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Finance, Economy & Government Issues Archive


Housing Share of the Economy at 15.3 Percent

Housing is an important source of economic growth. As of the final quarter of 2013, housing’s share of gross domestic product (GDP) was 15.3 percent, with home building yielding 3.1 percentage points of that total. ...


Consumers Feel Good about Mortgage Credit

More Americans now believe it would be easy for them to get a mortgage, according to Fannie Mae’s January 2014 National Housing Survey results. Consumer attitudes regarding the ease of getting a mortgage climbed 2 percentage points to an all-time survey high ...


January Housing on the Up

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury recently released the January edition of the Obama Administration's Housing Scorecard – a comprehensive report on the nation’s housing market. The latest data show progress among ...


Elusive Private Mortgage Capital

For several years, we have heard policymakers lament that there is too much government involvement in the mortgage market and about the need to bring “private capital” back. While it is true that there is some government involvement in roughly 90 percent ...


Builder Confidence in the 55+ Housing Market on a Record High

Builder confidence in the 55+ housing market for the fourth quarter of 2013 is up sharply, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) latest 55+ Housing Market Index (HMI) released recently. All segments of the market—single-family homes, condominiums and multifamily rental—registered strong increases compared to the same quarter ...


Borrowers Who Refinanced in 2013 Made Huge Savings in Interest

Freddie Mac recently released the results of its fourth quarter 2013 quarterly refinance analysis, showing that borrowers are continuing to take advantage of near record low mortgage rates to lower their monthly payments, shorten their loan terms and overwhelmingly choosing the safety ...


Winter Shows No Signs of Cooling in Home Prices

Data through November 2013, released recently by S&P Dow Jones Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, showed that the 10-City and 20-City Composites increased 13.8 percent and 13.7 percent year-over-year. Dallas posted its highest ...


2013 New-Home Sales Climb Surprisingly High

Sales of newly built, single-family homes fell 7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 414,000 units in December, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. Despite the monthly ...


Recovery Hits Eighth Consecutive Month

Ongoing improvements show economic stabilization, with 87 markets reaching full recovery and housing market price gains nearing 2005 records ...


Refinance Mortgage Applications Increase Nearly 5 Percent

In happy housing news, mortgage applications increased 4.7 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 17, 2014. ...


Do Internet Customers Buy the Property They Called on?

We are aware some consumers find a home on the Internet and bring the property to the attention of an agent or broker they are already working with. And historically consumers would get interested in a property, call an agent who is ...


Taking the Temperature of the Market

Recently, Freddie Mac released its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for January showing that four of the key housing indicators are all moving in the right direction, which bodes well for an ongoing recovery. ...


30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates Plummet 16 Basis Points

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate on Zillow(R) Mortgage Marketplace is currently 4.23 percent, down 16 basis points from 4.39 percent at this time last week. The 30-year ...


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 ...


Housing-Related Tax Rules That Expired at the End of 2013

At the end of 2013, a number of housing-related tax provisions expired. Collectively, these housing and other tax rules are part of a set of policies known as “tax extenders,” which have traditionally been extended every year or so. ...


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