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Home | Author Archives: Howard Goldthwaite

Author Archives: Howard Goldthwaite

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Survey Uncovers Patterns and Trends Among Homebuyers

The National Association of Realtors recently released the results of a national survey conducted in July 2013 among homebuyers who had made their purchase within the previous year. The data collected brings fresh insights into all phases of the homebuying process and helps recognize emerging trends to help real estate professionals understand the needs and expectations of their clients. What did the study uncover?

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‘Boomerang’ Buyers Expected to Boost Recovery in the New Year

Based on a poll of borrowers that have been subject to foreclosure, authorities at LoanSafe.org and AfterForeclosure.com say they're confident that 2014 will be the year of the ""boomerang"" borrower. They say changes in lending guidelines and population shifts make these buyers essential to the recovery of the housing market, particularly since developments that naturally advance housing have been largely disrupted in today's environment.

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Trepp Warns LTV Requirements Could Hamper CRE Refinancing

As the 10-year anniversary of the previous market peak in commercial real estate (CRE) approaches, lenders and investors are looking ahead to a wave of refinancing that could spell trouble for the market. An estimated $1.4 trillion in commercial mortgages will mature between 2014 and 2017, and the CRE market research firm Trepp says borrowers will likely find it difficult to meet today's loan-to-value (LTV) requirements when refinancing.

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West Is Best for Healthiest Housing Markets

According to Zillow, the healthiest housing markets are in California and other areas in the western United States. In October, the markets with the healthiest index readings were San Jose, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Denver. Zillow warns, however, that the same rapid appreciation that's positively impacting market health today may cause affordability issues in the future and unhealthy conditions.

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Chase Boosts Customer Loyalty With Mortgage Rewards

Chase's Mortgage Cash Back rewards program allows customers who have both their mortgage and personal checking account with Chase to earn up to $500 annually. Since the program began four years ago, Chase has paid out $87 million to more than 368,000 homeowners. This December, Chase will be distributing $4 million in Cash Back rewards to customers, just in time for the holidays.

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HUD Defines Two Types of Qualified Mortgages

HUD has issued a newly revised definition for Qualified Mortgage (QM) which will affect all Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans moving forward. The new rule goes into effect January 10, 2014, and will apply to mortgages that are insured, guaranteed, or administered through HUD. The agency's version of QM builds on the existing QM rule finalized by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau earlier this year.

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Housing Momentum Stalled by Cautious Consumers

According to Fannie Mae's November National Housing Survey, positive momentum in the housing market has slowed as Americans remain cautious about their personal finances and the overall state of the economy. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed believe the economy is on the wrong track. Within the next year, 22 percent expect their personal finances to worsen and only 45 percent expect home prices to increase.

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Why so Few Houses for Sale? Lots of Reasons.

Inventories of homes for sale have been slow to bounce back since the 2007-09 recession, despite steady price appreciation since January 2012. Normally, higher prices reflect robust sales. But lately, prices have been rising even though sales remain stuck at relatively low levels, largely due to a lack of inventory. So why are there so few homes for sale? Two Fed economists examine the many factors affecting today's inventory levels.

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Castle & Cooke Penalized for Steering Consumers to Costlier Mortgages

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has investigated Castle & Cooke Mortgage, LLC, and on Thursday, announced a proposed consent order in its enforcement action. Castle & Cooke allegedly steered consumers into mortgages that were unnecessarily costly, and paid loan officers illegal quarterly bonuses based on the interest rate of the loans they offered to borrowers.

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