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Finance, Economy & Government Issues Archive


Affordability Approaches Pre-2004 Norm as Prices Firm

Housing affordability dipped slightly in the second quarter of 2014 as several markets saw a firming of home prices, according to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI).  Nationwide, the second quarter HOI was 62.6—i.e., 62.6 percent of new and existing ...


On the Rise: Applications for New Home Purchases

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Builder Application Survey (BAS) data for July 2014 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases increased by 2 percent relative to the previous month.  This change does not include any adjustment for typical seasonal patterns. ...


Millennials Could Hold the Key to Housing Recovery

(MCT)—Dustin Walsh could’ve bought a house in his 20s, except he saw no point. The 31-year-old had the income, but preferred the financial freedom of renting a room in his cousin’s basement. “With my generation, nobody thinks about their debt and nobody ...


Most U.S. Regions Post Monthly Gains in June, Overall Housing Production Down

Nationwide housing production fell 9.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 893,000 units in June, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. The drop was due primarily to a nearly 30 percent decline in the South. ...


30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates Hold Steady

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate on Zillow(R) Mortgage Marketplace is currently 4.05 percent, up two basis points from this time last week. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate hovered between 4.02 and 4.08 percent for the majority of the week, dropping below 4 ...


The Economic Impact of the Affordable Housing Credit

In addition to ensuring the supply of affordable rental housing, the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) supports jobs and provides benefits to the economy, reports the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Using the NAHB economic impact model of home building, revised ...


A New Challenge to HUD’s Reverse-Mortgage Program

(MCT)—The United States faces a retirement funds crisis: a rapidly growing number of people who retire without the financial capacity to support themselves during ever-increasing life spans. The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) reverse-mortgage program, which allows older homeowners to convert some ...


30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates Surge, Then Settle

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate on Zillow® Mortgage Marketplace is currently 4.03 percent, up five basis points from this time last week. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate steadily increased last week, spiking to 4.26 percent on Friday before declining to the current ...


International Homebuyers Continue to Invest in Profitable U.S. Market

Favorable exchange rates, affordable home prices and rising affluence abroad continue to drive international buyers to the U.S. to purchase properties and make real estate investments. ...


New-Home Sales Skyrocket in May

Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 18.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000 units in May, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. This is the ...


Even as Inventory Surges in May, First-Time Homebuyers Remain Challenged

After plunging throughout 2012 and for much of 2013, and rising only modestly through the beginning of this year, the inventory of all for-sale homes nationwide spiked in May, jumping 11.8 percent year-over-year according to the May Zillow® Real Estate Market Reports. ...


New Home Purchase Applications Dip by 8 Percent in May

Mortgage applications in May 2014 decreased by 8 percent from April, according to recent information released by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Builder Application Survey. This change does not include any adjustment for typical seasonal patterns. ...


Equity Position of U.S. Households Improves

The Federal Reserve Board of Governors’ recently released statistics on the financial accounts of U.S. households. The release shows continued improvement in the financial position of U.S. households with real estate. If fact, the household real estate equity position improved ...


Fixed Mortgage Rates Remain Steady

Freddie Mac recently released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that last week's average fixed mortgage rates largely flat compared to the previous week amid light economic reports. ...


Finance in Focus: Top 10 Ways People Go Broke

You don’t have to come from a wealthy family, have the next billion-dollar idea or work 18-hour days to become rich, says self-made millionaire Mike Finley. ...


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