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Home | Author Archives: Tory Barringer

Author Archives: Tory Barringer

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CFPB: Consumers ‘Fraught with Anxiety’ Closing Mortgages

CFPB: Consumers ‘Fraught with Anxiety’ Closing Mortgages

As part of its “Know Before You Owe” initiative to streamline mortgage lending, CFPB released Wednesday the results of a year of research on the closing process, including comments collected from both consumers and market participants. The findings indicate frustration all around. “Mortgage closings are often fraught with anxiety,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray.

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New Home Sales Plummet 14.5% in March

New Home Sales Plummet 14.5% in March

Monthly data released Wednesday by HUD and the Census Bureau shows sales of new homes last month plummeting 14.5 percent from February to an estimated seasonally adjusted yearly rate of 384,000. The last time transactions ran so low was last July, when they came to 383,000.

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Existing-Home Sales Slip in March

Existing-Home Sales Slip in March

Total existing-home sales in March came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.59 million, according to estimates from the National Association of Realtors. March sales fell .2 percent from February’s downwardly revised pace of 4.60 million and hit a nearly two-year low. Compared to March 2013, the sales rate was down 7.5 percent.

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Despite Slowdown, Fannie Mae Expects Economic Growth

Despite Slowdown, Fannie Mae Expects Economic Growth

A weaker-than-expected first quarter has researchers at Fannie Mae amending their forecast for growth in 2014, but they still project acceleration as the year progresses. In its Economic and Housing Outlook for April, Fannie Mae's Economic and Strategic Research Group notes economic activity slowed in Q1 even more than was forecast, partly due to a sharp decline in inventory investment as consumer spending waned.

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All-Cash Financing Increases; Buyers Avoid Red Tape

All-Cash Financing Increases; Buyers Avoid Red Tape

According to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey, an estimated 26.2 percent of home purchases by current homeowners in March relied solely on cash, up from a 12-month low of 22.8 percent recorded last August. Figures are based on a three-month moving average.

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Fed: Economic Activity Increases Due to Better Weather

Fed: Economic Activity Increases Due to Better Weather

Reports from the Federal Reserve’s 12 districts indicate economic activity has increased in most regions across the country since the end of February as the unusually harsh winter came to an end. As in the last Beige Book report, the word "weather" appeared more than 100 times in the Fed's latest release, though the theme this time was generally one of improvement rather than sluggishness.

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Freddie Mac: Mortgage Rates Fall to 4.27 Percent

Freddie Mac: Mortgage Rates Fall to 4.27 Percent

Per Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) this week averaged a rate of 4.27 percent (0.7 point), down from 4.34 percent last week. A year ago, the 30-year FRM sat at 3.41 percent. At the same time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.33 percent (0.6 point), down from an average 3.38 percent.

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Bank of America Legal Expenses Hurt Q1 Earnings

Bank of America Legal Expenses Hurt Q1 Earnings

Bank of America’s first-quarter earnings were hit hard by legal expenses, resulting in a net loss of $276 million to start the year. The loss follows a profitable fourth quarter of 2013, which saw the bank taking in $3.4 billion. For the first quarter of 2013, BofA reported net income of $1.5 billion. The results for the first quarter include $6 billion in litigation expenses related to a major settlement the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) over legacy securities claims.

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Builders Remain in a Holding Pattern, Expect Improvement

Builders Remain in a Holding Pattern, Expect Improvement

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported a one-point increase in its monthly Housing Market Index (HMI), a measure of builders’ confidence in the market for newly constructed single-family homes. Registering 47 as of the latest release, the index has now spent three straight months below 50, the threshold between a market viewed largely as “good” and one viewed as “bad.”

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