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Business Outlook Archive


December Housing Production Tallies Third Highest Month for 2013

Following an unusual surge in housing starts in November, nationwide housing production fell 9.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 999,000 units in December, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the ...


Breaking the Logjam on Reverse Mortgages

(MCT)—People reaching retirement age are living longer than ever, and retiring with less capacity to maintain their living standards. With good reason, this situation has been termed a “retirement funds crisis.” ...


New Report Shows Lack of Equality in Housing Market

Who is applying for mortgages? Who is successful? For some communities, the answer is not always the same. ...


FNC Index: November Home Prices Up Steadily by 0.5 Percent

The latest FNC Residential Price Index™ (RPI) shows U.S. home prices continuing to rise at a modest pace despite at a flatter rate when compared to the spring and summer months. This trend largely reflects a decline in housing activity. The index, constructed to gauge underlying property value based on ...


Housing’s Contribution to GDP Expected to Improve from 2013

An abatement in economic policy uncertainty surrounding fiscal and monetary issues is expected to lay the foundation for improved private sector activity and accelerated economic growth in 2014, according to Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group. With growing momentum in economic ...


Commercial Mortgage Lender Appetite Expected to Exceed that of Borrowers in 2014

Commercial and multifamily mortgage lending is expected to increase in 2014, as lenders’ appetites to place new loans grow even stronger, according to a new Mortgage Bankers Association survey of the top commercial and multifamily mortgage origination firms. Lenders were also polled on their expectations for borrower appetites in the ...


What’s on Tap for Real Estate in 2014: Relocation

There are plenty of places where you can find predictions about the real estate market in 2014. I don’t have a crystal ball, so I don’t make predictions. But I will tell you that there are several facts that point to a ...


Staying ahead of the Appraisals Game

Appraisal. Just the mere mention of the word makes some of us cringe. You can spend countless hours working on a deal, putting it together, getting through inspection issues, only to have the home under appraise. ...


Adjustable-Rate Mortgages Regain Popularity as Prices, Rates Rise

(MCT)—When Michael Shuken recently bought his family’s first home, a four-bedroom in Los Angeles’ Mar Vista area, his adjustable-rate mortgage helped them stay on the pricey Westside. ...


Top Trends in Real Estate for 2014

(MCT)—Gabe Cole bought and sold 15 homes last year as part of his sideline as a house flipper. ...


Like ‘Em or Not, Online Agent Ratings Drive Business

Consumers are voraciously hungry for reviews and recommendations for everything under the sun, from hotel rooms, to restaurants, to recipes, to real estate agents. But are consumer reviews in the best interests of agents? ...


30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates Rise Slightly

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate on Zillow® Mortgage Marketplace is currently 4.39 percent, up one basis point from 4.38 percent at this time last week. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate remained relatively flat this week, hovering between 4.38 and 4.42 percent for the majority of the week. ...


Real Estate Industry Wary ahead of New Mortgage Rules

(MCT)—Real estate officials are bracing for new federal mortgage rules intended to press lenders to ensure that prospective borrowers are able to repay home loans. ...


2014: The Emerging Purchase Market

Freddie Mac’s November 2013 U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook showed that the major shift for 2014 will be a transition from a refinance-dominated mortgage market to the first purchase-dominated market the industry has seen since 2000. ...


Boomerang Buyers Could Boost Housing Market

(MCT)—Some housing experts are trumpeting changes that allow foreclosure sufferers to buy back into the American Dream sooner than they probably imagined, calling 2014 the year of the “boomerang buyer.” ...