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Housing Finance

Valuation Fraud Soared 27 Percent in Q1

  The national Property Valuation Fraud Risk Index rose 27 percent in the first quarter and 17 percent from a year ago, evidence that an epidemic of fraudulent home valuations is sweeping certain real estate markets on the East and West Coasts. Property valuations are increasingly being manipulated by individuals who purchase and list multiple properties in the same neighborhoods … Read More »

Purchase Mortgage Applications Plunge

It might be hot outside but its freezing in the inboxes of hundreds of the nation’s mortgage lenders.  Last week applications fell to their lowest level since February. Maybe it’s just a sign that the selling season is winding down. More likely it’s something a lot more serious—yet another signal that the housing recovery is seriously sick and keeps getting … Read More »

Mortgage Defaults Sink Below 1 Percent


  Mortgage default rates fell below one percent for the first time in years, providing further evidence that the foreclosure era is all but over. Data through June 2014, released today by S&P Dow Jones Indices and Experian for the S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices, a comprehensive measure of changes in consumer credit defaults, showed decline in default rates. After … Read More »

Fed Study Says FHA Lenders Tighten Standards

Tax Headache

A new report from two Federal Reserve economists says lenders have been applying strict underwriting conditions to keep borrowers who can’t afford a large down payment out of the Federally guaranteed program that is designed to make it possible first time and mid to lower income applicants become homeowners. The report sets down in black and white what has been … Read More »

Today’s Teenagers Will Rock Real Estate


Sea changes are in store for residential real estate ten years from now.  Millions of new households will lift rental and starter home markets, half of the new families will be minorities and their ability to access mortgage finance will determine whether they own or rent. Those are some of the headlines from the Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies’ … Read More »

Buyers Still Wait for Better FICOS


Despite lenders’ claims that standards are loosening, for home buyers seeking conventional purchase loans the FICO needle has barely budged in the past six months.  The median FICO for conventional purchase loans has fallen only four points since 2013 and remains 23 points higher than the last published national median FICO score. According to Ellie Mae’s Origination Insight Report for May, … Read More »

Mortgage Default Risk Now 13 Percent Higher than in 1990s


Despite tighter lending standards enacted by mortgage lenders beginning in 2007 and new regulations like the QM Rule, the risk of mortgages originated today is 13 percent higher than it was in the 1990s. The Default Risk Index for the second quarter of 2014 rose to 113 from last quarter’s revised 112 in our baseline scenario. Under current economic conditions, … Read More »

Down Payment Funds Looking for Buyers


Home buyers seeking assistance paying their down payments are better off in Southern real estate markets than elsewhere, according to a new survey and analysis by Down Payment Resource (DPR). The DPR’s June Homeownership Program Index analyzed 1,654 programs available nationwide. Across Down Payment Resource’s databank, nationally, 90 percent of programs are funded with the greatest number of programs available … Read More »

Texas and West Lead the Parade to Positive Equity


In the first quarter, Texas had the highest percentage of mortgaged residential properties in an equity position at 96.7 percent, followed by Montana (96.3 percent), Alaska (95.7 percent), North Dakota (95.7 percent) and Hawaii (95.6 percent) according to the latest report from CoreLogic. CoreLogic said more than 300,000 homes returned to positive equity in the first quarter of 2014, bringing … Read More »

Why Won’t Buyers Make the Leap?


Halfway through the spring buying season, mortgage applications fell 1.2 percent for the week ending May 21 and the  unadjusted Mortgage Bankers Association’s Purchase Index fell even more.  It was down 2 percent in just one week-15 percent lower than it was a year ago at this time. Such a decline in borrowing to buy a home in the third … Read More »

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