Mortgage Rates Jump for New Year’s

By Mike Colpitts Mortgage rates, already at their record all-time lows jumped slightly higher in time for New Year's this week as lenders became weary about growing problems in international financial markets, according to Freddie Mac. The rate of a 30-year fixed rate loan rose to 3.95% from a record low 3.91% last week. The 15-year fixed rate mortgage also moved up slightly to 3.24% from 3.21% a week ago. The 5-year Treasury indexed … [Read more...]

Homeownership Drops by Largest Amount Since Great Depression

By Jeanne Roberts It’s probably no surprise that the number of individuals owning homes has experienced its biggest drop since the Great Depression, an epoch usually defined as the decade between 1929 and 1939. The figures are from the U.S. Census Bureau, and show that the rate of homeownership fell to 65.1% in April 2010, or 1.1% lower than it was a decade earlier. This is compared to ownership levels of around 70% in 2005, which means a … [Read more...]

Jobs Proposal Boosts Home Prices

By Mike Colpitts The Obama administration's proposal of jobs and spending initiatives would supply much needed aid to the real estate industry, and give the housing market a shot in the arm towards recovery eventually boosting home prices, an analysis of the program has found. Consumers and businesses are concerned about the U.S. economy, which has been ailing since the financial crisis exploded on Wall Street more than three years ago. … [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...]

States Robo-Signing Negotiations Hit Halt

By Kevin Chiu Almost a year after the robo-signing scandal made headlines, shedding light on the magnitude of the foreclosure crisis for the U.S. economy, the 50 states Attorney Generals negotiations attempting to reach a settlement with banks have hit a halt. The stop in talks between bankers and the states top law enforcement prosecutors was hit after attorneys representing bankers refused to give in over requiring broad legal immunity … [Read more...]

States Balk at Banks Foreclosure Deal

By Kevin Chiu A move by five of the U.S. largest banks to reportedly limit their liability over illegal foreclosures is being rejected by at least three states now investigating lenders for their roll in the robo signing scandal. Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley added the state’s name to the growing list of states refusing to sign on to any agreement worked out by negotiators from state Attorneys General offices in all 50 states … [Read more...]

Spring Home Sales Decline

By Mike Colpitts Hindered by financing problems and weak consumer confidence, existing home sales declined in May, falling 3.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.81 million units, and are more than 15% behind last year’s pace, according to the National Association of Realtors. The slowdown in sales comes at a time when growing doubts about the U.S. economy recovering from its worst recession since at least the Great Depression … [Read more...]

Disaster Housing Relief Provided in 8 States

By Mike Colpitts As anxieties rise with the floodwaters along the mighty Mississippi River and residents flee for higher ground, the U.S. government is gearing up for the largest disaster aid commitment it has ever made. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has already dedicated funds to help disaster victims in eight states, including immediate foreclosure relief and funds for temporary housing. Eight Alabama counties have been … [Read more...]

Underwater Homeowner Relief Program Extended

By Kevin Chiu As the housing relief programs implemented by the Obama administration come under attack in Congress, the refinancing program administered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to help underwater homeowners is being extended in efforts to aid more upside down homeowners. The underwater relief program has become a vital component in the Obama administration’s program to aid homeowners at risk of losing their homes since most of its … [Read more...]

2011 Iowa Housing Market

The housing market hasn’t been great in Iowa since the nation's economy started falling, but it just hasn't been bad either. Markets are in balance with just a few months supply of housing inventory in most areas of the state. Iowa is one of those rare states that is forecast to actually see home price appreciation in all of its markets in 2011. Foreclosures aren’t plaguing the state like many others, but banks are enforcing more foreclosures … [Read more...]