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Author Archives: Steve Cook

FHA Sinks Deeper


FHA’s share of home-purchase financing fell to its lowest level in at least five years in September, according to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey of real estate professionals. Mortgages guaranteed by the FHA accounted for financing on 18.2 percent of home purchases in September, based on a three-month moving average. That’s the lowest market share for the ... Read More »

Homeowner’s Claims Can Send Premiums Sky High


Filing a single homeowner’s insurance claim can raise consumers’ annual insurance premiums by more than 30 percent, or hundreds of dollars each year, according to research by, a subsidiary of Bankrate Insurance. Nationally, one claim leads to an average premium increase of nine percent. The states with the highest single claim increases are Wyoming (+32%), Connecticut (+21%), Arizona (+20%), ... Read More »

Fall Inventories Moderate Redfin Prices


September sales volume declined by 13.7 percent in September from August on Re3dfin even though Inventory increased by 4 percent over August and newly listed homes were up 2.1 percent.  Prices were among the lowest among September market reports to date.  The brokerage hopes for better news in the fourth quarter but doesn’t expect price growth to be higher than ... Read More »

Why Boomerang Kids Bounce Back


Not only are the numbers of young people over 18 who live with their parents reaching unprecedented numbers, higher than previously assumed, they are not necessarily moving out when their financial situations improve, a according to a new study by Federal Reserve economists that may have important ramifications for housing marks. The fraction of young adults residing with parents has ... Read More »

New Fed Study: Student Loans Dont Stop Grads


A study by Federal Reserve economists released today torpedoes the contention that college grads are being prevented from buying houses by student loan debt.  Rather, they are buying house at the same rate as grads with no student loan debt. The findings have wide-ranging implications for the future of homeownership.   Surveys conducted by the national Association of Realtors and others ... Read More »

Wells Circles the Wagons


Growing concern over the faltering housing recovery has inspired an unusual vote of confidence for housing’s fundamentals from two of Wells Fargo’s top economists. In a “special commentary” published in the bank’s web site, senior economists Mark Vitner and Anika R. Khan argue that too much progress has been made restoring growth to the overall economy for the recovery to ... Read More »

Student Loan Debt Consumes Twenty-somethings


  Student loan debt is consuming the budgets of twenty-somethings at a breakneck pace, mutating their debt profile into unrecognizable ways that stretch their resources and limit their options. A new TransUnion study found that the consumer loan wallet — the composition of loans that people typically carry — has materially changed their imprint on consumers ages 20-29, with the student loan ... Read More »

Home Builders Pay the Price for Tight Mortgage Credit


It’s no secret that tight credit is cramping home sales, both existing and new.  Now the extent of the damage to the new homes sector has been assessed and the cost is a lot greater than many assumed. In an August National Association of Home Builders survey asking single-family builders to describe mortgage lending standards in the areas where they ... Read More »

Tightening the Credit Screw Makes Lenders Grim


A survey of “mortgage industry leaders” by the Collingwood Group, a consulting firm led by several Washington insiders paints a grim picture for the mortgage industry in the year to come. One cause lost business is lending standards that have remained stubbornly high as a result of increased regulation and compliance requirements that have actually served to decrease loan volume ... Read More »

With Equity on the Mend, Homeowners Hit on HELOCs


Equity is now piling up in homes that have been money pits for years and now their owners are rushing to spend their new found wealthy. In the past two years, housing gains and a strong stock market have restored $14.22 trillion to household wealth, the largest such increase in any two-year period in US history, according to the Federal ... Read More »