Archives for August 2011

Refinances Drop Two Straight Weeks

By Kevin Chiu Homeowners applying to refinance mortgages dropped for the second week in a row, despite interest rates falling to the lowest level of the year, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The drop, however, in refinancing applications was buffered by a slight increase in new home purchases. The seasonally adjusted purchase index rose nearly 1% for the week ending August 26 th as the bankers’ market composite index fell by … [Read more...]

Home Buying Affordability Hovers at Best Level

By Mike Colpitts Home buying affordability hovered near its best level in more than 20 years in the second quarter of the year, according to the National Association of Home Builders-Wells Fargo housing index. The measure indicates that 72.6% of new and existing homes sold during the quarter were affordable for families earning the national median income of $64,200. The home buying affordability level dipped slightly from the record high … [Read more...]

Bargain Hungry Home Investors Thin

By Kevin Chiu Like them or hate them the real estate market needs bargain hungry home investors to pick through foreclosures as scavengers to eventually clean-up the inventory. But the ranks of investors hunting for deals are thinning out as homes that need work become harder to re-sell. The distressed real estate market, high unemployment and pessimism over the U.S. economy are driving investors away from making purchases. A key reading … [Read more...]

Mortgage Rate Deal of A Lifetime

By Mike Colpitts In a major effort to help its ailing real estate market, one state is offering lower-income residents a way to purchase homes through federally backed mortgages at mortgage rates below the lowest available elsewhere, and they’re also putting up down payments to make the home purchases. The mortgage rate is a deal of a lifetime for residents in New Hampshire, who qualify for the program that provides a cash grant equal to … [Read more...]

White House Considers Underwater Refinancing Relief

By Mike Colpitts The White House is considering additional measures to slow the foreclosure crisis and aid homeowners, including a proposal that would allow underwater homeowners to refinance mortgages, despite a lack of equity in their homes. As many as two million underwater homeowners could be helped under the proposal, which was first offered by California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer. The effort would remove barriers that have … [Read more...]

Should U.S. Become Biggest Landlord

By Mike Colpitts Under a proposal the Obama administration is making, the U.S. federal government would become the nation's biggest landlord by renting out almost 250,000 foreclosed homes Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and the Federal Housing Administration currently own. The proposal could make the Federal Housing Finance Agency, started by the Obama administration to administer Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac the primary regulator of such a plan. … [Read more...]

Hurricane Irene Flooding Leaves Homeowners Out of Luck

By Kevin Chiu As Hurricane Irene moved over the border into Canada, after having unleashed its mighty torrent on the Atlantic coast over a dozen states, flooding became its dominant issue as forecasters predicted. Torrential rains in more than a half a dozen states are expected to bring upwards of a million home insurance claims. But many homeowners are expected to soon learn that flooding damage left in the storm’s wake won't be covered by … [Read more...]

Home Short Sales Surge

By Mike Colpitts Bank assisted short sales of homes surged in the second quarter of the year as buyers snapped up discount priced properties at some of the lowest mortgage rates in decades. The surge in home purchases from pre-foreclosures account for an eighth of all residential sales, but represent less than a quarter of all U.S. home sales. Short sales, in which banks cooperate with mortgage holders to sell at a price for less than what … [Read more...]

Hurricane Irene May Hit $35 Billion in Damages

By Mike Colpitts The economic damages caused by Hurricane Irene as it barrels in on the Atlantic coastline forecast to make landfall in North Carolina could hit as high as $35 billion, according to insurance estimates made prior to the storm even making landfall. However, as scientific modelers race to come up with a dollar estimate on how much damage the massive storm is likely to cause, estimates vary hugely from near $5 billion all the … [Read more...]

Some Rising Prices Don’t Make a Recovery

By Mike Colpitts Rising home and condominium prices in isolated markets scattered across the U.S. rarely develop into a sudden real estate recovery, but demonstrate the differences of local housing markets. For the first time in years the average prices of homes and condos in Miami moved higher in July, showing that even in downtrodden Miami, once the proverbial epicenter of the real estate crash prices can get so low that somebody comes … [Read more...]