Are we on our way?

Pending-Home-Sales-IncreaseThe National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that pending home sales increased in April for the fourth consecutive month and reached their highest peak in nine years. The steady gains in contract activity each month this year highlight the fact that buyer demand is strong

“Homeowners looking to sell this spring appear to be in the driver’s seat, as there are more buyers competing for a limited number of homes available for sale,” Lawrence Yun chief economist from NAR.

“The housing market can handle interest rates well above 4 percent as long as inventory improves to slow price growth and underwriting standards ease to normal levels so that qualified buyers—especially first-time buyers—are able to obtain a mortgage,” Yun adds.

Realtors expect for total existing-home sales in 2015 to be around 5.24 million, an increase of 6.1 percent from 2014. The national median existing-home price for all of this year is expected to increase around 6.7 percent. In 2014, existing-home sales declined 2.9 percent and prices rose 5.7 percent.

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Is HUD delaying Foreclosures? Yes!

HUDThe U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Friday announced significant changes to its Distressed Asset Stabilization (DASP) program meant to offer more protections to borrowers facing foreclosure and increase non-profit participation in purchasing distressed loans. This enhancements for HUD’s Distressed Asset Program will provide borrowers more Protection.

Under the new rules, loan servicers are required to delay foreclosure on a home for a year and evaluate all borrowers facing foreclosure for participation in the government’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) or a similar loss mitigation program. Loan servicers could previously foreclose on a home six months after they received the loan and were not required to evaluate borrowers for loss mitigation programs, though they were encouraged to do so.

Is Consumer Confidence on the rise?

Is Consumer Confidence on the rise?

bigstock-Dollar-Raising-Charts-34022480U.S. Consumer Confidence  rebounded strongly in March within optimism over the labor market while house prices increased in January.

Rising confidence and home prices adds to the belief that the first-quarter slowdown will be temporary.

While consumers were less optimistic about the short-term outlook, they had greater confidence in the labor market, with the share of those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead increasing significantly. The proportion of consumers expecting income growth also rose solidly, which should help to strengthen  Consumer spending.

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Keep Your Money Where It Is, if you’re planning on buying a home!

Keep Your Money Where It Is, if you’re planning on buying a home!

spend_less_money_save_moreIt’s not wise to make any huge purchases or move your money around three to six months before buying a home. You don’t want to take any big chances with your credit profile. Lenders need to see that you’re reliable and they want a complete paper trail so that they can get you the best loan possible.

If you open new credit cards, amass too much debt or buy a lot of big ticket items, you’re going to have a hard time getting a loan.

Are You Facing Foreclosure? Get ready to get more help!

Are You Facing Foreclosure? Get ready to get more help!

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has recently proposed additional set of measures to expand foreclosure protections for mortgage borrowers.

Currently the CFPB continues engaging in the outreach task along with consumer advocacy groups, industry representatives, and other stakeholders to develop additional provisions to protect consumers and make it easier for companies to comply with the rules. New proposals would give greater protections to mortgage borrowers.

Among these new proposals are a number of provisions to improve borrower/servicer communications and to clarify previous regulations, such as,

    • Protections for mortgage heirs
    • Servicers would be required to notify borrowers when their loss mitigation applications are complete and when their foreclosure protections kick in
    • The proposal offers full disclosure on “clarifications” from previous rules dealing with servicing rights transfers between firms.
    • Would require servicers to provide periodic loss mitigation information and other statements to borrowers in bankruptcy.
    • Servicing firms must also provide written early intervention notices to let those borrowers known about their loss mitigation options even after they’ve been told to stop contact.
    • Clarifying the meaning of “delinquency” for the purpose of its servicing rules. Delinquency begins on the day a borrower fails to make a periodic payment. If that payment is later made up, the bureau proposes that the date of delinquency should be pushed up creating room for servicers to consider a payment as “timely”.

A full summary of the proposal can be found at CFPB’s web site.

Consumer Sentiment: Moving Forward!

Consumer Sentiment: Moving Forward!

Consumer confidence declined in September, rebounded in October and jumped more than two points in a preliminary November estimate, beating economic forecasts and hitting a more than seven-year high.

The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment registered 89.4 in a mid-month reading, the best showing since July 2007. Economists had forecast the measure would hit 87.5, with some predicting as high as 89.

What factor have contributed to this improvement? The declining of oil prices and an improving job market were probably the main factors that led to this surge in consumer sentiment. A more favorable business conditions perhaps also helped the consumers’ view of the present situation. This solid increase suggests consumers have largely dismissed concerns about slowing global growth and have ignored the sharp swings in financial markets earlier this month

US consumers expect better economic growth and rising incomes in the coming months and overall positive growth in our economy, leading to a stronger dollar and making other investments more attractive. Consumers regained confidence and are more optimistic now about their future earnings potential, and with the holiday season getting closer and closer, we may see ever higher numbers in consumer’s confidence.

What about the Housing Market? Considering that the Federal Financing Housing Agency has recently opened more doors for eligibility criteria in the purchase of  homes, we expect to continue with good news about the economic outlook in general.

Sales of Existing Homes Increase, however not enough

Sales of Existing Homes Increase, however not enough

Sales of previously owned homes rose in September to the highest level in a year, adding to signs that residential real estate will be a plus for the economy.

National Association of Realtors reported today in Washington that closings on home sales advanced 2.4 % to 5.17 annual rate, and purchases rose 1.9% from the same month last year before adjusting for seasonal patterns.

Why this is a great time to sell your home?

Why this is a great time to sell your home?

On the way, easier lending standards and faster wage gains would attract even more buyers, including those making their first entrance to homeownership.

Sales of existing single-family homes increased 2% to an annual rate of 4.56 million in September from the prior month, also the fastest pace in a year. Purchases of multifamily properties including condominiums rose 5.2% to a 610,000 pace.

Of all purchases, cash transactions accounted for about 24%, down from 33% 12 months earlier, Investors, 63% of whom paid cash 14% of the market last month, in September 2013, they accounted for 19%. And First-time buyers accounted for 29% of the market for a third month in September. Distressed sales, accounted for 10% of the total

We are aware that residential real estate market has definitely gotten better; however it has not fully recovered. There is a lot more to be done!

Homeownership at Best!

Homeownership at Best!

Federal Housing Finance Agency has been working towards a plan to open what many we see as underwriting standards that are too restrictive.

Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, their regulator and lenders are close to an agreement that could greatly expand mortgage credit while helping lenders protect themselves from charges of making bad loans, according to people familiar with the matter.

Homeownership getting better!

Homeownership Gets Better!

If the agreement is completed, lenders may be more willing to lend to borrowers with lower credit scores and smaller down payments.

Now that lenders are starting to remove some of the credit overlays, it is time to improve the growth of homeownership in the country

We expect FHFA to report the steps to further move and clarify lender liability and support the return of the 97% LTV product at the GSEs, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have recouped tens of billions of dollars in penalties from lenders in recent years over claims that the lenders made underwriting mistakes on loans they sold to the mortgage giants.

However, Lenders have blamed those penalties for tight credit conditions and for prompting them to make loans only to borrowers with near-pristine credit.

We hope these initiatives will have a meaningful impact on the mortgage market, and we can see positive changes in the direction of the mortgages industry after years of tightening credit issues.

Next Tuesday will see the existing home sales report for September, on Thursday the FHFA purchase-only house price index for August, and Friday the new home sales report.

 

Save on your Mortgage NOW!

HELOCs the next thing home credit product? Mortgage rates are historically low, and many owners have the opportunity to take advantage, but not all owners pay close attention to these numbers.  

You have the opportunity to investigate the possibility of refinancing through HARP or stream line if your loan is FHA to take advantage of the historic rates.  

You can analyze  what financial options give you the best interest rate and  most convenient terms according to your personal situation, and you do this by comparing these rates from various financial institutions through the Good Faith Estimate. This simple action prompts banks to be more competitive and offer rates lower while they. 

Mortgage rates are closely linked to the action of the Federal Reserve – Fed and the economy, so it’s important that you analyze your financial situation to see if you could take advantage of the today historic rates, before they take off.     

Let me explain with numbers in this example:

Balance of   mortgage:  $ 200,000 –

§  Interest @6.5% Monthly Payment 1,440.                                           

§  Interest @3.75% Monthly Payment $ 1,014.                                           

§  Total Savings Monthly $ 426.                                                          

§  Total Savings Per Year $5,112.

§  30 Years Total Savings  $153.360.

Check your mortgage payments,  interest rate,  balance and the pending term of the life on your loan, so you can determine if refinancing is best for you. The Government Program HARP that does not require evaluation of the value of the property, conventional and FHA  Streamline Refinance are great choices to consider allowing substantial savings.

Don’t Miss It Out!

 

 

Mortgage Rates Drop After Fed Minutes

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Mortgage Rates Drop After Fed Minutes

Mortgage Rates put on quite the show today after Fed minutes announcement, resulting in the lowest rates we have seen since June 2013.

Today’s improvement was all about the Fed. Investors who trade securities that dictate mortgages, were concerned about last month’s Fed Announcement that could it justify a higher move in rates.  That speculation contributed to the increases in rates seen in the first half of September.

After the 2pm release today, bonds-including the mortgage-backed-securities that dictate mortgage rates-moved to their best levels of the year.  After beginning of this morning in a more conservative stance, most lenders released new rates sheets reflecting the market improvements.