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Finance, Economy & Government Issues Archive


U.S. Homes Gain $1.9 Trillion in Value in 2013; Largest Gain Since 2005

Homes nationwide are expected to gain almost $1.9 trillion in cumulative value in 2013, the second consecutive annual gain and the largest since 2005, according to an analysis of Zillow® Real Estate Market Reports. ...


Plan Would Reduce Fannie, Freddie Loan Limits to $400,000 in Most Markets

(MCT)—The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) on Monday detailed a plan to reduce the size of home mortgages that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could purchase. ...


Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications decreased 5.5 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending December 13, 2013. ...


Published FHA Loan Limits Show Large Declines for 2014

Loan limits for mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) were scheduled to fall in 2014 due to the expiration of increased limits set during the housing crisis. However, the magnitude of change for the published limits has caught many by surprise. ...


Fannie Mae Announces Eviction Moratorium for the Holidays

Fannie Mae (FNMA/OTC) announced recently that it will issue an eviction moratorium for the holidays, as it has done in previous years. The company will suspend evictions of foreclosed single family and 2-4 unit properties from December 18, 2013 through and including January 3, 2014. For this period, legal and ...


Regulators OK Volcker Rule, Curbing Big Banks’ High-Risk Trades

(MCT)—Government regulators approved a sweeping new set of rules for the nation's biggest banks that ban them from the kind of ultra-high-risk trading that nearly collapsed the world's financial system. ...


Adjustable-Rate Mortgages Return with a More Conservative Look

(MCT)—With one daughter in college and another in high school, Guy Hempel and Cherina Rossi face years of tuition payments. ...


Housing Markets Continue Slow Climb Back to Normal

Markets in 54 out of the approximately 350 metro areas nationwide returned to or exceeded their last normal levels of economic and housing activity, according to the National Association of Home Builders/First American Leading Markets Index (LMI), released recently. ...


Protecting REALTORS®: The Innovation Act of 2013 Is Passed

Last week, the Innovation Act of 2013 was passed. This bill scores a win for the real estate industry as it aims to make procedural changes to the patent system to discourage tactics preferred by trolls – a previous issue for innovative ...


3 Suburban Markets Show There Is More to Real Estate Than the Case-Shiller Home Price Index

Each month, analysts eagerly await the renowned Case-Shiller Home Price Index report to get a read on the health of the housing market. In a nutshell, this report looks at price changes in homes month-over-month. Prices are tracked in 20 major metropolitan ...


NAHB Says: Leading Market Index Up

The NAHB/First American Leading Markets Index rose slightly to .86 in December index from .85 in the November index. The index measures progress back to and beyond the normal level of economic and housing growth. In addition to the national index, the release also lists the value of progress toward ...


Zillow Predicts Home Values to Rise 3 Percent in 2014; Mortgages Will Be Easier to Get

Zillow is making four, bold housing predictions for 2014, and has determined which housing markets will be the hottest this coming year. ...


The Mortgage Professor: With Loan Insurance, Bad Rules Lead to More Rules

(MCT)—In 1999, Congress decreed that the monthly mortgage insurance premiums that borrowers paid could be terminated by the borrower under certain conditions, and if the borrower failed to act, the lender was obliged to terminate a little later. This rule applied to mortgages insured by private mortgage insurers. Shortly thereafter, ...


Home Prices Jump in Largest U.S. Cities, but Pace Slows

(MCT)—Home prices in the nation’s largest metro regions posted strong gains in September, although the pace of those increases slowed in most cities, according to a leading gauge. ...


HUD Awards Millions to Next Generation of Housing

U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan recently announced that nine communities across the U.S. will receive Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants. The $4.37 million awarded today provides these communities the resources they need to craft comprehensive, community-driven plans to revitalize ...


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