquire Rest of GGP

Brookfield Property Partners LP has made a $14.8 billion offer to acquire the shares of mall owner GGP Inc. that it doesn’t already own, according to people familiar with the matter.

Mortgage News Daily

Realtors Raise Last-Minute Red Flags Over Tax Bill

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Realtors are expressing concern over three measures that exist in either the House or the Senate versions of the Republican tax cut bill and have sent a letter to Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Kevin Brady (R-TX), chairs of the Senate Banking and House Ways and Means Committees respectively, about these issues. The letter was sent as a conference committee is about to begin discussions of changes to the bills that will allow passage of a single version by both side of the Congress. Signed by, current National Association of Realtors (NAR) President Elizabeth Mendenhall, the letter stresses the important of homeownership to the U.S. economy and says the Congress needs to keep in mind where their decisions "can create a tremendously better outcome, not only for current and prospective homeowners, but...(read more)

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Fannie and Freddie Will Wait Until Jan 2nd to Evict You

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae announced this week that evictions from foreclosed single-family and two-to-four-unit properties owned by the GSEs will be suspended during the holiday season. The moratorium will begin on December 18 and extend through January 2 of next year. The two companies said that legal and administrative proceedings for evictions can continue during the period as well as other foreclosure-related activities. Families, however, must be allowed to continue living in the homes. "We're taking steps to support families and to extend the timeline of help for struggling borrowers during the holidays," said Jacob Williamson, Vice President of Single-Family Distressed Assets at Fannie Mae. "We also encourage homeowners who may be struggling with their mortgage to reach out to...(read more)

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Lender/Appraiser Product; Investor Disaster Updates; Movement's Penalty

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Word on the street has House and Senate negotiators agreeing to scale back the mortgage interest deduction in the latest version of the GOP tax bill. The move means homeowners will now be able to deduct interest on the first $750,000 of a new mortgage, down from the current limit of $1 million. Legislation has been introduced in Congress recommending that the CFPB employee pay structure be aligned with the rest of the government. In the meantime, in other government related news besides Alabama’s vote, Movement Mortgage must pony up $1.1 million for California mortgage servicing violations. “Overcharged borrowers and serviced loans without a state license” – not a long-term recipe for success. Fire and Disaster Updates One should always start with the FEMA website for...(read more)

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For Purchase Applications, This December is Better Than The Last

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Applications for mortgages, both for home purchases and refinancing, declined during the week ended December 8. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Market Composite Index, a measure of loan application volume, was down 2.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis compared to the volume a week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 4 percent. Applications for purchases decreased 1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week ended December 1, and the unadjusted version of the Purchase Index was down 6 percent. The unadjusted index remained 10 percent higher than during the same week in 2016. The Refinance Index was 3 percent lower than the prior week, but the share of applications that were for refinancing increased to 52.4 percent from 51.6 percent. It was the...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Bonds Navigate Dual Landmines in CPI and Fed Dots

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Today brings 2 key developments in the form of the 8:30am CPI data and the afternoon's Fed announcement. CPI--the Consumer Price Index--was one of the top inflation metrics in terms of market movement. Like other inflation metrics, it faded into obscurity for post of the decade following the financial crisis. Markets simply didn't care about inflation data because the general notion of inflation was so far off the radar. The Nov 2016 presidential election seemed to mark a sharp turning point for inflation hawks. With Trump seen as highly likely to increase deficit spending and perhaps even aggregate demand (via promises of stimulus and tax cuts), there was a legitimate reason to fear an uptick in inflation. But even before that, the Fed had begun to warn that inflation was inexplicably...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Key Technical Ceiling Holds Firm After Auction

Posted To: MBS Commentary

It was a pretty straightforward day for bond markets, which CONTINUE to operate in an exceptionally narrow, sideways range. That's been the case for close to 3 months now. As such, with yields approaching the ceiling today, a breakout would have been big news, and we haven't quite gotten to the headlines and events that constitute "big news." All that to say that bonds didn't do anything too surprising by maintaining the range today. Still, to see it happen in real time, it looked like our salvation depended upon the 30yr bond auction. Heading into the auction 10yr yields were pushing the key technical ceilings near 2.42%. After stronger auction results were released, bonds immediately found their footing, and managed to avoid returning to the higher levels. On the other...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Slightly Higher Ahead of Fed

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates moved modestly higher for the 4th straight business day today. Last Wednesday saw the best levels in a month with some lenders in the best shape since early September. The recent move higher brings rates back into the higher part of the prevailing range. If that all sounds somewhat dramatic, it's not . The "prevailing range" is so narrow that it barely bears mentioning. In fact, quite a few loan scenarios would be quoted the same "note rate" on any day in the past several months. Why, then, are we talking about rates "moving?" Technically, it's the "effective rate" that's moving because lenders use upfront costs to make finer adjustments to the cost of financing. In other words, if two people are quoted 4.0%, and everything about the quotes is the same except for a $200 difference...(read more)

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MBA Sees Sales Falling in Nov Despite Longer-Term Strength

Posted To: MND NewsWire

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) projects a decrease in new home sales in November compared to the previous month, but still sees those sales running well ahead of last year . MBA's Builder Applications Survey (BAS), conducted among mortgage subsidiaries of home construction companies, indicates that sales during the month were down 6 percent from October, but were a healthy 12.2 percent higher than in November 2016. MBA estimates this puts the number of sales during the month at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 663,000 units compared to 659,000 units in October. On an unadjusted basis, there was an apparent decline month-over-month of 11.3 percent, from 53,000 to 47,000 new homes. The sales estimate is derived using mortgage application information from the BAS, as well as assumptions...(read more)

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Increased Delinquency Not a Sign of Distress - Hurricanes to Blame

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Loans performed well in September , continuing to erase most of the last vestiges of the market's Great Recession distress. The CoreLogic Performance Insights Report for the month says the national delinquency rate is now 5.0 percent. This ties September with August as the lowest rate since 2007. With the rate so low, measures of improvement are becoming slim. The September rate represents only an 0.2 percent year-over-year decline. Early-stage delinquencies, loans that are 30 to 59 days past due, rose 0.3 percent from a year earlier to 2.4 percent. CoreLogic's chief economist Frank Nothaft said this increase, the largest since June 2009, was not an indication of any deterioration in credit but reflected the impact of the late summer hurricanes on Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. "September...(read more)

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Upcoming Events; Mortgage and Bank Announcements; MBS Issuance Rankings

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Today I find myself in Florida spending time with American Bancshares. Did you know the area code for Cape Canaveral is 321…as in a countdown? 2017 is counting down. No one has a crystal ball, but the MBA thinks that residential volumes will be down 5% in 2018. Others think that is optimistic. Think you have a lot of planning to do for 2018, and the future? Same thing with gasoline companies: In a world of driverless cars, how are they going to attract the car to their gas station, while the owner will want the least expensive petrol? Upcoming Events For Fannie the new Demographic Information Addendum to the 1003 loan application will be required on all loan applications effective January 1, 2018. This change affects brokers, non-delegated correspondents and correspondent lenders. The...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Focus Remains on Tomorrow

Posted To: MBS Commentary

I wish I could tell you that today was destined to be an exciting opportunity for bonds to embark on some sort of epic journey (or at least to definitively break outside the range that's been containing all movement for months). But alas, the "stuff" that MIGHT be relevant enough to elicit a breakout is at least another day away. That's assuming that the Fed Announcement and CPI data are "relevant enough" tomorrow. In the meantime, we have only Producer Prices on the econ data front today--a far less consequential report than tomorrow's Consumer Price Index. Of potentially more importance to near term trading is the conclusion of this week's accelerated Treasury auction cycle with 30yr bonds at 1pm. If yesterday's 10yr auction was any indication as to...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Maintaining The Trend Meant Modest Weakness Today

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Bond markets had an uneventful overnight session until just before the start of domestic trading hours. Most market participants were willing to chalk up some early strength to a botched suicide bombing in Times Square (the bomber was the only one seriously injured). While the bombing attempt was certainly visible in early trading, it didn't really change the trajectory for longer-term bond yields heading into the 1pm Treasury auction. The auction itself was pretty bad (not appalling though). On today's light volume trading session, it proved to be the most profound inspiration for bonds. If we look at a 1 or 2 day chart, the auction's impact is definitely noticeable. Look at the bigger picture, however, and it quickly gets lost in the range-bound shuffle. We continue to wait for...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Unchanged to Slightly Higher

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates moved modestly higher for the 3rd straight business day, making for a moderate correction from the last Wednesday's 1-month lows. In the recent context, talking about "1-month lows" and 3-day losing streaks is actually far too dramatic when it comes to the actual movement in rates. Most prospective borrowers would be seeing the same rates as last week with the only differences being a slight adjustment in the upfront costs. Even then, many lenders are perfectly unchanged over the past 2 days. Point being: rate volatility has been calm with few exceptions. Today's weakness (i.e. bond market weakness, which corresponds to higher rates) was driven by weak demand at today's 10yr Treasury auction. Mortgage rates aren't based directly on Treasuries, but the latter provide big-picture...(read more)

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Looking Back at Loan Mods: What Worked, What Didn't, and What Can We Learn?

Posted To: MND NewsWire

As banks and government tried to stem the flow of foreclosures during the housing crisis there was a lot of debate (and criticism) about what needed to be done and how to do it. The acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Edward DeMarco fought tooth and nail to prevent Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) from being forced to reduce the principal balances of their loans. Barrels of ink were consumed criticizing the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). Servicers were penalized for their misfeasance running it. Servicers set up several proprietary programs to modify loans held in mortgage-backed securities and bank portfolios. In addition, there was much criticism of homeowners who, it was alleged in some quarters, were quick to walk away from mortgages they never should...(read more)

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Construction and Data Validation Products; FHA, VA, HECM Changes

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Lenders making tough personnel decisions can’t “kick the can down the road” like Congress and the President. On Dec. 8, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was set to expire. Late last week Congress passed, and the President signed, a two-week spending bill to avoid a government shutdown, allowing an extension on the NFIP to 12/22. In the simplest terms, if the NFIP expires, virtually no homes in any floodplain could be bought or sold if that deal involves a mortgage company because anyone buying a home with a federally-backed loan is required to carry flood insurance if that house sits in a flood plain. Any way to run a country? FHA/VA/Ginnie Program Changes Iberiabank Corp and two subsidiaries agreed to pay $11.69 million to resolve allegations they submitted false...(read more)

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MBS Week Ahead: Central Bank Meetings and Fiscal Drama Keep Volatility on The Table

Posted To: MBS Commentary

There are 3 to 4 big players this week when it comes to potential market movers . In no particular order, these include Treasury auctions, central bank announcements, inflation data, and potential tax headlines. The relative importance of any of these factors depends on reality versus expectations. For instance, with respect to the Treasury auctions (which occur earlier than normal this week with 2 today and 1 tomorrow), if demand metrics are in the middle of the range of historical averages and if the yield awards fall in line with expectations, we might not see much market movement at all. Contrast that with any potential tax bill headlines where a simple "yea or nay" has market moving connotations. In general, any news that makes it look like the tax bill is more likely/certain...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Every Bit the NFP Reaction We Expected

Posted To: MBS Commentary

When it comes to bond markets reacting to economic data these days, don't expect too much and you won't be disappointed. Heading into today's NFP release, it didn't make much sense to expect a major reaction, although there always tends to be more active trading in the few hours following the data. That turned out to be exactly the case today. Bonds began domestic hours in slightly weaker territory--largely as a carryover from yesterday afternoon's weak momentum. That's not an analytical cop-out as much as it's a comment on the absence of motivation in the overnight session and the gradual, thinly-traded nature of the weakness (i.e. move toward higher rates). NFP came out with a stronger payroll count but with weaker wage growth. Even in a month where it would be...(read more)

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Rates Stay Higher After Jobs Report and Shutdown Bill

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates moved modestly higher today, although some lenders were right in line with yesterday's levels (especially those who raised rates in response to market weakness yesterday afternoon). Either way, today's rates are pretty darn close to yesterday's and very much inside the recent range. The Labor Department announced that 228k new jobs were created in November, stronger than the median forecast of 200k. These so-called "nonfarm payrolls" add up to the most widely followed metric on the health of the labor market in the US. On most other occasions, the report would create a more meaningful response in rates (which tend to rise when jobs growth is strong). In the current case, market participants are more interested to see how various legislative efforts develop--especially the tax...(read more)

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Consumers Expect Strong Increases in Housing Costs

Posted To: MND NewsWire

After dropping in October from what had been an all-time high the previous month, Fannie Mae's Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) resumed its upward trek , increasing by 2.6 points in November to 87.8, Strong responses to questions in the National Housing Survey (NHS) to questions about whether it was a good time to buy a home and expectations for home prices were the primary drivers of the index gains. The survey is based on six of more than a hundred questions asked in the monthly NHS survey. Four of the six components gained ground in November. The net share of respondents who said now is a good time to buy a home increased 7 percentage points to 29, erasing the previous month's 6-point drop. The net remains down 1 percentage point compared to the same period last year. The net share who...(read more)

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90% of US Counties Get FHA Loan Limit Increase

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Loan limits will be rising in 2018 for loans guaranteed by the FHA. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced on Thursday it was boosting limits for those loans in more than 3,000 counties. This will bring FHA loans in line with those of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced new limits for loans eligible for purchase or guarantee by the GSEs on November 28. FHFA calculates limits each year based on median home prices nationally and in individual markets. The GSE limits for 2018 will be $453,100 for conforming loans and $679,650 for jumbo loans in certain high-cost areas. FHA limits differ from but are based on the GSE limits. The Housing and Economic Recovery Act sets the floor for FHA mortgages at 65 percent of the GSE conforming limit...(read more)

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State-Level Policy Updates; Eyes on Fed Rate Increase

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Trio is a lease with an option to purchase that you can use to finance your new home." Its sister company is Ownoption Mortgage , doesn't appear to be licensed either. And in the Seattle area, Loftium continues to offer a service to provide down payment funds in exchange for a share of future Airbnb income. "Homebuyers who need Loftium's down payment help simply agree to rent out a spare bedroom and share the income with us for 12-36 months after buying their new home." (Questions about the program should be addressed to founders Adam Stelle or Yifan Zhang .) And real estate agents should be aware of a new way to sell a house: Offer Pad , sent to me by Amy Ramsey with First Community Bank. State News California has recently enacted the Building Homes and Jobs Act , effective...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Time for The NFP Question

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Bond markets haven't been at all keen to react in a major way to economic data. Tax reform and other fiscal issues have been center stage for several months. Even before that, employment metrics had mostly faded from the spotlight, leaving inflation metrics (chiefly, the Consumer Price Index) in favor. Today brings the biggest employment metric of them all in the form of nonfarm payrolls for November. Economists expect a reading of 200k vs 261k previously. The unemployment rate is seen holding steady at 4.1%. These are the employment metrics that have faded from prominence, but there are still two reasons the report could give way to more active trading. The first is that NFP also contains a "wage" component in the form of "average hourly earnings." To whatever extent...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Scary Up Close; Tame in Context

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Bond markets began the day roughly unchanged compared to yesterday afternoon's weaker closing levels. From there, Treasuries rallied in concert with European bonds and managed to hold the modest gains through the European close. The implication here is that the net effect of US + European trading was slightly positive for bonds. Subtracting Europe from the equation led to weakness in US bonds, but we can't take cause and effect for granted. There were other market movers in play. These included headlines regarding the government shutdown. The tone was generally conciliatory--or at least not downright hostile--for both sides of the aisle. To whatever extent bonds were benefiting from the risk of a government shutdown, these headlines suggested bond market weakness. One additional fiscal...(read more)

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Rates Only Slightly Higher Despite Bond Market Weakness

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates were best described as " unchanged " today, although that may not be the case tomorrow. The afternoon hours saw bond markets (which dictate rate movement) come under some pressure. In the grand scheme of things, that pressure reinforces the narrow range we've been watching over the past few months. In the context of today's rate sheets, it was enough weakness for a few lenders to issue "reprices" (mid day rate changes--in this case, higher). Most lenders didn't raise rates today because bond markets didn't weaken enough to justify it. That said, the weakness still occurred, and unless things improve overnight, lenders will need to account for it in tomorrow morning's rates sheets. In other words, we start tomorrow with a bit of handicap, all other things being equal. In the morning...(read more)

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Homeowner Equity Gain Averages in Double Digits

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Nine years after what is acknowledged as the start of the housing crisis about 2.5 million homeowners remain underwater , but that number is down by 0.7 million since the third quarter of 2016. CoreLogic said today that those homeowners remain in negative equity despite rapid increases in the equity of homeowners nationwide. Negative equity applies to borrowers who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, and can occur because of a decline in a home's value, an increase in mortgage debt or both. The company's third quarter 2017 equity analysis shows homeowners with a mortgage (approximately 63 percent of the total) have seen their equity increase by 11.8 percent year-over-year, an average of $14,888 per homeowner and a nationwide aggregate of $870.6 billion. Negative equity nationwide...(read more)

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