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Business Outlook Archive


Fixed Mortgage Rates Move Higher for Second Consecutive Week

Freddie Mac (OTC: FMCC) recently released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing fixed mortgage rates moving higher following stronger-than-expected employment reports. The 30-year fixed averaged 3.59 percent, and the 15-year fixed averaged 2.84 percent, still near the historic low. ...


Three Secrets Third-Party Aggregators Don’t Want Brokers to Know

There’s a battle raging between brokerages and third-party aggregators that compile real estate listings online and collect sales leads in order to sell them to agents and brokers. Several large brokerages are so unhappy with aggregators that they’ve turned off ...


Credit Union Merger Provides Greater Services for REALTORS®

On August 1, REALTORS® Federal Credit Union merged with Northwest Federal Credit Union to better serve its members. ...


Brokerage Compensation Can Include Administrative Fees

Brokers charging buyers or sellers administrative fees (sometimes called transaction fees or administrative brokerage commissions) to augment a percentage-based commission received good news from all nine justices of the United States Supreme Court. A rare, unanimous decision by the Court on May 24, 2012, in a case challenging loan fees ...


Good News in Housing: 80 Improving Housing Markets in August

A total of 80 metropolitan statistical areas across 32 states and the District of Columbia were listed as improving housing markets on the National Association of Home Builders/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) for August, released recently. This included 75 markets that retained their places on the list along with ...


Dodd-Frank: Could New Rules Derail the Housing Recovery?

The pending rulemakings for the Qualified Mortgage and Qualified Residential Mortgage mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, and the Federal Reserve’s recently proposed Basel III international capital standards, have the potential to severely tighten an already rigid credit market, as well ...


HUD Secretary and Iowa Attorney Unveil First Public Service Announcement for $25 Billion Mortgage Servicing Settlement

U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced the launch of the National Mortgage Servicing Settlement’s first public service announcement (PSA) television ad titled “Homeowner Help.” The PSA, which can be viewed at www.hud.gov and www.nationalmortgagesettlement.com, is designed ...


Marketing Strategies: 7 Ways ‘Perfectionism’ Stops You from Success

Have you ever wondered if perfectionism is a help or hindrance on the road to success? ...


Apartment Market Hot Streak Continues

For the sixth quarter in a row, the apartment industry improved across all indexes in the National Multi Housing Council's (NMHC) Quarterly Survey of Apartment Market Conditions. The survey's indexes measuring Market Tightness (76), Sales Volume (54), Equity Financing (58) and Debt Financing (77) all measured at 50 or higher, ...


Home Prices Continue to Rise

Data through May 2012, released by S&P Dow Jones Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, showed that average home prices increased by 2.2 percent in May over April for both the 10- ...


The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® Increases after Four Consecutive Declines

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had declined in June, improved slightly in July. The Index now stands at 65.9 (1985=100), up from 62.7 in June. The Expectations Index improved to 79.1 from 73.4. The Present Situation Index, however, decreased slightly to 46.2 from 46.6 a month ago. ...


Manage a Multiple Offer Market

While we continue to wait on a complete market recovery, positive signs are beginning to materialize. ...


Inside Job: Why Dealing with ‘Difficult’ Colleagues Will Lead to Happier Customers

Too often, organizations promise satisfaction to external customers and then allow internal politics to frustrate their employees’ good intentions to deliver. It’s important to remember that your customers aren’t the only ones who come through your organization’s door every day ...


Slowing but still Improved: New-Home Sales Decline in June

Sales of newly built, single-family homes slowed 8.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 350,000 units in June following an upwardly revised, strong pace in the previous month, according to figures released today by HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. ...


Hot Markets Boil and Bubble

June existing home sales might be down 5.4 percent nationwide, but hot weather is heating up hot markets to boiling, pushing sales to levels unseen in years and raising the specter of price bubbles. ...


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