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Business Outlook Archive


‘Seriously’ Underwater Properties at Lowest Level in Two Years

RealtyTrac®, a leading source for comprehensive housing data, today released its U.S. Home Equity & Underwater Report for the third quarter of 2014, which shows that 8.1 million U.S. residential properties were seriously underwater—where the combined loan amount secured by the property is ...


Housing Outlook in Face of Rising Rates

The second quarter GDP figures were highly encouraging, assuring that job creation continues. Jobs will become ever more important in what looks to be a sure rising interest-rate environment. Surprisingly, rates have barely moved this year. But sooner or later (by year end), ...


Final Mortgage Ruling Nixes 20-percent Down Payment Requirement

As reported by the AP, new rules adopted yesterday by six federal agencies include the removal of a big stumbling block for would-be borrowers: the 20 percent down payment if a lender didn’t hold at least 5 percent of the mortgage ...


Existing-Home Sales Rise 2.4% in September

After a modest decline last month, existing-home sales bounced back in September to their highest annual pace of the year, according to the National Association of Realtors®. All major regions except for the Midwest experienced gains in September. ...


Mortgage Rates Hit New 2014 Lows

Freddie Mac recently released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates hitting new lows for the year as 10-year bond yields briefly dipped below 2 percent. At 3.97 percent the average 30-year fixed rate is at ...


U.S Regulators Ready for Relaxed Mortgage Rules

Later this week, after several years of back-and-forth debate, U.S. regulators are finally set to finalize a more relaxed set of mortgage standards. This new set of rules will be a win for the real estate industry, with the projected agreement much more ...


The Mortgage Professor: Introducing the Kosher HECM Reverse Mortgage

(MCT)—The kosher stamp on a food means that it has been certified as fit for human consumption. We need a comparable certification process for financial instruments sold to consumers, with the need most pronounced for the more complex instruments. ...


Zeroing in on Market Conditions

As the real estate industry continues along the road to recovery, enticing buyers and sellers back into the game, real estate professionals are pulling out all the stops when it comes to keeping their finger on the pulse of the market. For Jen ...


30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates Plunge to Lowest Rate in 16 Months

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate on Zillow(R) Mortgages is currently 3.81 percent, down fifteen basis points from this time last week. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropped ...


Home Equity Loans Surge amid Record-low Rates

The housing market seems to be on the right track. The origination of home equity lines of credit (Helocs) hit a five-year high this year as a result of low interest rates, rising home prices, and increasing consumer confidence in the trajectory of the market.  But while it’s a great ...


More American Households Doubling Up as Rents Rise

An increasing number of American adults are moving in together to share expenses as rental rates continue to outpace income, according to a new Zillow analysis. ...


Where Is the Custom Home Market Share Highest?

New NAHB research reveals significant regional differences in the share of custom homes started in 2013. The analysis finds that the Northeast and East North Central parts of the nation have the highest market shares. ...


Excessive Lending Standards Still Affecting Home Sales

Tight mortgage lending standards continue to affect sales for single-family builders across the nation, according to a survey released by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Well over half of the single-family builders surveyed indicated that lending standards were “tight” or “very tight,” while only 11 percent indicated that ...


Applications for New Home Purchases Unchanged in September

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Builder Application Survey (BAS) data for September 2014 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases remained unchanged relative to the previous month. ...


Home Equity Lines of Credit Jump 21 Percent through First Half of 2014

RealtyTrac® (www.realtytrac.com), a leading source for comprehensive housing data, has released its first-ever U.S. Home Equity Line of Credit Trends Report, which found that in the 12 months ending June 2014 a total of 797,865 Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOCs) were originated nationwide, up 20.6 percent from ...


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