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Home mortgage rates and real estate news - CNNMoney.com

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Thinking of buying a house? Here's where to start

Read full story for latest details.

Homebuying secrets from the real estate battlefield

In the middle of your house hunt and feeling a bit overwhelmed? We talked to recent home buyers to get their tips for navigating the market.

3 million first-time homebuyers have been shut out of the market

Over the past 10 years, three million first-time home buyers have been shut out of the housing market, according to a new report.

Here's how long it takes to save for a down payment

Saving for a down payment is often the biggest hurdle Millennials face when it comes to buying a home. And in some major cities, it will take at least a decade to save enough to put 20% down.

Why buying a condo at 29 was a financial windfall

Read full story for latest details.

These are the fastest-growing cities in the U.S.

Looking to make a move to a new city? Here are the 10 fastest growing large cities in the U.S., according to the Census Bureau.

First time home buyer? Here's what you need to know

Read full story for latest details.

4 things first-time homebuyers need to know

Read full story for latest details.

WSJ.com: 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.

Shortage of Industrial Space on Long Island Squeezes Tenants

Long Island’s shrinking industrial space has placed expanding tenants in a tough spot, forcing them to look east to Suffolk County and off the island entirely, according to real-estate services firm JLL.

Supermarkets Face a Growing Problem: Too Much Space

A massive build-out by retailers has left the country piled up with grocery shelves as consumers shift from big weekly shopping trips to more snacking and to-go meals.

Excuse Me, You're Blocking My Sun

Australia’s rapid embrace of rooftop panels—now installed on one in four homes in some areas—has collided with another hot spot of investment, construction of apartments and homes.

1031 Exchange Real Estate Tax Break Faces Extinction

A much-loved tax advantage in the commercial real-estate industry is on the chopping block even as chances dim for the passage of a broad federal tax overhaul this year.

Mortgage News Daily

MBS RECAP: "Nice" Rally But Lacking in Substance

Posted To: MBS Commentary

If there were a magical ratio comparing the overall movement in bond markets to the relevance of the factors motivating the movement, it would be off the charts with today's rally. A 4.72bp improvement in 10yr yields is nothing to shake a stick at--especially when it resulted in the best closing levels in nearly 2 months. But this particular rally is utterly lacking in a few key ingredients we normally like to see when bonds are green. First and foremost , there's just not any volume or liquidity to speak of at the moment. That's not altogether uncommon for this time of year, but it stands out a bit more when it's the caveat to an otherwise "nice" move. Before we go any deeper into that rabbit hole let's cut it short with an example to drive home the point. Imagine...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Back to 2017 Lows

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates reversed yesterday's move today, falling back in line with recent lows--also the lowest levels since November 2016. At this time of year, the bond markets that underlie mortgage rates tend to move more serendipitously. That worked in our favor today, but it's not indicative of new resolve or meaningful underlying motivations. In other words, it's just the way the ball bounced. That "random walk" COULD pause over the next 2 days, to some extent. The Kansas City district of the Fed is hosting its annual Jackson Hole symposium and there will be several big-ticket speakers including Fed Chair Janet Yellen. While markets have a pretty good sense of where Yellen and the Fed stand, they're a bit more interested in the European Central Bank (ECB). ECB President Mario Draghi will also...(read more)

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Competition, Declining Demand, Driving Credit Easing

Posted To: MND NewsWire

With mortgage volumes expected to decline, more lenders are telling Fannie Mae that they intend to loosen their credit standards. The company's second quarter 2017 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey found that, on net, the share of lenders reporting they have eased mortgage credit standards over the previous three months has continued the gradual uptick which started in the fourth quarter of last year. Additionally, when anticipating the next three months, the net share of lenders saying they plan to ease credit standards for GSE eligible, non-GSE eligible, and government loans reached or surpassed survey highs. "Expectations to ease credit standards climbed to survey highpoints in the second quarter as more lenders reported slowing mortgage demand and increasing concerns about competition from...(read more)

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Worst Annual Pace in 3 Years For New Home Sales

Posted To: MND NewsWire

New home sales in July were expected to remain steady after scoring a slight gain in June, instead they plunged to a rate even lower than those a year earlier. Three of the four geographic regions shared in the decline, Sales of newly constructed homes in July are estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 571,000 units. This is down 9.4 percent from June and 8.9 percent from the estimate for July 2016. The bad news was mitigated a bit as the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development revised their earlier June estimate to 630,000 units from their original estimate of 610,000. The consensus of analysts polled by Econoday was for the number to come in unchanged from June's 610,000 units. The range of estimates was 590,000 to 622,000 units. On a non-seasonally...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Bonds Trying to Turn Recent Floor Into a Ceiling

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Coincidentally, yesterday's Day Ahead talked about "pivot points." Now today, we see a prime example of a pivot point in action. Although I labeled it as 2.215% yesterday, let's simplify the conversation by using 2.22% today. A hallmark of "pivot" behavior is the tendency to act as both a floor and a ceiling . A pivot is a level that has been historically more likely to turn bonds away as opposed to letting them pass. In other words when 10yr yields have approached 2.22% from either direction recently, they've been more likely to bounce than to break through. The last 2 days have been no exception. With this morning's gains, it's tempting to conclude the 2.22% pivot will act as a ceiling in the same sort of way it did back in June, but as the chart suggests...(read more)

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LO Training Product; Upcoming Events; Vendors Partnering Up

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Trends? A few weeks ago, Ally offered to beat any other lender’s price. And last week 360 Mortgage Group announced a new platform that will allow customers to receive approval for a loan in just 15 minutes and cuts down the closing process to as few as eight days. The company’s NOLO platform ("No Originating Loan Officer") lets customers "complete the mortgage lending process entirely online without ever having to speak to a loan officer. Vendor News The Mortgage Collaborative has partnered with Notarize, the first digital platform to enable an entirely legal and compliant online mortgage closing process . Notarize is closing mortgages online in partnership with major lenders and title underwriters/agencies. Verified by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Notarize for Mortgage platform...(read more)

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Refinance Applications Continue Outperforming Purchases

Posted To: MND NewsWire

The volume of refinancing applications, shored up by interest rates that remained at seven- and eight- month lows, rose for the fifth time in the last six weeks . However, during the week ended August 18, the gain was a marginal one, not enough to keep the overall level of applications from declining. The Mortgage Bankers Association said its Market Composite Index, a measure of that volume, was down 0.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, and lost 2.0 percent before adjustment, when compared to the week ended August 11. The Refinancing Index moved higher, but only by a scant 0.3 percent. The refinancing share of applications rose to 48.7 percent from 47.8 percent, the third straight week that share gained ground. The Purchase Index declined by 2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis and...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: With Nothing Better to Follow, Bonds Took Cues From Stocks

Posted To: MBS Commentary

I'm not shy about dismissing the conventional wisdom of bond yields and stock prices following each other. We're talking about some iteration of the quintessential quip: "buy stocks, sell bonds," or vice versa. Over the shorter time horizons, we do indeed see that sort of relationship play out from time to time, but the opposite has been true for the last 40 years as both stocks and bonds have rallied together. The lock-step movement is most prevalent during times of very light liquidity around holidays or at the end of Summer. Today was a classic example of bonds being left with nothing better to follow after European markets closed. Europe had been helping us hold ground through the noon hour. After Europe closed, the biggest show in town was the stock market rally. Taking...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Nominally Higher, But Still Near Long-Term Lows

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates rose today, but by a small enough amount that it shouldn't crush too many hopes and dreams. For all intents and purposes, rates remain in line with the lowest levels since November 2016. Any movement in recent weeks has been limited to "upfront costs" as opposed to interest rates themselves. That has the potential to be a bit confusing, so I like to break it down from time to time. Now is one of those times! There are upfront costs tied to your interest rate. They can be positive or negative. Markets tend not to move enough for rates to change to the next .125% higher or lower (the typical gap between adjacent rate offerings). The upfront costs allow a sort of "fine-tuning" of the overall cost of financing. The longer the mortgage is retained, the smaller the impact the upfront...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: What's a Pivot Point? Which One to Watch?

Posted To: MBS Commentary

We have a dedicated primer on pivot points here . But let's look at a timely example with the pivot points we've been tracking in recent weeks. Actually, only one of the two has been actively discussed, the other is both newer and older (it was in play several months ago, took a break, and is now back in play due to last week's gains). The pivot points in question are 10yr yield levels of 2.215 and 2.182% (read the primer on why we look at 10yr yields on an MBS site here , if you like). Taking these levels out to the thousandths place isn't really necessary, so you're welcome to think about them as 2.21-2.22 and 2.18-ish. Yes, I would love it if things were more concrete and tidy, but they never will be when it comes to markets. There's nothing too mysterious about pivot...(read more)

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Home Price Gains Slow on FHFA Index

Posted To: MND NewsWire

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported on Tuesday that home prices were up in 48 states and the District of Columbia during the second quarter of 2017. The agency said that its Housing Price Index appreciated 1.6 percent compared to the first quarter of the year. Year-over-year prices, expressed as an increase from the second quarter of 2016, was 6.6 percent. On a monthly basis, prices in June were 0.1 percent higher than in May. All of FHFA's national numbers marked deceleration from earlier reports . The year-over-year figure in May was 6.6 percent and May's prices rose 0.4 percent when compared with April. The slowing of increases surprised analysts polled by Econoday. There were looking for even stronger monthly gains than in May, from 0.3 to 0.6 percent, with a consensus of...(read more)

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Power of Attorney Changes by State; Tweak LIBOR Rather Than Eliminate?

Posted To: Pipeline Press

From LOs to investors, no matter the real estate market, the story is the same: “Loosen up the credit guidelines all you want, but if there’s no inventory of houses for sale or being built, then I’ll merely have 20 prequals on my desk instead of the 10 I have now.” State-Level Power of Attorney News Yes, California has 20 million people more living in it than New York. The Census Bureau reports the top 10 largest states in population in 2016 are: CA (39.2mm), TX (27.9mm), FL (20.6mm), NY (19.8mm), IL (12.8mm), PA (12.8mm), OH (11.6mm), GA (10.3mm) and NC (10.2mm). All told, this group of states represents 51% of the US population. What does California have in store for housing? Due up soon: "The package of housing bills , the statement said, will include ongoing funding...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Was the Eclipse a Market Mover?

Posted To: MBS Commentary

It's a good thing financial media outlets aren't too shy about covering topics outside the financial sphere because without the eclipse, there would have been nothing to talk about today. Volume and volatility dropped off a cliff, abruptly. In fact, the difference in tone was big enough that I wouldn't mind chalking up some of the ABSENCE of trading as a symptom of the eclipse. In other words, it wasn't necessarily a market mover as much as a market inhibitor. All that having been said, it would be hard to sort out just how much of the market's quietude was attributable to eclipse as opposed to the simple nature of the Summertime trading environment. Mondays tend to struggle for relevance in August regardless of astronomical events. If the eclipse possibly didn't matter...(read more)

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Mortgage Rates Steady at 2017 Lows

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates held steady to start the new week. This keeps them in line with the best levels since November 2016. There were no interesting developments in financial markets or in terms of economic data today. Most news coverage was focused on the solar eclipse. It's a good thing the eclipse happened, because it's not entirely clear what financial media outlets could have possibly discussed otherwise. But again, with rates at the lowest levels of the year, "boring" and "sideways" are only terms that inconvenience someone trying to write about market movements whereas they're a relative boon to consumers who are buying a new home or refinancing an existing mortgage. 3.875% remains the most prevalently-quoted conventional 30yr fixed rate for top tier scenarios, although quite a few lenders...(read more)

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Residential Investment Weighed Down Q2 GDP

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Real residential investment subtracted from GDP in the second quarter of the year to the greatest extent since the third quarter of 2010. Fannie Mae's August Economic Developments notes a 6.8 percent annualized decline, but the company's economists expect that sector's contribution to rebound in the third quarter. Residential investment was only part of the GDP story with the first half of the year now complete. Fannie Mae had forecast growth of 2.1 percent on an annualized basis in its previous forecast, but midyear saw growth of only 1.9 percent. There should be a slight improvement in the second half of the year, the economists but are holding to their earlier whole year forecast of 2.0 percent. Risks to their forecast are called roughly balanced. On the upside, consumer spending may not...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Nothing to do With The Eclipse

Posted To: MBS Commentary

Welcome! Here is a safe haven from all of the eclipse talk. It won't be mentioned at all in this article. Never mind that it's in the title and the first 3 sentences, because we're about to move on. Bond markets begin another "summertime" week where "summertime" refers not only to atmospheric seasonality but also to changes in market environment. We've talked about this ad nauseum recently--largely because it's summer and the seasonality is one of the more interesting features of bond trading at the moment. And yes, that's like saying that the most interesting thing about a sloth is how slow it moves. If you're interested in getting caught up on some of this "summertime" stuff, Friday's Day Ahead went into greater detail. Thursday's...(read more)

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Freddie, Fannie, and Lender Shifts in Appraisal and Inspection Policies

Posted To: Pipeline Press

What does $980k buy in the SF suburb of Vallejo, CA? A property designed by Julia Morgan (think Hearst Castle) with floating stairways, over-sized eves, massive beams, decks, and the use of exquisite wood wainscoting. The photos are sure impressive . Freddie and Fannie News, Lender Changes For wholesale and non-delegated clients, Parkside Lending, LLC , a national wholesale and correspondent lender, is pleased to announce that it has adopted the new Fannie Mae DU enhancement that will allow Property Inspection Waivers (PIW) for purchase transactions . DU will compare the address for the subject property to the property address found in Collateral Underwriter (CU). When a match is found, DU will then use the information to determine if the loan is eligible for a PIW. Effective with loan casefiles...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Bonds Manage to Close 'Unchanged' Despite Some Volatility

Posted To: MBS Commentary

In the Day Ahead, we discussed bond traders' probable goals regarding keeping things as calm as possible. This depended on unexpected headlines and movements in external markets. Either of those were capable of throwing curveballs , and both threw a few today! Out of the gate, bonds were flat, but once equities trading picked up, Treasuries improved in line with a morning stock sell-off. At the time, it looked like stocks were set for a death-spiral well-into the lowest levels in more than a month. While most averages were indeed lower on the day, the losses were moderate. In fact, stocks were briefly positive due to mid-day Trump-related drama. This installment featured Bannon's departure from the White House team. I don't have any political views on this development, but markets...(read more)

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More 2017 Lows for Rates; More Trump Drama

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates moved lower again. Drama surrounding the Trump administration was also present. But this time around, the political theater wasn't responsible for the move lower in rates. In fact, it resulted in multiple lenders adjusting rate sheets higher in the middle of the day. Fortunately, rates fell enough in the morning that the net result was still positive. The average lender is at new lows for 2017 (lowest since just after the November 2016 election, in fact). 3.875% is now the most prevalently-quoted conventional 30yr fixed rate for top tier scenarios, although quite a few lenders remain at 4.00%. Next week brings the normally-hotly-anticipated Jackson Hole symposium, but with monetary policy for both the Fed and the European Central Bank essentially an open book of late, market...(read more)

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Freddie Mac to Automate Appraisals for Some Purchase Mortgages

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Freddie Mac announced today that, going forward, not every application for a purchase mortgage will necessarily trigger an appraisal . A new automated alternative to traditional appraisals, which the company introduced for refinances in June, will soon be available for purchase mortgages. It may save borrowers in some instances as much as $500, and reduce their wait to close a loan by seven to ten days. Freddie Mac's automated collateral evaluation (ACE) uses a proprietary model to assesses the need for an appraisal by using data from multiple listing services, public records, and information on historical home values to determine collateral risks. Lenders must submit loan data through Freddie Mac's Loan Product Advisor to determine if a property is eligible for ACE. ACE will be available for...(read more)

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Freddie Mac Puts Price on All-Cash Transactions

Posted To: MND NewsWire

As investors flooded into the housing market after it collapses, they brought cash with them. At one point, 35 percent of home sale transactions were closed without a mortgage, i.e. were all-cash sales. Home prices are up, the bargains are gone, but cash sales remain significantly elevated compared to historic levels. In the August edition of Freddie Mac's Outlook , the company's economists reference recent data from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) indicating that 18 percent of homes sold in June were all-cash transactions. Historically, about 10 percent of home sales are for cash. The economists say that most people do not like to invest a lot of cash into real estate because it is illiquid and has high transaction costs . However, given the current low inventories, the housing...(read more)

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Appraisal News; Lock Process Changes; HARP, CRT

Posted To: Pipeline Press

Brad Pitt - a wannabe architect? In 2007, Pitt founded the Make It Right Foundation to build homes for families whose original residences had been washed away in Hurricane Katrina. Here's one - the "Tiny House" - very cool . Mr. Pitt's accountants know a thing or two about dealing with the IRS (yes, I know, a weak segue), and for anyone in lending working with 4506-Ts know that the IRS is conducting maintenance beginning last night until 6AM ET on 8/21. During this time, 4506-T services will be unavailable. You are still able to submit orders during the maintenance period and all requests received during that time will be submitted to the IRS once their system is back up. Lock Nesk News and Trends A while back I heard someone joke about, "The lock desk monster," and no, they weren't in Scotland...(read more)

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MBS Day Ahead: Most Traders Thinking "Don't Rock The Boat"

Posted To: MBS Commentary

A maritime analogy for bond trading in the Summertime... In the summer months especially, there's a boat-friendly baseline weather pattern offshore. Lest you think that's a generality that doesn't merit your full confidence, check out the following shots of wave height at the moment. Blue is calm, and pink/red/crimson indicates big waves. You will likely notice a distinct difference between Northern and Southern hemispheres. As you recall from your earth sciences class in grade school, it's Winter in the southern hemisphere right now. You don't really want to do much boating off the coast of Australia. If you do, you know that you'll need to expect severe sea conditions. It's much the opposite in the Northern hemisphere. Here, there's a certain baseline of calm...(read more)

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MBS RECAP: Introducing The "Snow Cohn"

Posted To: MBS Commentary

What do you get when bond markets embark on a snowball rally due to headlines concerning Trump's Economic Advisor Gary Cohn? A delicious "Snow Cohn," of course (my team of writers assured me that was worth what I paid). In all seriousness, there were some serious tweets earlier today concerning Cohn's potential resignation and there was certainly a snowball rally that followed. Interestingly enough, even when the tweets were debunked (he's not really resigning) there wasn't a profound bounce back in the initial market movement. While some might suspect the terror attacks in Spain were the reason for that, we probably would have seen a bigger reaction in $/Yen and European equities futures were that the exclusive case. Spain may have contributed to the overall demand...(read more)

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Trump Administration Drama Pushing Rates Even Lower

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates fell yesterday in response to a tweet about Trump disbanding his councils of CEOs. Twitter was in play again today . This time around it was Gary Cohn, Trump's economic advisor. Rather, it was rumors of Cohn's departure that sent financial markets into a tail-spin. Terror attacks in Spain may have played a supporting role. The net effect was heavy losses for stocks and solid gains for bonds. When bonds improve, rates fall . Mortgage lenders continue to be slow to pass along the gains in bond markets in general, but they're certainly passing them along. Multiple lenders issued positive reprices in the afternoon as bond markets rallied. Conventional 30yr fixed rates are increasingly being quoted at 3.875% as opposed to 4.0% on top tier scenarios. On average, rates are the lowest...(read more)

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