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Finance, Economy & Government Issues Archive


March Existing-Home Sales Slip Due to Limited Inventory, Prices Maintain Uptrend

Existing-home sales eased in March from inventory constraints, which continued to pressure home prices, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. ...


Mortgages Are Coming Home

Since late last year, industry experts forecast a drop in mortgage refinancings as rates rise, and a revival of purchase mortgages, as the housing recovery creates business for lenders willing to work with buyers. The spring housing market is here and ...


First-Quarter Economic Growth Stronger Than Expected

Recent data indicate that economic growth in the first quarter has accelerated to an above-trend—but likely unsustainable—pace of 3.2 percent, according to Fannie Mae’s Economic & Strategic Research Group. A significant buildup in business inventories provided a one-time boost to first quarter growth and is expected to resume a more ...


Rising Costs Put Squeeze on Builder Confidence in April

Facing increasing costs for building materials and rising concerns about the supply of developed lots and labor, builders registered less confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes in April, with a two-point drop to 42 on the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index (HMI), released recently. ...


FHA Reform Efforts Must Ensure Borrowers Have Access to Affordable Home Loans

With tight mortgage lending standards preventing well-qualified home buyers from obtaining home loans and impeding the housing and economic recovery, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recently expressed support for congressional efforts to reform the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) but ...


4 Myths of Online Real Estate Lead Generation

Using the internet to capture real estate leads can be an exciting way to earn new business. It can also be a major undertaking for those without the training, understanding or systems to manage online lead generation. ...


Mortgage Rates Edge Down for Second Week

Freddie Mac recently released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates edging down for the second consecutive week following weak employment reports. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 3.43 percent this week remains near its 65-year record low and continues to ...


Beware the 3 Percent Cap on Fees and Points

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (the Bureau) issued a somewhat final Ability to Repay (ATR) Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule in January. The pleasant surprise was the inclusion of a safe harbor for many QM loans. NAR and its industry partners fought for several months to ensure that the less safe ...


Realogy Announces Preliminary First Quarter 2013 Results

Realogy Holdings Corp recently provided preliminary estimates of certain of its financial and operational results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2013: ...


Twenty Percent of Bankers Expect Lending Standards to Loosen

Expectations among bank risk professionals for the relaxation of lending standards increased sharply in the first quarter, rising from 12.1 to 19.9 percent, according to the quarterly FICO/PRMIA survey. ...


REALTORS® Applaud FHA for Taking Steps to Improve its Financial Stability; More Reforms Necessary

While the Federal Housing Administration still faces challenges ahead, the agency has already taken a number of significant steps to mitigate risk and increase the solvency and strength of the mortgage-insurance fund. That’s according to National Association of REALTORS® President Gary Thomas, who testified today before the U.S. House Financial ...


Lenders in Settlement to Make Payouts to Foreclosed Borrowers

(MCT)—As part of a settlement with federal regulators, 13 lenders this week are starting to pay out $3.6 billion to more than 4 million troubled borrowers whose homes were in foreclosure proceedings in 2009 and 2010. ...


Beverly Hills’ 90210 and Aspen’s 81611 Top Luxury Homes Sales $10 Million and Up

Look out 90210; a new ZIP code in Aspen, Colo., is making California-sized waves. Recently, Coldwell Banker Previews International®, the Coldwell Banker brand’s luxury real estate marketing program, released its Luxury Market Report, providing a snapshot of luxury markets from January through December 2012. The report, ...


What’s the Story with FHA?

I hear a lot about the Federal Housing Administration, and much of it is simply wrong. “The FHA is the next subprime.” Untrue. “The FHA caused the housing crisis.” Also untrue. There is a lot of misinformation making the rounds, which ...


Clear Capital: Q1 Home Prices Remain Strong over Winter for the First Time in Seven Years

Clear Capital, a provider of data and solutions for real estate asset valuation and collateral risk assessment, recently released its Home Data Index(TM) (HDI) Market Report with data through March 2013. Using a broad array of public and proprietary data sources, the HDI Market Report publishes the most granular home ...


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