January 2016

Found 35 blog entries for January 2016.

Employment numbers and current mortgage payments among buyers are driving the health of the housing markets across the United States, according to Freddie Mac's Multi-Indicator Market Index (MiMi) for November 2015 released Tuesday.

Freddie Mac found that the U.S. housing market continued to stabilize as the MiMi value rose to 82.5 as of November 2015, meaning that the market is on its outer range of stable housing activity.

According to the report, the MiMi value is up 0.82 percent month-over-month and 7.23 percent year-over-year. Over the last three months, the MiMi has risen 2.09 percent.

The MiMi is up 39 percent from the all-time low recorded in October 2010, but remains far off from the peak of 121.7, the report stated.

"We saw another

384 Views, 0 Comments

In December, President Obama signed into law the omnibus bill that included a provision allowing homeowners to exclude forgiven mortgage debt from their gross income when filing federal tax returns.

More than a month later, California State Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton) has introduced a bill that would extend tax relief on forgiven mortgage debt for homeowners when filing their state income tax returns. Senate Bill 907 would allow California homeowners who have either sold their home in a short sale or received some type of forbearance on their mortgage payments to exclude forgiven or cancelled mortgage debt from their state income tax forms when listing their income. Without legislation, both the California state and federal government would

345 Views, 0 Comments

Non-Foreclosure Solution Totals Are Piling Up

While foreclosure continue to steadily decline, the number of foreclosure alternatives completed is adding up, and the industry completed another 99,000 foreclosure prevention actions in November 2015, according to data released by HOPE NOW on Wednesday.

The 99,000 foreclosure prevention actions completed in November included permanent loan modifications, deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure, short sales, and other workout plans. Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, foreclosure sales for the month totaled 24,500, meaning that non-foreclosure solutions still outpaced completed foreclosures by a four to one ratio.

"This metric is important as it shows the breadth of solutions available to at-risk

358 Views, 0 Comments

As Fannie Mae did earlier in January, Freddie Mac kicked off 2016 in a big way with residential non-performing loan (NPL) sales. On Friday, Freddie Mac announced its largest bulk NPL transaction yet—an auction of residential NPLs serviced by Nationstar Mortgage totaling $1.6 billion in unpaid principal balance (UPB).

The NPLs are being offered in seven pools—five Standard Pool Offerings (SPOs), which are geographically diversified, and two Extended Timeline Pool Offerings (EXPOs), which are geographically concentrated. EXPOs. While SPOs often include larger pools of loans, the loans featured in EXPOs include smaller pool sizes and a longer marketing period, and target participation from smaller investors, including non-profits and minority- and

422 Views, 0 Comments

Ted C. Jones is the Chief Economist—Senior Vice President for Stewart Title Guaranty Company in Houston, Texas. Previously, he served as the first director of investor relations for Stewart Information Services Corporation for 17 years, ending in March 2014. Currently, Ted addresses the information needs of internal and external customers, conducts on-going research and supports economic and financial analysis for the company and its customers.

Why is there an urgency to buy a home right now?

There is very limited inventory. We always think that six-month inventory is normal for existing homes. We’re in that mid-four-month inventory range. We know that rents are going to continue to rise. You have the option of either renting or owning. Rents have

398 Views, 0 Comments

While the Federal Reserve saw enough improvement in the economy to raise the short-term interest rates in December, the Conference Board reports that the economy actually lost momentum at the end of the year.

The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (LEI) dropped by 0.2 percent in December down to 123.7 (2010=100) after increasing by 0.5 percent in both October and November. The Bureau of Economics and Analysis (BEA) reported at the end of December that real GDP grew at only half the pace in Q3 (2.0 percent) that it did in Q2 (3.9 percent), indicating that economic activity was slowing down.

“December’s decline in the LEI, while small, was led by the decline in housing permits, followed by weak new orders in manufacturing,” said Ataman

354 Views, 0 Comments

Typically, the housing market sees minimal activity during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Why were existing-home sales still able to rebound in December from the November slowdown?

The big jump in December was an anomaly because of the new “Know Before You Owe” lending disclosures went into effect in October, and in November we saw one of the biggest drops we’ve ever seen. Sales that normally would have closed in November were pushed into December, and December’s numbers really supported that thought. We think December’s numbers are an anomaly and the result of November’s sales spilling over into December. We don’t think it’s representative of any long-term trend of a large increase in inventory.

That said, 2015 was the best year for

411 Views, 0 Comments

 Whether they’re buying designer jeans or a new house, no one wants to suffer from buyer’s remorse.

There are lots of potential complications that can cause you to overpay for a house, from being caught up in open-house frenzy to skipping a home inspection to “save” yourself money. But just as there are obstacles to getting the best deal, there are also tried-and-true strategies to get a fair price for a home, like getting a private showing of that home for sale in Philadelphia, PA, instead of (or in addition to) attending the open house.

Here are seven more tips to calculate accurate house value and avoid overpaying for your home.

1. Define “fair price”

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of landing the best deal, it’s fair to point out that

445 Views, 0 Comments

Don’t let your credit score dash your homeownership dreams.

As much as we may hate it, numbers can determine much of what we’re able to do in life. Just like you need a high GPA to get into the college of your dreams, so too do you need a high credit score to secure a loan on that dream home for sale in Athens, GA. But unfortunately, numbers don’t always reflect reality: Similar to how your boyfriend distracted you in chemistry and caused your GPA to plummet, chance financial mistakes can affect your credit score, and be hard to recover from.

“Today, bad credit isn’t just based on a number, but timing of recent derogatory activity like rolling late charges or a recent short sale or foreclosure,” says Joshua Vales, a mortgage loan originator with

441 Views, 0 Comments

After suffering a major drop in November 2015, existing-home sales turned the tables with the largest monthly increase ever recorded in December.

Many economists in the mortgage industry felt was November's slump was just a temporary fallback for a huge comeback from the backlog of mortgage purchases during the implementation of the “Know Before You Owe” mortgage rule, commonly known as the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule, which went into effect on October 3, 2015.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Friday that existing-home sales rose 14.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.46 million in December, up from 4.46 million in November. Year-over-year, existing-home sales are up 7.7 percent, and December's

411 Views, 0 Comments