Real Estate, Is it for Real?

HELOCs the next thing home credit product? Home prices, including distressed sales, rose year-over-year by 5.9% in March, according to data released Tuesday by CoreLogic.

The CoreLogic Home Price Index report found that March was the 37th consecutive month to feature year-over-year increases in home prices across the country. Month-to-month, home prices also rose by 2%, including distressed sales.

CoreLogic’s HPI Forecast estimated that prices will continue to increase month-to-month in April by 0.8% when including distressed sales and 0.7% without these properties

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ARE WE ON THE RIGHT TRACK?

ARE WE ON THE RIGHT TRACK?

foreclosure-montageEight national banks,  Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, HSBC, OneWest Bank, PNC, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo  saw the performance of their first-lien mortgages improved in the fourth quarter of 2014, while the delinquency rate on those mortgages and the foreclosure activity continued to decline, according to a quarterly report on mortgage performance by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) released Friday.

The mortgages covered in the report comprised about 45 percent of all outstanding residential mortgages in the United States – about 23.1 million mortgages with principal balances totaling about $3.9 trillion as of December 31, 2014.

Foreclosure inventory dropped by 39.7 percent year-over-year in Q4 down to 315,022, and Home retention actions, which included modifications, trial period plans, and shorter-term payment plans, totaled 195,577 in Q4, a decline of 19.5 percent year over year.

What do you think…

House Price Index Up 0.3 Percent in January

House Price Index Up 0.3 Percent in January

Prices-going-up-graphic-2U.S. house prices rose in January, up 0.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous month, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) monthly House Price Index (HPI). The previously reported 0.8 percent change in December was revised downward to a 0.7 percent change.

The FHFA HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. From January 2014 to January 2015, house prices were up 5.1 percent. The U.S. index is 3.5 percent below its March 2007 peak and is roughly the same as the December 2005 index level.

Existing home sales slightly rebound

Existing home sales slightly rebound

Why this is a great time to sell your home?

 This is a great time to sell your home!

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 1.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.88 million in February from 4.82 million in January. Sales are 4.7% higher than a year ago and above year-over-year totals for the fifth consecutive month.

56 Percent of 3.3 Million HELOCs Scheduled to Reset With Higher Payments

realestatehousemoneymi600-resize-600x338A total of 3,262,036 HELOCs with an estimated total balance of $158 billion that originated during the housing price bubble between 2005 and 2008 are still open and scheduled to reset between 2015 and 2018.

Realty Trac the nation’s leading source for comprehensive housing data, today released its first-ever U.S. HELOC Resetting Report, which found that 56 percent of the 3.3 million Home Equity Lines of Credit potentially resetting with higher, fully amortizing monthly payments from 2015 to 2018 are on properties that are seriously underwater.

With 645,872 HELOCs, California led the way among the states in terms of sheer volume of resetting HELOCs. A total of 423,706 (66 percent) of those resetting HELOCs in California are on homes that still seriously underwater

 

High Mortgage Payments? Now is your time to change it!

High Mortgage Payments? Now is your time to change it!

If you have higher mortgage payments, now is the time to change it!  In recent years we have seen many changes in our national economy. We have seen cuts in interest rates given by the Federal Reserve cuts not seen for many years. actnow

One situation that influenced home foreclosures for many homeowners were the high interest rates they were granted. These mortgage loans  were presented for a large number of months as a fixed payments and later converted into variable rates, causing a drastic financial instability in many homeowners facing now a new higher mortgage payment.

The HARP Refinance Program gives the Homeowners that have not been behind in the last 12 months, and can prove income under the new conditions and repayment capacity; the opportunity to refinance with low current interest rates. This means that you can refinance even if the actual mortgage balance is higher than the value of your property on the market today.  The HARP and FHA programs are the only programs that allow you to refinance under these terms.

Compare and discuss your options and determine if refinancing NOW is financially right for you. The essence of refinancing is to find the best fit and financial balance  for you and your family. Remember, an informed decision is the best guarantee!

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.

Opening Doors for Homebuyers!

Opening Doors for Homebuyers!

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is the first of six financial regulators to release the final version of the long-awaited qualified residential mortgage (QRM) rule. The National Association of Realtors applauds this action because it will make possible to incorporate rules that include a broad definition for Qualified Mortgage standards implemented earlier this year.

Got your House?

Got your House?

Under the QRM rule, loans are generally considered qualified if the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio is 43 percent, among other things and there is not onerous down payment requirement, as regulators had originally proposed.

The NAR strongly opposed earlier versions of the rule that included 20 and 30 percent down payment requirements, which would have denied millions of Americans access to the lowest-cost and safest mortgages

For lenders, having these two rules in alignment provides the clarity they’ve long been asking for, widening and deepening loan eligibility and availability, which has been one of the main stumbling blocks to increased home sales.

Homebuyers will have now more credit availability reflecting an increase in home purchases, and refis. Way to go!

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.

 

Fannie Mae sets new rates effective October 14

Fannie Mae sets new rates effective October 14

Fannie Mae is set to raise the benchmark interest rate for its Standard Modification program. Fannie Mae will raise its required interest rate for standard modifications from 4.375% to 4.5%.  The rate was lowered from 4.5% to 4.375% on Sept. 15, but will now rise again in one week. Fannie Mae announced the change on Tuesday in an email sent to its servicers.

When the program began in Jan. 2012, Fannie’s benchmark interest rate was 4.625%. Fannie lowered the interest rate to 4.25% in Sept. 2012, before dropping it to 4% on Dec. 1, 2012.

“Fannie Mae Standard Modification interest rate is not determined on a preset schedule,” Fannie said in the note to its servicers. “The interest rate is subject to periodic adjustments based on an evaluation of prevailing market conditions.”

Fannie also noted that any loan modification requests that were approved at the previous rate are not eligible to be resubmitted for approval under the new modification rule