Housing Market

Philadelphia sees second-largest city decline in homeownership in U.S.

A recent analysis of census data by The Pew Charitable Trusts showed homeownership has fallen off sharply in Philadelphia in recent years, declining more than almost any other large city in the U.S. According to the report, “Homeownership in Philadelphia: On the Decline,” just over half of all of the city’s housing units were... Read More...

Pending home sales slip in June after months of consecutive gains

New data released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) showed a slowdown in pending home sales for the month of June, following three months of consecutive gains. Though pending home sales were down in June, the NAR’s index for pending home sales remains at a level consistent with average activity, according to a NAR press... Read More...

Many homebuyers fail to calculate cost of potential mortgage

A recent poll commissioned by Discover Home Loans showed a large percentage of prospective homebuyers see a home purchase as a good investment, but many have not calculated the potential monthly costs. According to the survey, while 87 percent of people know what kind of property they can afford, just over half—52 percent—of prospective... Read More...

May sees spike in pending home sales across all regions of U.S.

Pending home sales spiked in May amid lower mortgage rates and higher inventory, with increases in pending sales across all four regions of the country. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the Pending Home Sales Index based on contract signings rose 6.1 percent in May, though figures remain below last year’s numbers. The... Read More...

FHFA to reach out to HARP-eligible homeowners in Chicago

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently announced that it plans to reach out to American homeowners about the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) through a town hall-style meeting in Chicago next week. Next month, on July 8 at Chicago’s Woodson Regional Library in the Washington Heights neighborhood, FHFA Director Mel Watt... Read More...

ICBA introduces new jumbo fixed-rate loan product

The Independent Community Bankers Association recently introduced a new jumbo, fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgage product designed to help banks assist customers in high-priced housing markets. “While this segment of the housing market is small, it continues to gain strength and community banks are always looking for products that best... Read More...

Existing home sales rise in April for first time in 2014

Data released on Thursday by the National Association of Realtors showed existing home sales increased for the first time this year in April, accompanied by rising inventory and moderate home prices. Total existing home sales—completed transactions including single-family homes, townhouses and co-ops—rose 1.3 percent to approximately 4.7... Read More...

Wells Fargo to offer cash prizes to homebuyers in contest

Wells Fargo announced on Monday that it will give away three $250,000 cash prizes to contestants who submit entries in response to the question, “What makes a place feel like a home?” Using words and a photo or a 30-second video, contests must describe the elements that make a house a home. A panel of judges will review the entries and... Read More...

Mortgage credit availability declines, all-cash sales on rise

Mortgage credit availability fell slightly last month while the number of all-cash sales is on the rise, according to recent data released by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and National Association of Realtors (NAR). The Mortgage Credit Availability Index declined approximately 0.2 percent in April. “There continues to be... Read More...

Survey: Homebuyers want additional information on purchasing process

A recent survey from Chase showed that while most homebuyers said they were prepared as they entered the homebuying process, a majority indicated they would have liked to know more about the financial details associated with purchasing a home. The survey, “What I Wish I Knew About the Homebuying Process,” showed that 90 percent of... Read More...

Mortgage rates post slight decline in March

Data released by the Federal Housing Finance Administration (FHFA) on Tuesday showed a slight decline in mortgage rates during the month of March to reach 4.22 percent—a 0.8 percent decrease from February. Because interest rates are generally locked in between 30 and 45 days before the close of a loan, the March data reflects rates from... Read More...

Freddie Mac obtains new credit risk insurance policies to prevent losses

Freddie Mac said last week that it has taken out insurance policies to cover up to approximately $270 million of losses for part of the credit risk associated with single-family loans, thereby reducing taxpayer exposure to mortgage losses. Underwritten by a group of “well-capitalized and established insurers and reinsurers,” the policies... Read More...

Existing home sales remain flat in March

Data released by the National Association of Realtors on Tuesday showed existing home sales remained flat in March as home prices slowed their upward climb. Existing home sales, or completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, fell 0.2 percent in March and were approximately eight percent below... Read More...

FHFA to expand national mortgage database, collect more loan info

The Federal Housing Finance Agency said recently it plans to expand the national mortgage database it created with the CFPB next month to collect additional information on borrowers and loans. The FHFA said, beginning May 27, it would begin collecting more detailed demographic and personal contact information on borrowers and their households,... Read More...

Freddie Mac economists predict boom in home purchases for 2014

Freddie Mac economists said in a blog last week that the U.S. housing market will continue to see a decline in the number of refinances, while home purchases will expand in coming months. During the first quarter of 2013, 71 percent of all mortgage originations were refinances, according to data from Freddie Mac, but the number fell to 51... Read More...

Monthly mortgage originations fall to lowest level in 14 years

Data released by Fidelity company Black Knight Financial Services last week showed monthly mortgage originations fell last year to their lowest level in 14 years, but sales remained steady despite the decline in the number of new mortgages. “February’s data showed the continued trend of declining origination activity we’ve been observing... Read More...

Pending home sales, existing home sales decline in February

Data released by the National Association of Realtors last week showed pending home sales continued their downward fall in February, marking the eighth consecutive month of decline. According to the data, pending homes sales in the Midwest rose 2.8 percent while sales in the West rose 2.3 percent in February. The gains were offset, however, by... Read More...

Illinois bankers call on FHFA to raise Chicago MSA loan limits

The Community Bankers Association of Illinois called on the Federal Housing Finance Agency last week to raise the loan limits for the Chicagoland Metropolitan Statistical Area, saying the current loan limit of $417,000 has negatively impacted the metro area’s housing market. In December, the FHFA requested public comment on a plan to... Read More...

AEI’s Glassman criticizes Johnson-Crapo GSE reform proposal

In a recent blog post, James K. Glassman, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said the draft proposal for housing reform released by members of the Senate Banking Committee is a “complicated apparatus disturbingly similar to Obamacare.” Sens. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and... Read More...

More Americans plan to move, purchase home in 2014

Data released by American Express on Tuesday showed more Americans are planning a move in 2014 as even more plan to purchase a new home. According to the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, 16 percent of Americans are planning to move in 2014, compared to 10 percent in 2012. Of those planning to move, 46 percent plan to purchase a... Read More...

Wells Fargo launches NeighborhoodLIFT program in Denver

Wells Fargo recently partnered with NeighborWorks America and Community Resources and Housing Development Corp. to launch the Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT program, which seeks to increase homeownership and bolster low- and moderate-income communities in Denver. “This innovative collaboration between NeighborWorks America, our network member... Read More...

National Council on Aging sets up senior reverse mortgage counseling

The National Council on Aging announced last week the availability of a new national toll-free hotline offering reverse mortgage counseling to older homeowners. Reverse mortgages allow seniors to take out a portion of their home equity and continue to live in their homes. Consumers considering a reverse mortgage, such as the FHA Home Equity... Read More...

Senate Banking Committee reaches housing finance reform agreement

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) announced on Tuesday that they have reached a bipartisan agreement on housing finance reform after months of negotiations. “There is near unanimous agreement that our current housing finance system is not sustainable in the long-term and reform is... Read More...

Gen Y comprises largest share of overall, first-time homebuyers

Data released on Tuesday by the National Association of Realtors showed that Generation Y—or Millenial—consumers accounted for the largest share of both overall and first-time homebuyers in recent home purchases. Millenials, sometimes referred to as Generation Next—those born between 1980 and 1995—accounted for 31 percent of recent home... Read More...

Lenders loosen mortgage credit for third consecutive month in February

Data released by the Mortgage Bankers Association on Tuesday showed mortgage availability increased for the third consecutive month, indicating lenders are more willing to extend credit to borrowers. Mortgage credit availability increased 0.44 percent in February to reach 113.5 on the MBA’s mortgage credit availability index, though the MBA... Read More...

Delinquencies, foreclosures drop in fourth quarter to pre-crisis levels

Data released last week by the Mortgage Bankers Association showed mortgage delinquency and foreclosure rates fell in the fourth quarter of 2013 to reach pre-crisis levels. “We continue to see substantial improvement in both delinquency and foreclosure rates, with most measures now back to pre-crisis levels,” MBA Chief Economist and Senior... Read More...

CUNA urges lawmakers to advance housing finance, data security reforms

The Credit Union National Association urged Congress on Wednesday to press forward on housing finance and data security reform. CUNA sent letters to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), Ranking Committee Member Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Senate Banking Committee Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) and Ranking... Read More...

OCC issues updated guidance booklet on mortgage banking

The OCC recently issued an updated guidance booklet on mortgage banking—part of the “Comptroller’s Handbook”—to include changes in mortgage servicing and other regulation, including the CFPB’s new mortgage rules. The revised booklet combines guidance and examination procedures from national banks and federal savings associations.... Read More...

New home sales jump 35 percent in January

Recent data from the Mortgage Bankers Association showed new home sales jumped by 35 percent in January, selling at an estimated pace of 543,000 units, compared to 402,000 units in December. “While the big jump may appear to conflict with other data, such as MBA’s purchase application index and NAR’s existing home sales data that point to... Read More...

Prudential Mortgage provides $15.8 billion in financing in 2013

Prudential Mortgage Capital Co. announced on Monday that it provided $15.8 billion in financing in 2013, a 30 percent increase from 2012’s $12.2 billion. The $15.8 billion in financing includes $1.2 billion for new loans in Europe and Japan, of which $848 million was originated by the London office in Europe, $2.2 billion in conventional... Read More...

Foreclosure inventory declines by 30 percent in 2013

Recent data released by Black Knight Financial Services showed foreclosure inventory declined by nearly 30 percent in 2013, following a decrease of approximately 20 percent in 2012. The data released as part of the Black Knight Mortgage Monitor showed foreclosures are now just 4.6 times the pre-crisis average, down from more than eight times... Read More...

Indiana Credit Union League to host mortgage lending compliance seminar

The Indiana Credit Union League will hold a mortgage lending compliance seminar for state credit union compliance professionals on March 4 to discuss new CFPB rules, including disclosure and timing requirements. The one-day seminar covers disclosure requirements for closed-end, consumer real estate transactions; the verification and approval... Read More...

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