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Tag Archives: Mortgage Applications

March Builder Confidence Flat As String of Increases Ends

Builder confidence was flat in March, matching a downwardly revised February index of 28, the first time in six months the index has not increased, the National Association of Home Builders reported Monday. The builder assessment of present home sales conditions actually dipped in March, falling to 29, the first decline since last September. The outlook for home sales in the next six months rose to 36 - the highest level since June 2007 - from 34 in February. Buyer traffic was flat in March at 22.

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Credit Trends Among U.S. Consumers Point to End of Housing Downturn

Consumer credit data suggests spending will increase and the housing market will begin to emerge from its slump this year, according to Equifax and Moody's Analytics. Both companies note that as key market data align with pre-recession totals, consumers should anticipate steady economic growth for major credit sectors, including auto, bank card, and consumer finance. While the mortgage lending sector continues to see the highest percentage of delinquencies, it too is showing signs of increased traction in the coming months.

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U.S. Resolves Claims Against BofA Through $1 Billion Settlement

Bank of America will pay $1 billion to the U.S. to settle on the largest False Claims Act relating to mortgage fraud. Since 2009, the U.S. attorney's office has been investigating lending practices from Countrywide, which BofA acquired in 2008. The results of the investigation led to allegations that the bank created loans insured by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) to unqualified home buyers. BofA was also accused of originating loans based on inflated appraisals and failing to identify homeowners who could participate in the government's Home Affordable Modification Program.

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Wells Fargo Reports Record Income in Fourth Quarter

Wells Fargo & Company ended the year with record earnings in the fourth quarter, reporting a net income of $4.1 billion, up from $3.4 billion in the third quarter. The San Francisco-based bank reported year-end profits of $15.9 billion, demonstrating a 28 percent increase from yearly earnings in 2010. Wells Fargo holds a residential mortgage servicing portfolio totaling $1.8 trillion in value. As of year-end, the balance of loans 90-plus days delinquent stood at $22.4 billion.

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Fed’s Field Contacts Report on Weak Spots in Housing

The Federal Reserve has published a new rendition of its market-gauging Beige Book, which indicates economic activity across the country is expanding at only a modest pace. Residential real estate markets were described as ""weak"" overall, however, a few districts did report slight improvements. Markets in the New York district are seeing an increasing share of foreign buyers paying cash. Florida contacts report a rise in sales activity but a decline in bank-owned homes.

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Prime Mortgage Requirements: Then vs. Now

Last year, banks seized more than one million properties. Lax underwriting standards during the boom years served as the catalyst for a housing bust that upended not only the mortgage market but the entire U.S. financial system, and has left scores of foreclosures, delinquencies, and vacant homes in its wake. In order to see what changes the lending community has made, the ratings agency DBRS decided to do a side-by-side comparison of the criteria for obtaining a prime mortgage in 2007 versus today's requirements for prime qualification.

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Analysts Weigh in on NAR’s Existing-Home Sales Report

The National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday that sales of previously owned homes rose 3.7 percent last month, following the 9.6 drop recorded in February. The results were slightly better than forecast, but reaction was mixed after the release of the report. One economist says sales have now stabilized at a level no higher than that seen during the recession, and with so many forced foreclosed sales, a recovery is not even on the horizon. But another points out that it's distressed properties that are helping to elevate sales activity as investors line up for a bargain.

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Mortgage Demand Falls for Second Straight Week

Consumer demand for home mortgages declined last week, according to industry data released Wednesday. It marks the second consecutive week that the number of home loan applications has dropped, as long-term mortgage rates came in above the 5 percent threshold yet again. The Mortgage Bankers Association said its measurement of application volume slipped 9.5 percent for the week ending February 11. The trade group's gauge has hit its lowest point in more than two years.

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Mortgage Applications on the Rise Again

The number of mortgage applications submitted to lenders increased last week, as new applications for both loan refinancings and home purchases rose. That follows a 13 percent plunge in overall activity the week before. Data released by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Wednesday shows that the trade group's measurement of total mortgage loan application volume jumped 11.3 percent for the week ending January 28.

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MBA Sees 36% Falloff in Mortgage Production in 2011

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released its market outlook to the media on Wednesday. The trade group's economists are expecting mortgage lending to shrink by 36 percent this year. They project originations -- including loans for home purchases and refinancing -- to total $966 billion in 2011, compared to $1.5 trillion in 2010. If MBA's forecast holds true, it will be the mortgage industry's poorest showing since 1997.

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