Archives for September 2011

Supermodel Christie Brinkley Sells Home

Christie Brinkley has graced the cover of over 500 magazines over the years, raking in millions of dollars in modeling fees as one of the world's most sought after supermodels. And now as luxury home sales make inroads towards a recovery, Brinkley has placed her spacious Sag Harbor, New York estate on the market for sale. The Greek Revival house sits on 4.5 acres of harbor front and is listed at $15.75-million after the model and sometimes … [Read more...]

Real Estate Commissions Back to Full 6%

By Kevin Chiu Anyone selling a home these days is some what lucky unless it’s a discounted foreclosure, but it often takes a lot more than luck for real estate agents to sell homes. That’s why commissions on selling homes are moving back up, and may even rise further as more consumers realize the value of being represented by agents. Discount commissions ruled the market when home sales were booming and anyone could sign their name on a … [Read more...]

Real Estate Insurance Debuts Against Falling Prices

By Mike Colpitts An insurance policy that protects homeowners against loss in their home's value debuts in one of the hardest hit real estate states this week as a hedge against falling prices. The first home insurance policies are being written in Ohio for owner occupied homeowners as Home Value Insurance Company launches its program, which it hopes to take national, despite major declines in housing prices in most of the U.S. The … [Read more...]

Mortgage Rates Massive Record Drop

By Mike Colpitts Mortgage rates dropped to the lowest rate in U.S. recorded history this week on the heels of the Federal Reserve announcement that the Fed will buy additional mortgage-backed securities. The massive drop in rates rocketed the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage to 4.01%, and the shorter term fixed rate loan to another record low, according to Freddie Mac. The massive drop in rates is intended to get more loan applicants to … [Read more...]

Mortgage Originations Surge on Record Low Rates

By Mike Colpitts Driven by the lowest interest rates in U.S. history, mortgage originations soared for the third straight week as loan buyers moved to take advantage of lower mortgage rates. Loan applications jumped 9.3% last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Refinances saw the largest surge in mortgage applications, rising 11.2% for the week as homeowners who could qualify for a new loan on their properties came took … [Read more...]

Home Sales Slide to 50 Year Low

By Kevin Chiu Hammered by lagging consumer confidence and a tough mortgage lending environment, home sales slid to a 50 year low this summer as the U.S. economy faces the harshest unemployment picture since the Great Depression. Buyers bought fewer new homes from March through August, typically the hottest part of the year for home sales, than in any stretch since the Commerce Department has been keeping records. The figures underscore how … [Read more...]

Housing Starts Surge in California

By Mike Colpitts Anchored by a jump in multi-family building permits, new housing starts soared in California during August, despite a decline in starts elsewhere in the U.S. Housing starts during the month nationally totaled just 571,000 units, the fewest since record keeping has been monitored during 1970. Permits were pulled on 4,695 housing units during August in California, up 30% from the same month a year ago and nearly double over … [Read more...]

Builders Warn Against Home Sales to Banks

By Mike Colpitts Financial giants like Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and private hedge funds should be prevented from purchasing the glut of foreclosed homes held by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and the FHA, the National Association of Homebuilders warns. Testifying before the Senate Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development, NAHB Chairman Bob Nielsen, said the nation’s giant lenders should avoid bulk … [Read more...]

Trouble Qualifing for Low Mortgage Rates

By Jeanne Roberts Home prices are way, way down from their peak just a few years ago. So are interest rates. It’s easy to find 15-year mortgage rates below 3.5% and 30-year fixed rate mortgages just above 4%. Which leaves some would-be refinancers (and buyers) wondering why they can't get the loan or house of their dreams. The answer is complicated. America’s economy, intimately tied to the Euro and all the turmoil overseas, is losing … [Read more...]

Larger Mortgage Down Payments Dumped

By Kevin Chiu Larger down payments proposed on new home mortgages are quietly being dumped by lawmakers months after a coalition of organizations voiced opposition to the change. The proposal was made in Congress as an answer to the mortgage mess, but a bipartisan group of almost 290 Senators and members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to government agencies asking that they dump the proposal. The larger 20% down payments … [Read more...]