Archive for 'Fixed rate mortgage'

Mortgage Availability Remains a Real Concern: NAR

Mortgage Availability Remains a Real Concern: NAR

Mortgage Availability Remains a Real Concern: NAR-Image via Wikipedia

Realtors® stand ready to protect and defend opportunities for homeownership, and many of them have gathered here at the 2011 REALTORS® Conference & Expo to prepare for the challenges ahead.

During the opening session today at this week’s meetings, National Association of Realtors® President Ron Phipps outlined obstacles and opportunities facing the real estate industry.

“For the first time in generations, the American dream of homeownership is being threatened,” said Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I. “We need to keep housing first on the nation’s public policy agenda, because housing and home ownership issues affect all Americans.”

NAR is actively advocating public policies that promote responsible, sustainable homeownership. Those include ensuring affordable, accessible financing; supporting tax policies that encourage homeownership; and helping more people stay in their homes or avoid foreclosure through streamlined short sales.

As Realtors® convene in California this week, conforming loan limits is one top-of-mind issue. On October 1, Congress allowed those limits to revert from 125 percent of the local area median home price to 115 percent of the local median home price. As a result, home buyers and sellers in 669 counties across 42 states and the District of Columbia have been affected. The lower limits mean that fewer people will have access to mortgage loans, and the loans that are available will be more expensive.

“Mortgage availability remains a real concern since the private market has yet to return,” said Phipps. “While the housing market is still in recovery, we firmly believe that lower loan limits will only further restrict liquidity in mortgage markets.”

NAR has urged Congress to reinstate the higher loan limits temporarily, and more than 200 members of Congress currently support efforts to reinstate these limits.

Session attendees also heard about the results of last month’s New Solutions for America’s Housing Crisis forum. The forum was hosted by the Progressive Policy Institute and Economic Policies for the 21st Century and brought together policy leaders, industry representatives, members of Congress, thought leaders and the media.

From this forum, NAR has endorsed a five-point housing solutions plan to help reenergize housing markets and spur the economic recovery.

“Many of the solutions that came out of this forum evolved from ideas that Realtors® have been advocating for several years,” said Phipps. “Realtors® and the families we work with, day in and day out, know that homeownership matters, and now, with our combined and continued efforts, we’re going to make sure that policymakers understand that, too.”

This year’s Realtors® Conference & Expo is expected to draw approximately 18,000 Realtors® and guests. More than 400 exhibitors are expected to participate in the Expo, which showcases the latest real estate products and innovations across various fields, including technology, data communications and financial programs and services.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX), a leading provider of information, analytics and business services, today released its September Home Price Index (HPI®) which shows that home prices in the U.S. decreased 1.1 percent on a month-over-month basis, the second consecutive monthly decline. According to the CoreLogic HPI, national home prices, including distressed sales, also declined by 4.1 percent in September 2011 compared to September 2010.  This follows a decline of 4.4 percent* in August 2011 compared to August 2010.  Excluding distressed sales, year-over-year prices declined by 1.1 percent in September 2011 compared to September 2010 and by 2.2* percent in August 2011 compared to August 2010.  Distressed sales include short sales and real estate owned (REO) transactions.

“Even with low interest rates, demand for houses remains muted. Home sales are down in September and the inventory of homes for sale remains elevated. Home prices are adjusting to correct for the supply-demand imbalance and we expect declines to continue through the winter. Distressed sales remain a significant share of homes that do sell and are driving home prices overall,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic.

Highlights as of September 2011

  • Including distressed sales, the five states with the highest appreciation were:  West Virginia (+7.0 percent), Wyoming (+3.8 percent), South Dakota (+3.6 percent), Maine (+3.5 percent), and North Dakota (+3.1 percent).
  • Including distressed sales, the five states with the greatest depreciation were: Nevada (-12.4 percent), Illinois (-9.2 percent), Arizona (-9.0 percent), Minnesota (-8.3 percent), and Georgia (-7.2 percent).
  • Excluding distressed sales, the five states with the highest appreciation were: West Virginia (+13.2 percent), Maine (+5.8 percent), Wyoming (+4.8 percent), Montana (+4.4 percent), and Kansas (+3.9 percent).
  • Excluding distressed sales, the five states with the greatest depreciation were: Nevada (-9.6 percent), Arizona (-7.7 percent), Minnesota (-5.9 percent), Michigan (-4.8 percent), and Delaware (-3.7 percent).
  • Including distressed transactions, the peak-to-current change in the national HPI (from April 2006 to September 2011) was -31.2 percent.  Excluding distressed transactions, the peak-to-current change in the HPI for the same period was -21.9 percent.
  • Of the top 100 Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) measured by population, 82 are showing year-over-year declines in September, the same as in August.

Full-month September 2011 national, state-level and top CBSA-level data can be found at http://www.corelogic.com/HPISeptember2011.

*August data was revised.  Revisions with public records data are standard, and to ensure accuracy, CoreLogic incorporates the newly released public data to provide updated results.

September HPI for the Country’s Largest Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs) by Population:

September 2011 12-Month HPI
CBSA Change by CBSA
Single Family Single Family  Excluding Distressed
Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL -9.7% -1.9%
Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ -8.0% -7.1%
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA -7.8% -3.9%
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA -6.3% -4.0%
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA -5.8% 0.2%
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX -4.3% 0.9%
Philadelphia, PA -0.3% -0.4%
Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX -0.1% 2.8%
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 1.0% 2.3%
New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ 2.2% 2.9%

Source: CoreLogic.

September HPI State and National Ranking:

September 2011 12-Month HPI
State Change by State
Single Family Single Family

Excluding Distressed

National -4.1% -1.1%
Nevada -12.4% -9.6%
Illinois -9.2% -2.5%
Arizona -9.0% -7.7%
Minnesota -8.3% -5.9%
Georgia -7.2% -3.6%
California -6.5% -1.6%
Ohio -6.0% 0.0%
Delaware -5.8% -3.7%
Washington -5.6% -1.9%
Idaho -5.1% 0.0%
Wisconsin -4.7% -3.3%
New Mexico -4.7% -2.5%
Alabama -4.6% 2.4%
Missouri -4.4% -1.6%
Oregon -4.3% -3.3%
Utah -4.3% -0.8%
Florida -3.8% -1.7%
Michigan -3.7% -4.8%
Connecticut -3.5% -3.6%
New Hampshire -3.2% -1.1%
Rhode Island -2.7% -0.7%
Massachusetts -2.2% -1.6%
Hawaii -2.0% 0.9%
Arkansas -1.8% -1.0%
Kentucky -1.7% 0.2%
Maryland -1.6% 0.1%
Colorado -1.5% -0.2%
Texas -1.4% 1.6%
New Jersey -1.2% -1.5%
Indiana -0.7% 0.7%
Louisiana -0.6% 2.2%
Vermont -0.6% 3.1%
North Carolina -0.5% 0.4%
Iowa -0.4% 0.3%
Montana -0.3% 4.4%
Virginia -0.2% 0.7%
Oklahoma -0.2% 0.4%
Pennsylvania -0.1% 0.6%
Mississippi 0.0% 0.6%
South Carolina 0.6% 2.1%
Tennessee 0.7% 0.1%
Alaska 0.8% 1.4%
Kansas 1.2% 3.9%
Nebraska 1.2% 0.8%
District of Columbia 1.4% 0.3%
New York 2.4% 2.5%
North Dakota 3.1% 3.4%
Maine 3.5% 5.8%
South Dakota 3.6% 1.2%
Wyoming 3.8% 4.8%
West Virginia 7.0% 13.2%

Source: CoreLogic.

Methodology

The CoreLogic HPI incorporates more than 30 years’ worth of repeat sales transactions, representing more than 65 million observations sourced from CoreLogic industry-leading property information and its securities and servicing databases. The CoreLogic HPI provides a multi-tier market evaluation based on price, time between sales, property type, loan type (conforming vs. nonconforming), and distressed sales. The CoreLogic HPI is a repeat-sales index that tracks increases and decreases in sales prices for the same homes over time, which provides a more accurate “constant-quality” view of pricing trends than basing analysis on all home sales. The CoreLogic HPI provides the most comprehensive set of monthly home price indices and median sales prices available covering 6,607 ZIP codes (58 percent of total U.S. population), 608 Core Based Statistical Areas (86 percent of total U.S. population) and 1,146 counties (84 percent of total U.S. population) located in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

About CoreLogic

CoreLogic (NYSE: CLGX) is a leading provider of consumer, financial and property information, analytics and services to business and government. The Company combines public, contributory and proprietary data to develop predictive decision analytics and provide business services that bring dynamic insight and transparency to the markets it serves. CoreLogic has built one of the largest and most comprehensive U.S. real estate, mortgage application, fraud, and loan performance databases and is a recognized leading provider of mortgage and automotive credit reporting, property tax, valuation, flood determination, and geospatial analytics and services. More than one million users rely on CoreLogic to assess risk, support underwriting, investment and marketing decisions, prevent fraud, and improve business performance in their daily operations. The Company, headquartered in Santa Ana, Calif., has more than 5,000 employees globally. For more information visit www.corelogic.com.

Source:  CoreLogic

The data provided is for use only by the primary recipient or the primary recipient’s publication or broadcast. This data may not be re-sold, republished or licensed to any other source, including publications and sources owned by the primary recipient’s parent company without prior written permission from CoreLogic.  Any CoreLogic data used for publication or broadcast, in whole or in part, must be sourced as coming from CoreLogic, a data and analytics company. For use with broadcast or web content, the citation must directly accompany first reference of the data.  If the data is illustrated with maps, charts, graphs or other visual elements, the CoreLogic logo must be included on screen or web site.  For questions, analysis or interpretation of the data, contact Lori Guyton at lguyton@cvic.com or Bill Campbell at bill@campbelllewis.com. Data provided may not be modified without the prior written permission of CoreLogic.  Do not use the data in any unlawful manner. This data is compiled from public records, contributory databases and proprietary analytics, and its accuracy is dependent upon these sources.

CORELOGIC, the stylized CoreLogic logo and HPI are registered trademarks owned by CoreLogic, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. No trademark of CoreLogic shall be used without the express written consent of CoreLogic.

CONTACT: For real estate industry and trade media: Bill Campbell, +1-212-995-8057 (office), +1-917-328-6539 (mobile), bill@campbelllewis.com; For general news media: Lori Guyton, +1-901-277-6066, lguyton@crosbyvolmer.com

Web Site: http://www.corelogic.com

Americans continue to be pessimistic about home prices, the economy, and personal finances, according to results from Fannie Mae’s October National Housing Survey.  Findings show that consumers have experienced stagnant incomes over the past year and do not expect their personal financial situations to improve over the next twelve months.

“The October survey showed that consumers’ outlook for the housing market has remained downbeat, as they expect home prices to decline over the next year, extending the streak of negative outlooks to five consecutive months,” said Doug Duncan, vice president and chief economist of Fannie Mae. “More positive economic headlines over the past month failed to lift consumers’ moods.  While their views regarding their personal finances and the direction of the economy have not deteriorated further, it is discouraging to see the lack of appreciable improvement after overall sentiment took a hit during the debt ceiling debate in August.”

“The fact that sentiment appears to be in a holding pattern at depressed levels is a cause for concern for the development of the housing market and for the economy as a whole, as there will be no meaningful economic recovery without a housing recovery,” Duncan stated.

SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS

The Economy and Household Finances

  • An all-time high of 46 percent of consumers expect their personal financial situation to stay the same over the next 12 months.
  • An all-time high of 65 percent of consumers say their income is about the same as it was 12 months ago.
  • Seventy-seven percent say the economy is off on the wrong track (unchanged since September), while just 16 percent think the economy is on the right track, also unchanged since September and tying the all-time low number.
  • Thirty-six percent report significantly higher expenses compared to 12 months ago, (down 7 percentage points since last month).

Homeownership and Renting

  • For the fifth month in a row, Americans expect home prices to decline over the next 12 months. On average, respondents expect home prices to decline by 0.3 percent.
  • Just 19 percent of respondents expect home prices to increase over the next 12 months (up 1 percentage point since last month), while 23 percent say they expect home prices to decline (down by 2 percentage points since last month). Fifty-five percent say prices will stay the same, tying the all-time high number set last month.
  • Thirty-six percent of Americans say that mortgage rates will go up over the next 12 months (up 3 percentage points since last month).
  • While 69 percent of respondents say it is a good time to buy a home (up by 1 percentage point since last month), just 10 percent say it is a good time to sell (unchanged since last month).
  • On average, Americans expect home rental prices to increase by 3.3 percent over the next 12 months, unchanged since last month.
  • Thirty-one percent of Americans say they would rent their next home, while 66 percent say they would buy, (up by 3 percentage points since last month).

The most detailed consumer attitudinal survey of its kind, the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey polled 1,002 Americans via live telephone interview to assess their attitudes toward owning and renting a home, mortgage rates, homeownership distress, the economy, household finances, and overall consumer confidence. Homeowners and renters are asked more than 100 questions used to track attitudinal shifts (findings are compared to the same survey conducted monthly beginning June 2010). Fannie Mae conducts this survey and shares monthly and quarterly results so that we may help industry partners and market participants target our collective efforts to stabilize the housing market in the near-term, and provide support in the future.For detailed findings from the October 2011 survey, as well as technical notes on survey methodology and the questions asked of respondents associated with each monthly indicator, please visit the Fannie Mae Monthly National Housing Survey site.  Also available on the site are quarterly survey results, which provide a detailed assessment of combined data results from three monthly studies. The October 2011 Fannie Mae National Housing Survey was conducted between October 3, 2011 and October 26, 2011. Interviews were conducted by Penn Schoen Berland, in coordination with Fannie Mae.

Fannie Mae exists to expand affordable housing and bring global capital to local communities in order to serve the U.S. housing market. Fannie Mae has a federal charter and operates in America’s secondary mortgage market to enhance the liquidity of the mortgage market by providing funds to mortgage bankers and other lenders so that they may lend to home buyers. Our job is to help those who house America.

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/FannieMae .

CONTACT: Pete Bakel, +1-202-752-2034

Web Site: http://www.fanniemae.com

Google Enters the Mortgage Loan Business

Google Enters the Mortgage Loan Business

Google Enters the Mortgage Loan Business-Image by James Marvin Phelps via Flickr

LoanSifter, Inc. (www.LoanSifter.com), provider of the mortgage industry’s most complete and intuitive product and real-time pricing platform, announced today a strategic relationship with Google Inc. that gives consumers access to mortgage loan products and real-time pricing based on LoanSifter’s technology, including side-by-side comparisons of mortgage loan products from multiple lenders through Google’s Comparison Ads.

Google’s Comparison Ads help consumers shop for mortgages online by retrieving quotes based on the borrower’s specific loan criteria.  Through a strategic relationship between both companies, Google will leverage LoanSifter’s industry-leading technology – which automates pricing for lenders using the largest real-time database of investor pricing and eligibility content available in the mortgage industry — to provide Google users with information on mortgage products and pricing from the lenders using LoanSifter.  When Google users get these rates, LoanSifter’s lenders will receive qualified online leads.

Greg Ulrich, production manager at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation in Colleyville, Texas, believes that Google’s popularity provides a great opportunity as another channel for borrowers to reach the company, without substantial investment costs.  “This saves us money, allowing us to pass a greater savings to the consumer,” Ulrich said.

“We chose LoanSifter for our Google auto-quoting because it enables us to customize our pricing more accurately and effectively,” Ulrich added.  “Other vendors require manual supervision, which would have been problematic in keeping up with market shifts.”

Consumers who search for popular mortgage-related terms or phrases on Google are drawn to Google’s proprietary mortgage Comparison Ads, where they can anonymously provide details such as their desired loan amounts and credit scores.  Google will then retrieve multiple reliable offers from dependable lenders, placed side-by-side so the borrower can compare them.  After investigating different scenarios and choosing a lender, the borrower is then able to contact the lender by phone or e-mail.  Borrowers do not have to fill out lengthy forms or click through walls of advertisements in order to access up-to-the-minute loan products and rates, and the leads generated to lenders are anonymous, so that borrowers can protect their private information until they are ready to move forward in the mortgage process.

“Our relationship with Google will be of tremendous benefit to both lenders and consumers,” LoanSifter President Bruce Backer said.  “A growing number of borrowers are using the Internet to find the best possible mortgage deals, and Google’s immense popularity makes it a first stop for many.  Borrowers benefit from the side-by-side comparison in an open marketplace, while lenders benefit from LoanSifter’s ability to accurately price mortgage scenarios on their behalf.”

About LoanSifter

LoanSifter, Inc. provides the banking industry’s most comprehensive tools for mortgage bankers, loan officers and secondary departments to price, market and manage loans. The company’s flagship technology solution is an accurate, web-based product and pricing solution providing bankers with advanced tools to improve their service levels and increase profits. LoanSifter boasts the most comprehensive investor database in the industry with over 160 correspondent and wholesale investors. LoanSifter is also the leader in delivering point-of-sale (POS) and marketing tools to lenders and loan officers, including its eOriginations suite solution, offering highly customizable website utilities (automated consumer-facing pricing search), automated email campaigns, automated quoting for Zillow and LendingTree, scenario-specific rate monitoring alerts, and automated marketing materials. Founded in 2004, LoanSifter is headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin.  For more information about LoanSifter, call 920.268.4770 or visit www.LoanSifter.com.

PRESS CONTACT:  
Warren Lutz
Strategic Vantage Marketing & Public Relations
(925) 270-3941
PR@StrategicVantage.com

Web Site: http://www.loansifter.com

Home Loan Originations Increase 22%

Home Loan Originations Increase 22%

Home Loan Originations Increase 22%-Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Strong refinance activity helped residential lenders lift third-quarter loan production, and the elevated originations have continued into the current quarter.

U.S. lenders originated around $354 billion in home loans during the third quarter based on an analysis by MortgageDaily.com. Business jumped roughly 22 percent from the second quarter’s revised $289 billion.

Behind the stellar performance was an increase in refinance volume as the 30-year mortgage fell from an average of 4.740 percent at the end of May to 4.351 percent at the end of August based on the U.S. Mortgage Market Index report from Mortech Inc. and MortgageDaily.com.

Driven by the Greek sovereign debt crisis and the Federal Reserve’s disclosure in September that it plans to extend the maturities of its Treasury investments and reinvest principal payments from agency debt and mortgage-backed securities investments into more agency MBS, mortgage rates have fallen even further. The improvement has kept refinance activity elevated and potentially could have fourth-quarter production even higher.

The Federal Housing Administration endorsed $49.7 billion in mortgages during the third quarter, leaving it with a market share of around 14 percent. FHA market share fell from a revised 18 percent in the second quarter.

Wells Fargo & Co. retained its No. 1 title during the third quarter. But Bank of America Corp. slipped to third place behind JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Ally Financial Inc. also moved down a notch.

Originations

Rank Q3 2011 Q2 2011 Q3 2010
1 Wells Wells Wells
2 Chase BofA BofA
3 BofA Chase Chase
4 Citi Ally Ally
5 Ally Citi Citi

 

Nearly half of all residential production was generated by the top four lenders.

Citigroup Inc., Quicken Loans Inc. and Flagstar Bancorp Inc. each increased volume by at least half compared to the second quarter. But BofA saw new business tumble 18 percent — the worst performance of the biggest lenders.

Compared to the third-quarter 2010, MetLife Home Loans turned in the strongest performance with an increase of 16 percent.

Mortgage Lender Ranking at:
http://www.MortgageDaily.com/MortgageLenderRanking.asp?spcode=pr

Mortgage origination news at:
http://www.mortgagedaily.com/Fundings.asp?spcode=pr

Quarterly mortgage production by the top lenders at:
http://www.mortgagedaily.com/FundingsConforming.asp?spcode=pr

About MortgageDaily.com
Founded in 1998, MortgageDaily.com is a dominant online source of mortgage news, statistics and analysis for the mortgage industry. Visit us online at www.MortgageDaily.com.

CONTACT:
Holly Himelright
NewsAlert@MortgageDaily.com
3811-700 Turtle Creek Blvd.
Dallas, TX 75219

Secondary Mortgage Market Bill Supported by NAR

Secondary Mortgage Market Bill Supported by NAR

Secondary Mortgage Market Bill Supported by NAR-Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Owning a home has had long-standing government support in the U.S. because homeownership benefits individuals and families, strengthens communities, and is integral to the nation’s economy, the National Association of Realtors® said in testimony today.

NAR President-Elect Moe Veissi outlined the association’s recommendations for housing finance reform before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on International Monetary Policy and Trade.

“We must be better stewards of the U.S. housing finance system if it is to thrive and effectively serve American home buyers and mortgage investors into the future,” said Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami. “Repairs to our current housing finance structure must be made, but we must be careful that changes to the system do not come at the expense of homeownership opportunities for middle- and lower income Americans.”

Toward that end, NAR supports H.R. 2413, the “Secondary Market Facility for Residential Mortgage Act of 2011,” introduced by Reps. Gary Miller, R-Calif., and Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y.

“H.R. 2413 offers a comprehensive strategy for reforming the secondary mortgage market and gives the federal government a continued role to ensure a consistent flow of mortgage credit in all markets and all economic conditions,” said Veissi. “Moreover, it supports the use of long-term fixed-rate mortgage products.”

Veissi testified that full privatization of the secondary mortgage market would all but eliminate products like the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and that mortgage interest rates would be unnecessarily higher and unaffordable for many Americans, shutting otherwise qualified buyers out of the market.

“The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is the bedrock of the U.S housing finance system, and without government support, there’s no evidence that this type of mortgage would continue to exist,” said Veissi. “Private firms’ business strategies would focus on optimizing their profits, creating mortgage products that are more aligned with the goals of their business than in the best interests of the nation’s housing policy or consumers.”

Veissi said that while the size of the government’s participation in housing finance should decrease if private capital is to return to the market and function properly, the federal government must have a continued role in the secondary mortgage market to avoid losing long-term, fixed-rate mortgage products and keep borrowing costs affordable for consumers.

“Continuing government participation in the secondary mortgage market is critical to ensuring that qualified home buyers can obtain safe and sound mortgage financing products even during market downturns, when private entities have historically pulled back,” Veissi said.

Recent reductions to the conforming loan limits by the federal government are already having an impact on mortgage liquidity according to early data from an NAR survey, which found that consumers who are now above the new lower conventional conforming loan limit are experiencing significantly higher interest rates and the need for substantially larger down payments.

Veissi said that the housing and economic recoveries have been slow and that activities that force economic activity to be constricted further should be resisted.

“For hundreds of years, this country has understood the value of homeownership because it helps families build wealth, supports community stability and contributes to our economy. We need to make sure that future housing policies continue to reinforce our long-standing value of homeownership, for the future of our families and our country,” said Veissi.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Mortgage Lender Offers Tips to Get the Best Rates

Average mortgage rates have slipped, while lowest rates have remained stable week-over-week according to the LendingTree Weekly Mortgage Rate Pulse, which tracks the lowest and average mortgage rates offered by lenders on the LendingTree network.

On October 3, average home loan rates offered by LendingTree network lenders were 4.23% (4.39% APR) for 30-year fixed mortgages, 3.65% (3.84% APR) for 15-year fixed mortgages and 3.22% (3.32% APR) for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages (ARM).

On the same day, the lowest mortgage rates offered by lenders on the LendingTree network were 3.50 percent (3.62% APR) for a 30-year fixed mortgage, 3.00 percent (3.23% APR) for a 15-year fixed mortgage and 2.50 percent (3.03% APR) for a 5/1 ARM.

“The controversy surrounding the recent adjustments to banking fees is a great reminder for consumers to understand potential hidden home loan fees as well,” suggests Mona Marimow, Senior Vice President at LendingTree.  “Similar to the banking industry, hidden fees and incremental costs can be a pain point for consumers in the home loan process.  Even though rates are at historic lows, borrowers should also factor in points, fees and other costs.  The public awareness over bank fees increasing should serve as a reminder for borrowers to read the fine print in their mortgage agreement.  At the end of the day, it’s not just about getting the best rate, but getting the best deal overall.”

Below is a snapshot of the lowest mortgage rates for a 30-year fixed loan offered by lenders on the LendingTree network, as well as average loan-to-value ratios and negative equity by state.

STATE-BY-STATE MORTGAGE DATA 10/3/11

*Updated Quarterly

STATE LOWEST MORTGAGE RATE LOAN-TO-VALUE RATIO* NEGATIVE EQUITY*
US Average 3.50% (3.62% APR) 69.8% 33.5%
Alabama 3.63% (3.75% APR) 68.0% 29.5%
Alaska 3.63% (3.75% APR) 65.8% 19.5%
Arizona 3.63% (3.75% APR) 93.1% 38.9%
Arkansas 3.75% (3.86% APR) 72.3% 43.0%
California 3.75% (3.88% APR) 70.0% 34.4%
Colorado 3.75% (3.88% APR) 72.3% 22.9%
Connecticut 3.63% (3.75% APR) 60.2% 43.4%
Delaware 3.75% (3.85% APR) 67.3% 38.8%
District of Columbia 3.63% (3.75% APR) 58.6% 26.8%
Florida 3.63% (3.75% APR) 87.8% 38.9%
Georgia 3.75% (3.88% APR) 80.9% 26.5%
Hawaii 3.75% (3.88% APR) 53.9% 27.0%
Idaho 3.75% (3.88% APR) 71.7% 30.3%
Illinois 3.75% (3.87% APR) 72.4% 32.3%
Indiana 3.50% (3.60% APR) 69.4% 28.4%
Iowa 3.75% (3.88% APR) 67.3% 44.2%
Kansas 3.75% (3.87% APR) 70.3% 32.2%
Kentucky 3.63% (3.75% APR) 67.9% 52.7%
Louisiana 3.75% (3.88% APR) 75.2% 82.4%
Maine 3.75% (3.86% APR) 58.3% 30.7%
Maryland 3.63% (3.75% APR) 70.3% 25.9%
Massachusetts 3.75% (3.88% APR) 61.9% 47.0%
Michigan 3.63% (3.75% APR) 84.0% 33.4%
Minnesota 3.75% (3.88% APR) 66.8% 22.7%
Mississippi 3.75% (3.87% APR) 78.2% 29.2%
Missouri 3.63% (3.75% APR) 71.9% 32.4%
Montana 3.75% (3.88% APR) 60.3% 33.9%
Nebraska 3.75% (3.88% APR) 73.4% 44.7%
Nevada 3.63% (3.75% APR) 112.7% 53.7%
New Hampshire 3.75% (3.86% APR) 70.3% 26.2%
New Jersey 3.75% (3.87% APR) 62.8% 29.9%
New Mexico 3.75% (3.88% APR) 67.9% 45.9%
New York 3.75% (3.85% APR) 48.7% 36.0%
North Carolina 3.50% (3.62% APR) 71.6% 32.4%
North Dakota 3.75% (3.88% APR) 61.1% 36.3%
Ohio 3.63% (3.75% APR) 75.8% 27.5%
Oklahoma 3.75% (3.86% APR) 71.8% 50.6%
Oregon 3.75% (3.91% APR) 69.8% 19.9%
Pennsylvania 3.63% (3.75% APR) 61.1% 42.0%
Rhode Island 3.75% (3.87% APR) 63.7% 38.7%
South Carolina 3.63% (3.75% APR) 71.5% 28.9%
South Dakota 3.75% (3.86% APR) N/A N/A
Tennessee 3.63% (3.75% APR) 71.6% 29.9%
Texas 3.63% (3.75% APR) 68.1% 31.6%
Utah 3.75% (3.87% APR) 72.9% 22.8%
Vermont 3.75% (3.88% APR) N/A N/A
Virginia 3.75% (3.85% APR) 71.7% 25.1%
Washington 3.75% (3.88% APR) 68.3% 21.7%
West Virginia 3.75% (3.85% APR) 66.8% 50.6%
Wisconsin 3.75% (3.85% APR) 69.1% 36.0%
Wyoming 3.75% (3.88% APR) 63.1% 24.2%

For more information on current mortgage rates or for state specific mortgage rates, please visit http://www.lendingtree.com/mortgage-loans/rates/.

The LendingTree Weekly Mortgage Rate Pulse is published every Wednesday. Home loan rates above are reflective of actual rates offered to borrowers by lenders on the LendingTree network. Lowest rates shown reflect the payment of one discount point. Rates will vary based on the borrower’s loan details and credit profile. Visit www.lendingtree.com to learn more.

About LendingTree, LLC
LendingTree, LLC is the nation’s leading online lender exchange and personal finance resource, helping consumers take charge of all their financial decisions, from budgeting to money management to mortgages to credit cards and more. LendingTree provides a marketplace that connects consumers with multiple lenders that compete for their business, as well as an array of online tools to aid consumers in their financial decisions. Since inception, LendingTree has facilitated more than 28 million loan requests and $214 billion in closed loan transactions. LendingTree provides access to lenders offering mortgages and refinance loans, home equity loans/lines of credit, and more. LendingTree, LLC is a subsidiary of Tree.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: TREE). For more information go to www.lendingtree.com, dial 800-555-TREE , join our Facebook page and/or follow us on Twitter @LendingTree.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Mona Marimow
(704)943-8030
Mona@tree.com

http://www.lendingtree.com

Mortgage Rates Continue Setting New Lows

HSH.com releases its latest Weekly Mortgage Rate Radar showing a new record-low interest rate for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. The Weekly Mortgage Rate Radar reports the average rates and points offered by lenders for the two most popular types of mortgages, the conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and the conforming 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). The average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was down slightly, while ARM rates barely edged higher during the week ending October 4.

The average interest rate on the popular 30-year fixed-rate mortgage continued its downward drift, once again setting new record lows, according to HSH.com’s Weekly Mortgage Rate Radar. The average rate for conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by 2 basis points (0.02 percent) from the previous week to 4.11 percent. Conforming 5/1 hybrid ARM rates increased, but only by a single basis point; 5/1 ARM rates closed the Wednesday-to-Tuesday wraparound weekly survey at an average of 3.02 percent.

“After a Federal Reserve-induced dip a week ago, mortgage rates have leveled off somewhat, but we remain at or virtually at record lows,” said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com.

With the Fed’s Operation Twist program just getting underway this week, Gumbinger noted, “We will start to see more effects in the mortgage market. How both the economy and investors react to the Fed’s program as it comes more fully into play will determine how much lower mortgage rates will go.”

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the week ending October 4 were, according to HSH.com:

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

  •     Average rate: 4.11 percent
  •     Average points: 0.27

Conforming 5/1 ARM

  •     Average rate: 3.02 percent
  •     Average points: 0.22

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the previous week ending September 27 were, according to HSH.com:

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

  •     Average rate: 4.13 percent
  •     Average points: 0.25

Conforming 5/1 ARM

  •     Average rate: 3.01 percent
  •     Average points: 0.21

Methodology

The Weekly Mortgage Rate Radar reports the average rates and points offered on conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and conforming 5/1 ARMs. The weekly mortgage rate survey covers a large sample of mortgage lenders and is conducted over a Wednesday-to-Tuesday cycle, with data released every Wednesday. HSH.com’s survey helps consumers find the best rates on home loans in changing market conditions. Unlike mortgage rate surveys that report average rates only, the Weekly Mortgage Rate Radar’s inclusion of both average rates and average points provides a more accurate view of mortgage terms currently offered by lenders.

Every week, HSH.com conducts a survey of mortgage rate data for a wide range of consumer mortgage products including ARMs, FHA-backed and jumbo mortgages, as well as home equity loans and lines of credit from hundreds of direct lenders in the U.S. For information on additional loan products, visit HSH.com.

About HSH.com

HSH.com is a trusted source of mortgage data, trends, news and analysis. Since 1979, HSH’s market research and commentary has helped homeowners, buyers and sellers make smart financial choices and save money on mortgage and home equity products. HSH.com, of Pompton Plains, N.J., is owned and operated by QuinStreet, Inc. (NASDAQ: QNST), one of the largest Internet marketing and media companies in the world. QuinStreet is committed to providing consumers and businesses with the information they need to research, find and select the products, services and brands that meet their needs. The company is a leader in visitor-friendly marketing practices. For more information, please visit QuinStreet.com.

Press Contact
Andrew Heilman
775-784-3842
pr(at)hsh(dot)com

Many people who remodel their houses use home improvement loans to cover the cost. There are a lot of options for financing a remodel, but none of those other options are as perfect as a loan that is designed for this very situation.

Don’t be fooled into thinking a home equity loan is the best option when it is not even a good option in most cases. Equity loans are not only costly but are getting harder and harder to acquire at this time. Not only are banks not as likely to hand them out as they once were, they require a lot of work. You have to have an inspection and a particular amount of existing equity in order to qualify. Not everyone has enough equity to qualify or need the amount of cash that these can offer. Small and even moderately sized repairs rarely necessitate equity loans. Worst of all, these loans are added directly to the top of your mortgage, increasing your monthly payments or term.

Another alternative is charging all the repairs to your credit card. Credit cards are a safe option for repairs like changing out a bathroom fixture or adding a new finish to the kitchen cabinets, but you should not go overboard. The problem with credit cards is that they often have intensely high financing charges. You might get by with paying the minimum due, but you will be paying for years to come. Credit cards are easily the most expensive form of financing available to consumers.

Home improvement loans are the perfect solution for renovating your home in almost every case. These loans were created just for homeowners to make repairs to their home and offer many advantages. When everything is said and done you are left with a standard loan to take care of. These loans are written out as straight forward as possible with a clear APR and pay off. This makes payments and budgeting far more manageable and can help participants to get a clear idea of what they can take out safely.

Eventually, your home will require a bit of fixing up, and you will have to look for a way to pay for it. You might even find yourself wanting to add a more stylistic appearance to your favorite place in the house. So, whether you want to or have to, the moment will eventually come when you will be paying for home improvements, and these tailor made loans are the best way to go. This is why this sort of loan is so common.

Get the best offers with Home improvement loans and also Short term investment that could give you more income.

Real Estate Sales Up 18% in August

Real Estate Sales Up 18% in August

Real Estate Sales Up 18% in August-Image by haglundc via Flickr

The following is an excerpt from the monthly RE/MAX National Housing Report. For more information or to see the full two-page report, contact (303) 796-3667.

The August 2011 RE/MAX National Housing Report, which surveyed 53 U.S. metropolitan areas, shows that home sales reached a level 18% higher than August 2010.  Traditionally, June is the highest sales month, but this year July and August were the two summer months that experienced higher sales than in 2010.  The inventory of homes-for-sale dropped for the 14th consecutive month, while total inventory remains almost 19% below the level in August 2010.  And the Median Sales Price of homes sold in August, like July, was down fractionally, while the loss from last year’s prices continues to shrink.

We’re pleased to see transactions pushing higher in August and without any artificial stimulus,”  said Margaret Kelly, CEO of RE/MAX, LLC.  “Although the housing recovery will continue to be uneven, the market is struggling to return to normal despite uncertainty in the economy and stubborn unemployment rates.”

Transactions – Year-Over-Year Change

Closed Transactions in the month of August were 3.7% higher than July and 18.0% higher than August 2010.  Unlike June, both July and August home sales were up double digits from 2010.  Of the 53 metro areas surveyed, 47 experienced a rise in Home Sales from 2010, most notably: Pittsburgh, PA +60.6%,  Minneapolis, MN +48.4%,  Albuquerque, NM +43.0%, Milwaukee, WI +37.1%, Seattle, WA +29.4%, Phoenix, AZ +26.4%  and Chicago, IL +25.7%.

Median Sales Price

The Median Sales Price for August was $189,831.  This is just 0.6% below the price in July and 3.6% below the price in August 2010.  Home prices have risen in 4 of the last 8 months, while on a year-over-year basis, the Median Price has improved for 5 consecutive months.  Of the 53 metro areas reviewed for this report, 14 saw prices rise from July, and 10 saw prices rise over August 2010, including:  Detroit, MI +15.7%, Orlando, FL +14.2%, Milwaukee, WI +10.6% and Pittsburgh, PA +2.2%.

Days on Market – Average of 54 Metro Areas

For all properties sold in the month of August, the average Days on Market was 90.  This was just 2 days higher than the average of 88 seen in July, but 6 days higher than the average seen in August 2010.  July had an average Days on Market of 88, which was the first month since September 2010 that the average was below 90.  Days on Market is the number of days between first being listed in the MLS and when a sales contract is signed.

Months Supply of Inventory – Average of 54 Metro Areas

Because foreclosure notices have reached a 44-month low, it seems to follow that homes-for-sale have been falling.  The average inventory of homes-for-sale in the 53 metro areas surveyed dropped 4.8% from July and 18.9% from August 2010.  This results in a 6.8 Months Supply of homes for August, which  is down from 7.2 in July and 9.2 in August 2010.  The Months Supply is the number of months it would take to clear the active inventory at the current rate of sales. A six-month supply is considered a balanced market between buyers and sellers.

About the RE/MAX Network:

RE/MAX was founded in 1973 by Dave and Gail Liniger, real estate industry visionaries who still lead the Denver-based global franchisor today. RE/MAX is recognized as a leading real estate franchisor with the most productive sales force in the industry and a global reach of more than 80 countries. With a passion for the communities in which its agents live and work, RE/MAX is proud to have raised more than $100 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and other charities. Nobody in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX. Please visit www.remax.com or www.joinremax.com.

Description

The RE/MAX National Housing Report is distributed each month on or about the 15th. The first Report was distributed in August 2008. The Report is based on MLS data in approximately 54 metropolitan areas, includes all residential property types, and is not annualized. For maximum representation, many of the largest metro areas in the country are represented, and an attempt is made to include at least one metro from each state. Metro area definitions include the specific counties established by the U.S. Government’s Office of Management and Budget, with some exceptions.

Definitions

Transactions are the total number of closed residential transactions during the given month. Month’s Supply of Inventory is the total number of residential properties listed for sale at the end of the month (active inventory) divided by the number of sales contracts signed (pended) during the month. Where “pended” data is unavailable, this calculation is made using closed transactions. Days on Market is the number of days that pass from the time a property is listed until the property goes under contract for all residential properties sold during the month. Median Sales Price is the median price of all residential properties sold during the month.

MLS data is provided by contracted data aggregators, RE/MAX brokerages and regional offices. While MLS data is believed to be accurate, it cannot be guaranteed. MLS data is constantly being updated, making any analysis a snapshot at a particular time. Every month the RE/MAX National Housing Report re-calculates the previous period’s data to ensure accuracy over time. All raw data remains the intellectual property of each local MLS organization.

http://www.remax.com

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