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Finance, Economy & Government Issues Archive


Brokerage Takes a Leadership Position on Capitol Hill

CENTURY 21 Real Estate recently announced that approximately 500 independent brokers and agents affiliated with the CENTURY 21® System recently took to Capitol Hill to advocate on behalf of the nation’s home buyers and sellers. CENTURY 21 took this leadership position to further establish strong relationships with congressional leaders and build ...


Further Signs of Normalization in House Price Growth

The recent release by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) shows that its measure of house prices, House Price Index—Purchase Only, rose by 5.4 percent on a 12-month seasonally adjusted basis in December 2014. This ...


Protecting Your Nest Egg as You Age

People pondering their retirement years often conjure images of spending more time on a favorite pastime or traveling around the country or the world. ...


Strong Job Growth Foreshadows Solid Full-Year Economic Growth

The economy is poised for a pickup in growth in 2015 amid a strengthening employment sector, rising income growth, and declining commodity prices, according to Fannie Mae’s (FNMA/OTC) Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group. ...


Low Down Payment Drop: Share of Buyers Lands at 11-Year Low

Those using low down payment plans dropped last year, according to recently released news from RealtyTrac, who analyzed the size of down payments on nearly 20 million purchase loans for single family homes and condos nationwide from 2004 through 2014. ...


Mortgage Applications Dip 13.2 Percent

Mortgage applications decreased 13.2 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending February 13, 2015. ...


87 Percent of U.S. Homes Qualify for Down Payment Help

RealtyTrac recently released a Down Payment Resource (DPR) on the availability of down payment programs across the country. Out of more than 78 million U.S. single family homes and condos, more than 68 million (87 percent) would qualify ...


Effective Rate on New Home Loans Continues Downward Drift

On average, the contract rate on conventional mortgages used to purchase newly-built homes, remained a constant 4.03 percent in December, according to data released yesterday by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). However, initial ...


Reverse Mortgages a Financial Planning Tool

(TNS)—Changes in 2014 to federal reverse mortgage regulations have shifted this senior safety net away from its traditional role as a loan of last resort to keep the elderly in their homes. Reverse mortgages now serve as a financial planning tool for the ...


Zillow Chief Economist, HUD Secretary Talk Housing Following SOTU, Castro Calls 2015 ‘Year for Housing Opportunity’

Following on the heels of President Barack Obama’s second-to-last State of the Union Address, during which he made a passing reference to the changes made at the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), HUD Secretary Julián Castro sat down at the ...


HUD Secretary Julián Castro to Answer Housing Questions in Live Fireside Chat Wednesday, Moderated by Zillow Chief Economist

Zillow® will bring together an esteemed group of national real estate experts, influencers and policy makers to debate and discuss housing trends and policies from different communities as we begin to identify housing issues that will have the greatest impact over the next two years. ...


New Research Highlights Finance Constraints on Housing Demand

An interesting new paper published by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York demonstrates the important role downpayment and wealth constraints play in shaping housing demand, particularly for lower-income homebuyers. ...


Spending Choices that Offer Most Bang for Your Buck

(TNS)—If you’re pulling together your budget for 2015 or have made “spend less” one of your New Year’s resolutions, consider this tip: Rather than simply cut back on dinners out or trips to the mall, think instead about how to spend more meaningfully. ...


High Court Makes It Easier for Borrowers to Walk Away from Underwater Homes

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that borrowers looking to rescind their mortgages simply need to notify creditors in writing of their intention to rescind within three years under a key fair lending law. This ruling could possibly make it much easier ...


Tips for Home Buying under Obama’s New FHA Policy

President Obama announced last week a new policy that will reduce annual mortgage insurance premiums (MIP) on FHA loans. The National Association of REALTORS® estimates that a reduction in the annual MIP of .50 to .85 percent will enable many first-time borrowers and ...


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