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Tag Archives: Capital Economics

Mortgage Apps Suffer Largest Drop of the Year as Rates Jump

Consumer demand for home loans plummeted last week as mortgage rates shot up against the backdrop of the Federal Reserve's announcement to pump more money into the economy - an initiative that's designed to keep interest rates low. The total volume of new mortgage applications sank 14.4 percent. It's the biggest week-to-week drop of 2010 and the lowest reading in four months. Rates for 30-year fixed mortgages rose 18 basis points during the one-week period, but analysts say it's too soon to conclude the Fed got it wrong.

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Credit Crunch Easing, but Lending Standards Still Tight for Mortgages

The Federal Reserve says both large and small banks are beginning to ease back on their credit requirements for ""some categories of loans"" to households and businesses. However, standards continue to tighten on prime mortgages and home-equity loans, particularly at smaller institutions. According to the Federal Reserve's study, consumer demand for residential mortgages decreased during the three months ending in October compared to earlier survey periods, with the falloff again most evident at smaller banks.

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NAR’s Pending Home Sales Gauge Slips 1.8%

The number of contracts signed for purchases of previously owned homes unexpectedly dropped in September. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said Friday that its pending home sales index slipped 1.8 percent - the first decline reported since June. Economists polled by Reuters were anticipating a 3 percent increase. The fact that the September drop occurred before all the problems with foreclosure affidavits came to light, and created uncertainties for buyers of REO properties, means there's likely more volatility to come in home sales statistics.

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Capital Economics Warns of Another Dip Ahead

The analysts at Capital Economics say that dreaded double-dip is already underway, in both housing activity and residential property prices. The research firm is forecasting home prices in the United States to steadily decline over the next 12 months and have fallen back by over 5 percent by the end of next year, taking them to a new cycle low. The company's analysts say there are currently about 1.5 million too many homes up for sale, and that excess supply will likely grow by another 4.9 million due to elevated foreclosure activity.

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S&P Case-Shiller Index Records Widespread Declines in Home Prices

Home prices across the country slipped in August, Standard & Poor's reported Tuesday. The agency's closely-watched gauge of residential property values recorded a 0.1 percent drop in the composite reading of 10 cities tracked, while the 20-city composite posted a 0.2 percent decline. Home prices decreased in 15 of the survey's 20 metropolitan statistical areas on a month-to-month basis. Only Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, New York, and Washington D.C. posted what S&P called ""marginal improvements.""

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Sales of Existing Homes Post 10% Gain in September: NAR

Sales of previously owned homes rose in September for the second straight month. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) on Monday reported a 10 percent jump. The month-to-month gain was more than analysts were expecting, and NAR says the latest numbers ""affirm a sales recovery has begun."" Some market observers, though, suggest such an assertion is premature. The median sales price of existing homes dropped 2.4 percent in September. Distressed homes accounted for 35 percent of the month's transactions.

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Existing-Home Sales Rebound 7.6%: NAR

Sales figures for previously owned homes rose in August following a big correction in July, according to data released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Thursday. The trade group's existing-home sales report showed a 7.6 percent increase in transactions during the month, bumping the annualized sales pace to 4.13 million homes and reducing for-sale inventory to an 11.6-months supply. The sales share of distressed homes rose to 34 percent last month. Analysts say the results are in line with expectations but disappointing, nonetheless.

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NAR’s Index of Pending Home Sales Unexpectedly Climbs

Following a sharp drop in the months immediately after the homebuyer tax credit expired, the National Association of Realtors' gauge for future sales of previously owned homes has risen. NAR reported Thursday that its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in July, increased 5.2 percent from last month's reading. The month-to-month jump was an unexpected development, and some analysts say it may be a sign that the post-tax credit lull in home sales will soon come to an end.

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Mortgage Rates…How Low Can You Go?

There seems to be no bottom in sight for mortgage rates. Already at their lowest level in a half-century, they dropped to new record lows again this week. Analysts say we have the weak economy to thank, but that same trigger is also thwarting what would be the ideal upshot - enticing would-be buyers to put a dent in the ballooned housing supply. Freddie Mac reports 30-year mortgages are now averaging 4.32 percent; 15-year rates have dropped to 3.83 percent. Bankrate says the larger jumbo 30-year fixed rate fell to a new low of 5.17 percent.

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