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Tag Archives: Federal Reserve

Consumers in No Rush to Borrow in Extended Low Rate Environment

The Federal Reserve's recently-announced commitment to keep interest rates low until 2015 isn't doing much to persuade consumers to borrow, according to Bankrate's Financial Security Index for October. Seventy-four percent of consumers said they are not interested in taking on debt, while 23 percent said they are more inclined to borrow. Three percent said they did not know. While the Fed's announcement was intended to stimulate economic activity, it may have had the opposite effect, one expert told Bankrate.

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Housing Recovery Continuing Amid Economic Uncertainty: Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Research Group expects economic growth to ""remain at a sluggish sub-2 percent rate this year."" While the outlook on the economy was uncertain, the assessment for the housing market was more stable. Despite an anticipated dip in home prices for the winter season, the research group maintains the viewpoint that prices hit bottom earlier this year. In addition to the bottoming out of prices, the GSE's research group said record low mortgage rates should encourage more consumers to enter the housing market.

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Residential Real Estate Bright Spot in Fed Report

The nation's economy generally expanded modestly from mid-August until the end of September, the Federal Reserve said in its periodic Beige Book report issued Wednesday. The report, the last Beige Book to be issued prior to Election Day, painted a mixed regional picture, with a leveling off of economic activity in New York and a slowing in the pace of growth in Kansas City. Residential real estate proved to be a bright spot amid an otherwise pedestrian report.

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Housing Can’t Save the Economy

Both existing and new home sales are on the rise, but no amount of improvement in the housing sector will bring relief to the overall economy, which continues to struggle, according to Capital Economics. Economists at Capital Economics suggest the Fed's launch of QE3 may bring the 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate even lower. While this may entice more home buyers, ""the bottom line is that housing is unlikely to become a significant driver of GDP growth,"" Capital Economics states.

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Mortgage Rates Break Low Records Again as QE3 Starts

It's unknown whether or not the Federal Reserve's new stimulus will be able to whip the economy back into shape, but one thing's for sure: It's sent mortgage rates plummeting. Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed new record lows in all categories except the 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM).

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Household Net Worth Falls in Q2: Fed Report

Despite a $355 billion increase in the value of household real estate, household net worth fell $322 billion in the second quarter, the Federal Reserve reported Thursday in its quarterly Flow of Funds report. And, while the value of owner-occupied household real estate increased in the second quarter, total residential mortgage debt fell almost $51 billion. As a result, owners' equity increased just over $406 billion and owners' equity as percentage of the value of the real estate rose to 43.1 percent, the highest level since Q2 2008, according to the report.

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Fixed Mortgage Rates Find New Lows in Wake of QE3 Announcement

The Federal Reserve's announcement confirming a third round of quantitative easing sent long-term mortgage rates tumbling to all-new record lows this week. Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed a drop in both the 30-year and 15-year fixed. According to the survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.49 percent (0.6 point) for the week ending September 20, down from 3.55 percent the week before. The 15-year FRM also fell this week, averaging 2.77 percent (0.6 point). The previous survey showed an average of 2.85 percent.

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Wells Fargo: Fed Stimulus to Set Up Improved Market for 2013

The bank's Economics Group issued a special commentary in its Housing Data Wrap-Up for August 2012, examining the potential effects (or lack thereof) the Fed's new plan may have on housing and updating its forecast for the market. The Fed's influence should put downward pressure on long-term interest rates, but Wells Fargo says the benefits from such a move will be modest at best, citing already-low mortgage rates. The bigger issue at hand is the ""fiscal cliff,"" which has led to a slowdown in hiring and turned back gains in consumer confidence.

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Fed Adopts Familiar Stimulus Plan, Will Spend $40B Monthly on MBS

The Federal Open Market Committee announced Thursday a new plan to stimulate a moribund economy, continuing two earlier plans which at best stopped the economy from contracting. The FOMC said it would keep the federal funds rate near zero into mid-2015, six months longer than it had said previously. The FOMC voted 11-1 ""to increase policy accommodation by purchasing additional agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month.""

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Mortgage Rates Flat as Investors Await Stimulus News

Mortgage rates saw little change this week as investors await news from the Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) about a possible third round of quantitative easing. According to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.55 percent (0.6 point) for the week ending September 13, no different from the week before and only slightly above its all-time low achieved earlier in the summer.

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