Archive for 'Realtor'

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.

Real Estate Record Price Set in Superstition Mountain

Real Estate Record Price Set in Superstition Mountain

With a sales price of $1,950,000, a Superstition Mountain home makes Phoenix area real estate history; breaking a Pinal County record for the highest recorded sales price in more than two years. The Gold Canyon home, listed by Todd Moen, founding partner of The Moen Group, now holds the title for the most expensive home sale in Pinal County since February of 2009.

The home located at 8829 East Lost Gold Circle in Gold Canyon, Arizona, includes approximately 3 acres in Lost Gold Estates and boasts both a 5,288 square foot main residence and a 2,300 square foot guest home. Additionally, the once ‘Street of Dreams’ residence, sits on The Lost Gold Golf Course and has its own private park.

“This is exciting on many levels,” says Todd Moen, founding partner of The Moen Group. “We are honored to represent this estate and elated for the buyers and sellers. The property is so unique and a truly wonderful home. The sale also helps shine the spotlight on the East Valley and Superstition Mountain; one of the greatest Arizona golf communities. We are grateful to be involved in this record sale.”

The sale is a major boost to the challenging Phoenix area real estate market and is particularly significant in Pinal County where most out of state luxury home buyers, especially those looking for second homes, don’t think to look.

“We knew we needed to cast a global net to showcase this spectacular home and world-class golf community,” explains Moen. “Most of our second home buyers are from outside of Arizona, so it is critical to market to that worldwide audience. We have found great success using a revolutionary HD video distribution strategy for our multi-million dollar listings in Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Phoenix, and of course, Superstition Mountain.”

The Moen Group is a Scottsdale, Arizona luxury real estate brokerage specializing in residential real estate and luxury community sales and marketing in cities including: Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Superstition Mountain and Sedona, among many others. The Moen Group currently represents or manages more than $250 million worth of luxury real estate in the world’s most prestigious communities including: Silverleaf in Scottsdale, Kukui’ula on Kauai and Martis Camp in Lake Tahoe.

For more information on The Moen Group or to request additional photographs or video of the property, please contact Todd Moen of The Moen Group at 480-315-0991.

 

Housing Market Stability Key to Economic Recovery-NAR

Housing Market Stability Key to Economic Recovery-NAR-Image by Getty Images via @daylife

To help develop policies that will stabilize the nation’s housing market and support an economic recovery, the National Association of Realtors® urges the White House to host a summit of policy makers, industry leaders and government stake holders focused on revitalizing the nation’s housing.

“As the leading advocate for housing issues, Realtors® know that home ownership supports our nation’s economy,” said NAR President Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I. “Housing and home ownership issues affect all Americans, which is why we need strong policies that will help stabilize the housing market and lead the way out of today’s economic struggles.”

A housing recovery is key to America’s economic strength, and NAR wants to make sure that proposed legislation and regulatory rules or changes to current programs and incentives don’t further exacerbate problems within fragile real estate markets across the country.

A broad discussion among all stakeholders about what needs to be done to put the housing market and economy on a path to recovery could provide valuable recommendations and solutions to promote responsible, sustainable home ownership and stabilize and revitalize the housing industry and economy.

“Realtors® look forward to coming together and working with President Obama and his administration as well as our industry partners to design a housing recovery plan that will serve our nation, its 75 million home owners and indeed all Americans today and into the future,” said Phipps.

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 Loan Requirements Too Strict – NAR

Mortgage Loan Requirements Too Strict - NAR

Mortgage Loan Requirements Too Strict - NAR-Image by Getty Images via @daylife

A proposed rule by federal regulators to impose a minimum 20 percent down payment, stringent debt-to-income ratio requirements and rigid credit standards will deny millions of Americans access to safe, low-cost mortgages, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

In a comment letter submitted today, NAR expressed dissatisfaction over the unduly narrow definition of qualified residential mortgages (QRM) that would be exempt from risk retention requirements. Non-QRM mortgages will have higher interest rates and fees, making home ownership more expensive or unattainable for many of today’s aspiring home owners. NAR urged regulators to withdraw the proposed risk retention rule and go back to the drawing board.

“As the leading advocate for home ownership, NAR firmly believes Congress intended to create a broad QRM exemption – strong evidence shows that responsible lending standards and ensuring a borrower’s ability to repay have the greatest impact on reducing lender risk,” said NAR President Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I. “The proposed rule should be withdrawn, revised and republished for public comment. If not, then millions of hard-working, creditworthy consumers will not be able to achieve their dreams of owning a home.”

The comment letter offered a number of suggestions to regulators. Considering the significantly higher mortgage rates and fees for non-QRM loans, regulators should define QRM to include safe and sound mortgages, coupled with sound underwriting and full documentation of income and assets, and require risk retention only for those mortgages with risky product features like teaser rates and balloon payments, or weak underwriting.

NAR criticized the proposed rule’s 20 percent minimum down payment requirement, saying it ignores strong evidence that responsible lending standards and ensuring a borrower’s ability to repay have the greatest impact on reducing lender risk. The low foreclosure rate among Federal Housing Administration and Veterans Administration loans, which have the lowest down payment requirements and relatively low default rates, is further evidence that the key to safe lending is sound underwriting and documentation rather than high down payments.

Based on NAR estimates, it would take more than a decade for a family with a median household income to save enough for a 20 percent down payment. A 10 percent down payment would take a family more than eight years to save. The impact on minority and first-time home buyers would be even worse, said Phipps.

NAR also recommends dropping the rule’s debt-to-income ratio requirement because the marginal reduction in defaults is not worth the negative impact on consumers.

“Focusing the QRM exemption on underwriting factors that do not significantly improve loan performance means millions of families will not qualify for a QRM mortgage and will instead have to pay higher rates and fees for non-QRM mortgages, assuming they are even able to obtain them,” said Phipps.

NAR supports the proposed rule’s treatment of the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) while in conservatorship. The guaranty provided by a GSE will satisfy the risk retention requirements. The GSEs continue to play a crucial role in providing affordable and available financing to consumers during the current economic downturn, and until the statutory and regulatory framework for the GSEs becomes clear, the agencies should not impose risk retention standards that would prevent qualified home buyers from finding fair and affordable mortgages and impede a housing recovery.

NAR is also concerned that certain underwriting elements of the risk retention proposal would further reduce access to credit for the commercial and multifamily real estate industry, which could curtail the nation’s economic recovery.

There is broad opposition to the regulators’ proposed QRM rule among banking, housing and consumer advocacy groups, who have joined forces and forged the Coalition for Sensible Housing Policy, which includes 46 organizations and is focused on drawing attention to the proposed regulation.

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.

 

Home Sales in Texas Stagnant

According to the most recent version of the Texas Quarterly Housing Report, the effects of last year’s federal homebuyer tax credits continued to linger for the Texas real estate market in the second quarter of 2011.

As described in the report, the volume of single family home sales was 58,795, 12 percent less than the same quarter of the prior year during which sales volumes were bolstered by expiring homebuyer tax credits.

Dwight Hale, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors, commented on the results, “Though statewide sales volume is down compared to 2010, when the tax credits were having the biggest impact on our market, we’re right on pace with the second quarter of 2009. In addition, Texas has dominated national headlines for economic strength, which makes it clear the recovery continues in our state.”

Jim Gaines, Ph.D., an economist with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, also commented on the results, “Given the impact of last year’s tax credits, I’m not surprised to see fewer sales this quarter compared to last year. If anything, I’m surprised to see that sales volumes didn’t lag further behind 2010.”

Real estate prices during the second quarter of 2011 indicate strength in the Texas market. The median price was $150,400, one percent higher than the same quarter of 2010. The average price in 2011-Q2 was $201,288, 4.6 percent higher than 2010-Q2.

Gaines explained, “The increase in the average price of Texas homes indicates more activity among higher priced homes. Buyers of higher priced homes have been less impacted by tightened mortgage lending standards and real estate has been an attractive investment vehicle due to instability in other investments, such as securities.”

He continued, “It’s also important to note that Texas’ price stability is in sharp contrast to many other parts of the country that have seen steep drop-offs in both median and average price.”

Another important market indicator is the inventory of homes available for sale compared with the demand to buy homes. Measured in months, Texas had 8.1 months of inventory in the second quarter of 2011 compared to 7.2 months in Q2-2010. That’s 12.5 percent longer – or just less than 30 days of additional inventory – compared to the same time period last year.

As Gaines explained, several factors contribute to this change, “Based on how this figure is calculated, estimates of demand for real estate have been impacted by last year’s tax credits. In addition, additional inventory is entering some markets as banks resume foreclosure proceedings previously delayed by investigations into robo-signing. In general, our inventory is only slightly beyond what we consider to be a balanced market.”

Gaines also commented on overall trends in the report, “More than in past quarters, we see a lot of variability among the 47 Texas markets included in this report. In general, markets that saw the greatest increases in sales volume when the tax credit was available are the same markets now seeing the greatest decreases after its expiration. As always, it’s important for buyers to evaluate their own local market and even their own submarket – down to the neighborhood level, in many cases – to make informed buying and selling decisions.”

The Texas Quarterly Housing Report is issued four times per year by the Texas Association of Realtors with multiple listing service data compiled and analyzed by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University. To view the report for 2011-Q2 in its entirety, visit www.TexasRealEstate.com.

About the Texas Quarterly Housing Report

Data for the Texas Quarterly Housing Report is analyzed by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University using statistics compiled from 47 multiple listing services in markets throughout Texas. The report includes data for single-family home sales over the course of one quarter and is scheduled for release by the Texas Association of Realtors on the following dates each year (or the next business day): Feb. 1, May 1, Aug. 1 and Nov. 1.

About the Texas Association of REALTORS®

With more than 80,000 members, the Texas Association of REALTORS® is a professional membership organization that represents all aspects of real estate in Texas. We advocate on behalf of Texas REALTORS® and private-property owners to keep homeownership affordable, protect private-property rights, and promote public policies that benefit homeowners. Visit TexasRealEstate.com to learn more.

CONTACT: Stacy Armijo
Pierpont Communications
512-448-4950
sarmijo@piercom.com

 

Mortgage Interest Deduction Vital to Housing Market Stability-NAR

Mortgage Interest Deduction Vital to Housing Market Stability-NAR-Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Any changes to the mortgage interest deduction now or in the future could threaten recent progress toward stabilizing the housing market, critically erode home prices and values, destroy middle-class wealth accumulation and hurt economic growth.

That was the message delivered by National Association of Realtors® NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun during today’s Rethinking the Mortgage Interest Deduction forum, where he joined a panel of experts to debate the future of the MID. The event was hosted by the Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Urban Institute and Brookings Institute, and the Reason Foundation.

“As the leading advocate for housing and homeownership, NAR firmly believes that the mortgage interest deduction is vital to the stability of the American housing market and economy,” said Yun. “The MID facilitates home ownership by reducing the carrying costs of owning a home, and it makes a real difference to hard-working middle-class families.”

Yun argued that now is the worst possible time to discuss changing the tax laws, which could further impair the housing market’s fragile recovery and a broader job market recovery.

“One thing that is indisputable is that eliminating the MID will lower the homeownership rate in the U.S.,” he said. “While we must ensure that the conditions that led to the artificially inflated home ownership rate of the bubble years do not resurface, we also need to create the conditions for sustainable home ownership, which has been shown to provide myriad social benefits for families and communities.”

During the debate, Yun challenged recent proposals calling for changes to the tax code, stating that it’s a misplaced argument to say the MID was a cause of the housing market bubble and is suddenly part of the deficit problem, when it’s been part of the federal tax code for more than 100 years.

Reducing or eliminating the MID is a de facto tax increase on homeowners, who already pay 80 to 90 percent of U.S. federal income tax. Yun said the share could rise to 95 percent if the MID is eliminated.

“Doing away with the MID shouldn’t be thought of as removing a tax break for homeowners, but rather increasing taxes on the middle class,” he said. “Furthermore, housing equity has been a major source of funds for small businesses, and any change to the MID will greatly hamper their ability to create jobs.”

Yun also asserted that it’s a misconception that only the wealthy benefit from the MID, when in reality it benefits primarily middle- and lower income families. Almost two-thirds of those who claim the MID are middle-income earners and 91 percent of people who claim the MID earn less than $200,000 per year.

Other panelists at the Rethinking the Mortgage Interest Deduction forum were Seth Hanton, director of fiscal policy, Center for American Progress; Dean Stansel, adjunct fellow, Reason Foundation; and Eric Toder, institute fellow, Urban Institute, and co-director of the Tax Policy Center. The event was moderated by Edmund Andrews, managing editor for economics, taxes and budget at the National Journal.

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.

Online Real Estate Co., Move, Inc. (NASDAQ: MOVE) Loses CFO

Online Real Estate Co., Move, Inc. (NASDAQ: MOVE) Loses CFO-Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Move, Inc. (NASDAQ: MOVE), the leader in online real estate, announced today that the Company’s Chief Financial Officer Rob Krolik has tendered his resignation in order to accept the same position at Yelp!, Inc. Move, Inc. will immediately begin an executive search for a new chief financial officer. Mr. Krolik will assist in the transition of his duties.

“Rob has been a great partner and I want to thank him for his many important contributions to Move,” said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move. “Over the past two years, we’ve made tremendous progress realigning the company to connect consumers with real estate professionals and to take advantage of the large online real estate opportunity.  I wish Rob all the best with his new role.”

Rob Krolik stated, “I have really valued my time at Move and believe strongly that the company has the ability to capitalize on the many opportunities in front of it. I am extremely proud of what has been accomplished thus far and I wish Move and all of my colleagues and friends the best going forward.”

This press release may contain forward-looking statements, including information about management’s view of Move’s future expectations, plans and prospects, within the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the results of Move, its subsidiaries, divisions and concepts to be materially different than those expressed or implied in such statements. These risk factors and others are included from time to time in documents Move files with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to, its Form 10-Ks, Form 10-Qs and Form 8-Ks. Other unknown or unpredictable factors also could have material adverse effects on Move’s future results. The forward-looking statements included in this press release are made only as of the date hereof. Move cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Finally, Move expressly disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

ABOUT MOVE, INC.

Move, Inc. (NASDAQ: MOVE) is the leader in online real estate with over 23 million monthly visitors(1)to its online network of websites. Move, Inc. operates: Move.com, a leading destination for information on new homes and rental listings, moving, home and garden and home finance; REALTOR.com®, the official website of the National Association of REALTORS®; MortgageMatch.com, Moving.com; SeniorHousingNet; ListHub; and TOP PRODUCER Systems. Move, Inc. is based in Campbell, California.

(1)comScore Media Metrix, June 2011 Key Measures Report
http://www.move.com

Low Mortgage Rates No Help for Housing Market

Low Mortgage Rates No Help for Housing Market

Low Mortgage Rates No Help for Housing Market-Image by Getty Images via @daylife

HSH.com releases its latest Weekly Mortgage Rate Radar revealing a slight increase in mortgage rates from the previous week. 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). Average rates on both types of loans rose slightly during the week ending July 26.

Rates on the most popular types of mortgages rose slightly, according to HSH.com’s Weekly Mortgage Rate Radar. The average rate for conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages increased by 2 basis points (0.02 percent) to 4.63 percent. Conforming 5/1 hybrid ARM rates rose 4 basis points, closing the Wednesday-to-Tuesday wraparound weekly survey at average of 3.28 percent.

“Mortgage rates remain very favorable, but low mortgage rates on their own aren’t enough to drive the housing market forward,” said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com. “Sales of new homes have held in a mostly flat pattern at very low levels for months despite falling rates.”

Given current economic conditions, noted Gumbinger, “consumers simply lack the confidence to jump in and buy a home.”

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential loans for the week ending July 26 were, according to HSH.com:

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

  • Average rate: 4.63 percent
  • Average points: 0.28

Conforming 5/1 ARM

  • Average rate: 3.28 percent
  • Average points: 0.25

Average mortgage rates and points for conforming residential mortgages for the previous week ending July 19 were, according to HSH.com:

Conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage

  • Average rate: 4.61 percent
  • Average points: 0.28

Conforming 5/1 ARM

  • Average rate: 3.24 percent
  • Average points: 0.22

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 best meet their needs. The company is a leader in ethical marketing practices. For more information, please visit QuinStreet.com.

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

 

Real Estate Prices Heading Up

Real Estate Prices Heading Up

Real Estate Prices Heading Up-Image by haglundc via Flickr

Data through May 2011, released today by S&P Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller(1) Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, showed a second consecutive month of increase in prices for the 10- and 20-City Composites. The 10- and 20-City Composites were up 1.1% and 1.0%, respectively, in May over April.  Sixteen of the 20 MSAs and both Composites posted positive monthly increases; Detroit, Las Vegas and Tampa were down over the month and Phoenix was unchanged. On an annual basis, Washington DC was the only MSA with a positive rate of change, up 1.3%. The remaining 19 MSAs and the 10- and 20- City Composites were down in May 2011 versus the same month last year. Minneapolis fared the worst posting a double-digit decline of 11.7%.

In May 2011, the 10- and 20-City Composites recorded annual returns of -3.6% and -4.5%, respectively. Both Composites and 11 MSAs – Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Phoenix, San Diego, Seattle and Tampa – saw their annual rates worsen in May compared to April.

“We see some seasonal improvements with May’s data,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices. “This is a seasonal period of stronger demand for houses, so monthly price increases are to be expected and were seen in 16 of the 20 cities. The exceptions where prices fell were Detroit, Las Vegas and Tampa. However, 19 of 20 cities saw prices drop over the last 12 months. The concern is that much of the monthly gains are only seasonal.

“May’s report showed unusually large revisions across some of the MSAs.  In particular, Detroit, New York, Tampa and Washington DC all saw above normal revisions. Our sales pairs data indicate that these markets reported a lot more sales from prior months, which caused the revisions. The lag in reporting home sales in these markets has increased over the past few months. Also, when sales volumes are relatively low, as is the case right now, revisions are more noticeable.

“Other recent housing statistics show that single-family housing starts were up moderately in June, and are at about the same pace as a year ago. Existing-home sales were flat in June, reportedly because of contract cancellations and tight credit. The S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default indices showed a continuing decline in mortgage default rates since last winter. Other reports confirm that banks have tightened lending standards in the past year, making it harder to qualify for a mortgage despite very low interest rates. Combined, these data all support a continuation of the ‘bounce-along-the-bottom’ scenario we have witnessed in the housing market over the past two years.

“While the monthly data were encouraging, most MSAs and both Composites fared poorly in annual terms.  Nineteen of the 20 MSAs and the two Composites posted negative annual growth rates in May 2011. The 10-City Composite was down 3.6% and the 20-City Composite was down 4.5% in May 2011 versus May 2010. Minneapolis posted a double-digit decline in annual rate of 11.7%. The only beacon of hope was Washington D.C. with a +1.3% annual growth rate and a +2.4% monthly increase. We have now seen two consecutive months of generally improving prices; however, we might have a long way to go before we see a real recovery. Sustained increases in home prices over several months and better annual results need to be seen before we can confirm real estate market recovery.”

As of May 2011, average home prices across the United States are back to the levels where they were in the summer of 2003. Measured from their peaks in June/July 2006 through May 2011, the peak-to-current declines for the 10-City Composite and 20-City Composite are -32.1% and -32.3%, respectively. The peak-to-trough declines for the 10- and 20- City Composites are -33.5% and -33.3%, respectively. The 10-City Composite hit its crisis low in April 2009, whereas the 20-City reached a more recent low in March 2011.

As of May 2011, 16 of the 20 MSAs and both Composites posted positive monthly changes. Phoenix was flat. Detroit, Las Vegas and Tampa were the markets where levels fell in May versus April, with Detroit down by 2.8% and Las Vegas posting its eighth consecutive monthly decline. These three cities also posted new index level lows in May 2011. They are now 51.2%, 59.3% and 47.5% below their 2005-6 peak levels, respectively.

The table below summarizes the results for May 2011. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are revised for the 24 prior months, based on the receipt of additional source data. More than 24 years of history for these data series is available, and can be accessed in full by going to www.homeprice.standardandpoors.com

May 2011 May/April April/March
Metropolitan Area Level Change (%) Change (%) 1-Year Change (%)
Atlanta 102.85 1.0% 1.5% -4.6%
Boston 150.98 2.7% -0.2% -3.2%
Charlotte 110.44 0.8% 0.6% -5.1%
Chicago 112.01 1.7% -0.4% -8.1%
Cleveland 98.88 1.3% 1.0% -6.6%
Dallas 114.31 0.9% 0.4% -4.7%
Denver 124.00 1.4% 1.5% -3.3%
Detroit 62.01 -2.8% -2.6% -9.3%
Las Vegas 95.60 -0.9% -0.7% -6.6%
Los Angeles 169.07 0.5% 0.3% -3.2%
Miami 138.60 1.2% -0.2% -5.3%
Minneapolis 108.34 2.6% 0.1% -11.7%
New York 164.96 0.7% 0.9% -3.2%
Phoenix 100.40 0.0% 0.1% -9.5%
Portland 134.50 1.2% 0.1% -9.1%
San Diego 154.78 0.2% 0.4% -5.1%
San Francisco 134.42 1.8% 1.7% -5.4%
Seattle 136.56 1.1% 1.6% -7.0%
Tampa 125.10 -0.6% -0.6% -9.5%
Washington 184.90 2.4% 1.5% 1.3%
Composite-10 153.64 1.1% 0.6% -3.6%
Composite-20 139.87 1.0% 0.6% -4.5%
Source: Standard & Poor’s and Fiserv
Data through May 2011

Since its launch in early 2006, the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices have published, and the markets have followed and reported on, the non-seasonally adjusted data set used in the headline indices. For analytical purposes, Standard & Poor’s does publish a seasonally adjusted data set covered in the headline indices, as well as for the 17 of 20 markets with tiered price indices and the five condo markets that are tracked.

A summary of the monthly changes using the seasonally adjusted (SA) and non-seasonally adjusted (NSA) data can be found in the table below.

May/April Change (%) April/March Change (%)
Metropolitan Area NSA SA NSA SA
Atlanta 1.0% -0.2% 1.5% 0.5%
Boston 2.7% 1.2% -0.2% -1.3%
Charlotte 0.8% -0.4% 0.6% 0.1%
Chicago 1.7% 0.3% -0.4% -0.6%
Cleveland 1.3% -0.5% 1.0% -0.6%
Dallas 0.9% -0.7% 0.4% -1.0%
Denver 1.4% 0.2% 1.5% 0.0%
Detroit -2.8% -3.4% -2.6% -1.2%
Las Vegas -0.9% -0.9% -0.7% -0.7%
Los Angeles 0.5% -0.2% 0.3% 0.1%
Miami 1.2% 0.5% -0.2% 0.3%
Minneapolis 2.6% 0.2% 0.1% 1.5%
New York 0.7% 0.4% 0.9% 0.9%
Phoenix 0.0% -0.5% 0.1% 0.2%
Portland 1.2% -0.2% 0.1% -0.7%
San Diego 0.2% -0.5% 0.4% -0.1%
San Francisco 1.8% 0.1% 1.7% 0.2%
Seattle 1.1% 0.3% 1.6% 0.1%
Tampa -0.6% -1.5% -0.6% -0.9%
Washington 2.4% 1.4% 1.5% 0.7%
Composite-10 1.1% 0.1% 0.6% 0.4%
Composite-20 1.0% 0.0% 0.6% 0.4%
Source: Standard & Poor’s and Fiserv
Data through May 2011

S&P Indices has introduced a new blog called HousingViews.com. This interactive blog delivers real-time commentary and analysis from across the Standard & Poor’s organization on a wide-range of topics impacting residential home prices, homebuilding and mortgage financing in the United States. Readers and viewers can visit the blog at www.housingviews.com, where feedback and commentary is certainly welcomed and encouraged.

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are published on the last Tuesday of each month at 9:00 am ET. They are constructed to accurately track the price path of typical single-family homes located in each metropolitan area provided. Each index combines matched price pairs for thousands of individual houses from the available universe of arms-length sales data. The S&P/Case-Shiller National U.S. Home Price Index tracks the value of single-family housing within the United States. The index is a composite of single-family home price indices for the nine U.S. Census divisions and is calculated quarterly. The S&P/Case-Shiller Composite of 10 Home Price Index is a value-weighted average of the 10 original metro area indices. The S&P/Case-Shiller Composite of 20 Home Price Index is a value-weighted average of the 20 metro area indices. The indices have a base value of 100 in January 2000; thus, for example, a current index value of 150 translates to a 50% appreciation rate since January 2000 for a typical home located within the subject market.

These indices are generated and published under agreements between Standard & Poor’s and Fiserv, Inc.

The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are produced by Fiserv, Inc. In addition to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, Fiserv also offers home price index sets covering thousands of zip codes, counties, metro areas, and state markets. The indices, published by Standard & Poor’s, represent just a small subset of the broader data available through Fiserv.

For more information about S&P Indices, please visit www.standardandpoors.com/indices.

About S&P Indices

S&P Indices, the world’s leading index provider, maintains a wide variety of investable and benchmark indices to meet an array of investor needs. Over $1.25 trillion is directly indexed to Standard & Poor’s family of indices, which includes the S&P 500, the world’s most followed stock market index, the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, the S&P Global BMI, an index with approximately 11,000 constituents, the S&P GSCI, the industry’s most closely watched commodities index, and the S&P National AMT-Free Municipal Bond Index, the premier investable index for U.S. municipal bonds. For more information, please visit www.standardandpoors.com/indices.

Standard & Poor’s does not sponsor, endorse, sell or promote any S&P index-based investment product.

(1) Case-Shiller® and Case-Shiller Indexes® are registered trademarks of Fiserv, Inc.

For more information:

David R. Guarino

Standard & Poor’s

Communications

212-438-1471

dave_guarino@standardandpoors.com

David Blitzer

Standard & Poor’s

Chairman of the Index Committee

212-438-3907

david_blitzer@standardandpoors.com

http://www.standardandpoors.com

Mortgage Rates to Move Higher-New Reveal

Upcoming conforming loan limit drop could mean higher interest rates for some borrowers

Average mortgage rates remained constant according to the LendingTree Weekly Mortgage Rate Pulse, which tracks the lowest and average mortgage rates offered by lenders on the LendingTree network.

On July 19, average home loan rates offered by LendingTree network lenders were 4.77% (4.94% APR) for 30-year fixed mortgages, 4.00% (4.25% APR) for 15-year fixed mortgages and 3.56% (3.67% APR) for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages (ARM). Average rates for 30-year fixed loans showed no fluctuation week-over-week while 5/1 ARMS increased slightly and 15-year fixed mortgage rates fell slightly.

On the same day, the lowest mortgage rates offered by lenders on the LendingTree network were 4.375 percent (4.51% APR) for a 30-year fixed mortgage, 3.375 percent (3.61% APR) for a 15-year fixed mortgage and 2.625 percent (3.00% APR) for a 5/1 ARM.

”With FHA and conforming loan limits set to move lower in October, consumers who are looking to refinance or purchase a home above the current limits should consider shopping for a home loan now,” said Mona Marimow, senior vice president at LendingTree.com. “Borrowers could face higher down payments and interest rates, as well as more stringent loan qualifications if their loan amount is above the new government limit. Consumers in higher-priced areas of the country will be the most affected. Fortunately these issues are being brought to attention now, and consumers still have time to explore their options and take advantage of today’s low rates.”

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 7/20/11

*Updated Quarterly

STATE LOWEST MORTGAGE RATE LOAN-TO-VALUE RATIO* NEGATIVE EQUITY*
US Average 4.38% (4.51% APR) 70.2% 35.0%
Alabama 4.38% (4.52% APR) 67.0% 28.9%
Alaska 4.38% (4.51% APR) 66.3% 17.3%
Arizona 4.38% (4.51% APR) 94.6% 39.4%
Arkansas 4.38% (4.49% APR) 72.6% 43.9%
California 4.38% (4.51% APR) 70.6% 34.8%
Colorado 4.38% (4.55% APR) 71.9% 22.2%
Connecticut 4.25% (4.36% APR) 59.5% 43.3%
Delaware 4.25% (4.36% APR) – 67.6% 50.3%
District of Columbia 4.25% (4.48% APR) 58.3% 25.5%
Florida 4.25% (4.36% APR) – 90.8% 41.1%
Georgia 4.38% (4.50% APR) 80.9% 25.8%
Hawaii 4.50% (4.63% APR) 54.2% 25.4%
Idaho 4.38% (4.51% APR) 73.4% 29.8%
Illinois 4.38% (4.51% APR) 72.4% 31.7%
Indiana 4.38% (4.56% APR) 69.4% 28.5%
Iowa 4.38% (4.51% APR) – 66.7% 42.9%
Kansas 4.38% (4.51% APR) – 70.5% 31.8%
Kentucky 4.38% (4.50% APR) 67.6% 53.1%
Louisiana 4.38% (4.51% APR) – 78.5% 75.5%
Maine 4.38% (4.49% APR) 58.6% 30.1%
Maryland 4.25% (4.48% APR) 70.4% 25.6%
Massachusetts 4.38% (4.49% APR) 60.7% 46.0%
Michigan 4.38% (4.50% APR) 84.3% 32.2%
Minnesota 4.25% (4.36% APR) – 65.6% 22.2%
Mississippi 4.38% (4.51% APR) – 78.4% 30.1%
Missouri 4.38% (4.51% APR) 71.6% 31.0%
Montana 4.38% (4.51% APR) – 60.2% 33.4%
Nebraska 4.38% (4.51% APR) – 72.3% 46.5%
Nevada 4.25% (4.40% APR) – 118.0% 55.3%
New Hampshire 4.38% (4.49% APR) – 69.8% 25.2%
New Jersey 4.25% (4.34% APR) – 62.2% 29.0%
New Mexico 4.38% (4.53% APR) 66.4% 45.8%
New York 4.38% (4.49% APR) 50.1% 42.1%
North Carolina 4.38% (4.51% APR) 71.2% 33.2%
North Dakota 4.38% (4.51% APR) – 60.1% 37.7%
Ohio 4.38% (4.50% APR) 75.4% 27.0%
Oklahoma 4.38% (4.49% APR) 71.0% 52.4%
Oregon 4.38% (4.54% APR) 69.6% 19.6%
Pennsylvania 4.25% (4.36% APR) – 62.5% 75.7%
Rhode Island 4.38% (4.51% APR) – 62.6% 36.6%
South Carolina 4.38% (4.50% APR) 71.0% 29.0%
South Dakota 4.38% (4.49% APR) N/A N/A
Tennessee 4.38% (4.52% APR) 71.2% 30.7%
Texas 4.38% (4.50% APR) 68.8% 30.6%
Utah 4.38% (4.62% APR) 73.7% 22.2%
Vermont 4.38% (4.51% APR) – N/A N/A
Virginia 4.25% (4.36% APR) 71.7% 25.0%
Washington 4.38% (4.53% APR) 67.9% 21.4%
West Virginia 4.38% (4.51% APR) – 67.0% 68.0%
Wisconsin 4.38% (4.51% APR) – 68.3% 35.6%
Wyoming 4.38% (4.51% APR) 64.2% 23.0%

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:
Nicole Hall
(704) 943-8463
Nicole.Hall@tree.com

http://www.lendingtree.com

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