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Tag Archives: Freddie Mac

FHFA Index Shows 1.6% Drop in Third-Quarter Home Prices

Home prices in the U.S. continued to fall in the third quarter, with declines in most parts of the country, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). FHFA's purchase-only house price index is calculated from mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It was 1.6 percent lower in the third quarter when compared to the second. Analysts warn that we may have entered a second downturn, although likely shorter and less severe than the one that brought the financial system to its knees.

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Home Purchase Activity Hits Six-Month High

Mortgage applications for home purchases jumped during the third week of November to their highest level since May. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported Wednesday that its index of purchase applications soared 14.4 percent for the week ending November 19th. MBA says the increase suggests growing consumer confidence. It offset a 1.0 percent decline in applications for mortgage refinancing, which in contrast, hit their lowest mark since the end of June.

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Accelerated Foreclosure Activity Keeps Delinquency Growth in Check

Servicers have picked up the pace as they work through a backlog of loans that have languished in late-stage delinquency status for months, and in some cases well over a year. As a result, Lender Processing Services says lenders' foreclosure inventories have risen dramatically and are about 7.4 times above the historical average. Increases in delinquency numbers have remained subdued, however, as loans are pushed out the end of the pipeline faster than new delinquencies enter.

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Are the Days of Rock-Bottom Mortgage Rates Behind Us?

Mortgage interest rates rose dramatically this week, after lingering around half-century lows for months. The upsurge comes just two weeks after the Federal Reserve announced plans to purchase another $600 billion in Treasury securities, a move that is meant to hold interest rates down. Rates are still extremely low by historical standards, but the sharp increases seen in just one week's time - long-term rates jumped by about 20 basis points in two separate industry studies - serve as an abrupt reminder that trends can reverse on a dime.

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NAR Survey Finds Half of Homebuyers to be First-Time Purchasers

First-time homebuyers purchased half of all homes that were sold from July 2009 to June 2010, according to an annual survey of buyers and sellers conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). It's the highest share of first-time homebuyers in the history of NAR's study, which dates back to 1981. The trade group attributed its findings to the success of the government's tax credits, but also voiced concern that today's credit policy restrictions are locking responsible borrowers out of homeownership.

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More Homeowners Opt for Fixed-Rate Mortgage Products

Fixed-rate mortgages have become the dominant choice among borrowers looking to refinance their home loans, with more applicants gravitating toward shorter loan terms. A study by Freddie Mac on loan transition trends found that in the third quarter, more than 95 percent of homeowners who refinanced chose fixed-rate loans, regardless of whether their original loan was an adjustable- or fixed-rate mortgage. Borrowers who previously held shorter-term mortgages also showed a stronger preference for staying with a 15-year or 20-year loan.

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Embrace Home Loans Satisfies SAFE Act Licensing Requirements

Embrace Home Loans, a direct lender for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has met the licensing requirements of the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing (SAFE) Act. The company said it has been preparing for the SAFE Act for more than a year and consequently has invested thousands of man-hours and millions of dollars in resources to ensure all of its loan officers are ready to meet the requirements of the SAFE Act for originating loans in multiple states.

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Obama to Nominate New Overseer for Fannie and Freddie

President Obama said Friday that he intends to nominate North Carolina Banking Commissioner Joseph A. Smith, Jr. to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. If confirmed by the Senate, Smith will replace Edward DeMarco, who has served as acting director of the agency since September 2009. The timing of Smith's appointment would put him at the center of the administration's efforts to reform the nation's housing finance system and decide the future of the GSEs.

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Mortgage Rates Set New Record Lows in Freddie Mac Survey

Interest rates on home loans sunk to new lows this week, according to figures released by Freddie Mac Thursday. The GSE surveyed 125 lenders across the country and found that rates on 30-year mortgages are now averaging 4.17 percent, while the average rate for 15-year loans dropped to 3.57 percent. The GSE's chief economist expressed concern that although rates are at their lowest level in more than a half century, they've done little to pull would-be buyers from the sidelines as the housing recovery continues to slow.

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Industry’s Mortgage Rate Reports Show Mixed Results

Freddie Mac's report on mortgage interest rates this week says long-term 30-year rates rose slightly, while 15-year rates eased and short-term adjustable-rate mortgages set new lows. A separate study from Bankrate claims mortgage interest rates dropped across the board to record lows. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve announced another injection of $600 billion into the nation's sluggish economy, but it remains to be seen if this is enough to push Treasury yields and mortgage rates lower, and if so, by how much.

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