April 2016

Found 31 blog entries for April 2016.

A common belief about millennials is that they continue to either rent or live with their parents because they are not interested in owning a home.

A recent survey conducted by TransUnion, however, indicates that a lack of desire to become a homeowner may not be what is holding back millennials from the housing market. TransUnion found in a survey of 1,843 consumers conducted in March that 32 percent of millennials polled plan to buy a home in the next 12 months—but 43 percent of them have what would be considered a “subprime” credit score (between 300 and 600, according to VantageScore).

“Credit scores are a crucial component of the home-buying process, impacting everything from the size of a mortgage payment to the interest rate on a home loan,”

389 Views, 0 Comments

In recent months, real estate professionals have reported an upswing in a particularly insidious wire scam. A hacker will break into a licensee’s e-mail account to obtain information about upcoming real estate transactions. After monitoring the account to determine the likely timing of a close, the hacker will send an e-mail to the buyer, posing either as the title company representative or as the licensee. The fraudulent e-mail will contain new wiring instructions or routing information, and will request that the buyer send transaction-related funds accordingly. Unfortunately, some buyers have fallen for this scheme, and have lost money.

NAR General Counsel Katie Johnson has made a video to help educate buyers about how to avoid being caught up in a

452 Views, 0 Comments

With many analysts early in the year having predicted a robust spring season for the housing market, the question remains as to whether or not that will come to pass as spring is in full swing.

“Buyer demand remains sturdy in most areas this spring and the mid-priced market is doing quite well,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. “However, sales are softer both at the very low and very high ends of the market because of supply limitations and affordability pressures.”

There have been some signs that the predictions that housing will have a breakout year in 2016 will come true. Existing-home sales rebounded somewhat in March from February’s huge disappointment (by 5.1 percent up to an annual rate of 5.33 million, after a decline of 7.1 percent in

402 Views, 0 Comments

While the outlook for overall economic growth is darkening, the housing market is expected to keep up its momentum in 2016, according to Freddie Mac’s April 2016 Economic Outlook released on Friday.

Freddie Mac downwardly revised its forecast for Q1 GDP growth from 1.8 percent down to 1.1 percent. The “advance” estimate for GDP growth in the first quarter will be released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) on Thursday, April 28. The GDP grew at an annual rate of just 0.6 percent in the first quarter of 2015 but then shot up to 3.9 percent for Q2; for the third and fourth quarter, the real GDP grew at rates of 2.0 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.

The first quarter for the last few years has been punctuated by slow economic growth. While

364 Views, 0 Comments

These bonus features are 13 good reasons to love what you’ve got.

Most people who watch home renovation shows on TV can quickly spout off the home improvement projects that bring added value in the eyes of potential buyers. The first projects most people mention: kitchen and bathroom remodels. But sometimes you just don’t have the time, patience, or budget to do a full overhaul, especially if you’re looking to sell in the near future. But if you don’t have a new kitchen or master bathroom, don’t fret. What if we told you that your home could already have the features that can ultimately increase your home’s price tag? It’s possible!

Whether you’re looking for how to increase home value in a new, cost-effective way or want to focus on upkeep and

458 Views, 0 Comments


There are ways to speed up the house-hunting process and buy a home fast. (Even if you don’t have a fat bank account.)

In a competitive real estate market, it can take months — sometimes even years! — to buy a home. Whether you’re consistently outbid by other buyers or it seems your shopping rivals are always one step ahead, it can feel as if you’re at a distinct disadvantage when you’re house-hunting in a market where homes can go under contract within hours of being listed on Trulia.

But there are ways to speed up the home-buying process — even if you don’t have a fat bank account. If you have an experienced real estate agent with a large network, you might be one of the lucky few who can submit a presale offer before your dream home for sale in

366 Views, 0 Comments

The fact that mortgage delinquencies are declining steadily for a few years now has been no secret. But just how low are they getting?

Delinquencies, defined as 30 or more days past due but not in foreclosure, declined by 8 percent over-the-month and 12 percent over-the-year in March down to 4.08 percent—the lowest level since March 2007, according to Black Knight Financial Services’“First Look” at Mortgage Data for March 2016released Friday.

The rate of 30-day delinquencies fell even lower in March, down below 2 percent—its lowest level since before the year 2000, according to Black Knight.

The number of 90-day delinquencies also experienced substantial declines both over-the-month (by 39,000) and over-the-year (by 193,000) in March down to

349 Views, 0 Comments

The Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA's) recent announcement about the new Principal Reduction Modification program brought both praise and concern from the industry, just as the Agency expected.

According to an announcement from the FHFA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will soon be required to offer principal reduction to certain seriously delinquent, underwater borrowers that are grappling with the after effects of the crisis.

FHFA Director Mel Watt stated, "This plan will no doubt be viewed by some as too small and too late and viewed by others as too large and unnecessary. However, the plan is consistent with FHFA’s statutory obligation to ‘maximize assistance for homeowners’ by providing some borrowers what could well be their final

334 Views, 0 Comments

Amid improving but still somewhat lackluster existing-home sales numbers for March, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) called for the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to make more changes to its programs in order to help more first-time buyers enter the market.

Though existing-home sales increased over-the-month by 5.1 percent to an annual rate of 5.33 million in March, nearly erasing February’s disappointment, the same problems that have plagued the housing market in the last six months to a year are persisting—affordability and tight inventory, according to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Existing-Home Sales Report for March 2016 released Tuesday.

“Closings came back in force last month as a greater number of buyers—mostly

322 Views, 0 Comments

The practices surrounding the government’s sales of deeply delinquent, non-performing loans (NPLs) have drawn considerable controversy in the last year or so. Lawmakers and advocacy groups have repeatedly petitioned the heads of housing regulatory agencies for changes to these programs that require them to sell the distressed mortgages to non-profits rather than private investors or equity firms.

In early March, a group of 45 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, led by Rep. Mike Capuano (D-Massachusetts), wrote a letter to FHFA Director Mel Watt and HUD Secretary Julián Castro calling for, among other changes, more transparency and the removal of “bad actors” from the NPL sales.

This week, FHFA announced enhancements to its NPL sales

410 Views, 0 Comments