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Finance, Economy & Government Issues Archive


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 ...


Millennials, Use Your Money

(TNS)—Personal finance scares a lot of people. But money can be about joy, doing what you love in your young adulthood and living the life of your dreams. It’s time to see how to use your money to build security and confidence. ...


30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates Plunge to 19-Month Low

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate on Zillow(R) Mortgages is currently 3.58 percent, down fourteen basis points from Jan. 8 to Jan. 1. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose early last week, peaking at 4.03 percent on Friday before falling to the current rate. ...


America’s Housing Stock Increases $1.7 Trillion

The housing market received both good and bad news as of late; the good news is that America’s housing stock is now worth $27.5 trillion, an increase of $1.7 trillion over last year.  The bad news is that U.S. home values rose 6 ...


Selling Your Home in 2015? Tax Specialist Shares Money-Saving Tips

Thinking about selling your home in 2015? Once you’ve found the perfect REALTOR®, made any repairs or renovations, staged it and negotiated your contract, you may think you’re done. But do you know what the tax implications are of selling your home? ...


Housing Market Continues to Heal Due to Better Fundamentals

The U.S. housing market continues to stabilize, with 70 of the markets tracked now showing positive momentum, according to Freddie Mac's recently released, newly updated Multi-Indicator Market Index® (MiMi®). ...


Existing Sales Trend Up for First-Time Buyers

Although existing home sales decreased in November, the share of sales for first-time buyers increased to the highest level since October 2012. Existing home sales decreased 6.1 percent in November, but were 2.1 percent above the same period a year ago. The ...


Existing-Home Sales Lose Momentum in November as Inventory Slightly Tightens

After hitting their highest level of the year, existing-home sales slid in November as housing supply showed some tightening, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. All major regions experienced a decline in sales compared to a month earlier. ...


Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Swim Against the Tide with 3 Percent-Down Loans

Recently, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced plans to begin backing home loans with down payments as low as three percent. This move came just days after the mortgage giants implemented less rigid lending standards in order to give Main Street citizens with ...


Real Estate Industry Applauds Legislation Approval; Housing Tax Provisions Extended

Distressed homeowners and commercial property investors with transactions in 2014 will enjoy a few more days of tax breaks following the approval of legislation by Congress last week. ...


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