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The Mortgage Interest Deduction: Is the Sacred Cow Worthless?

sacred cow

Chronically low interest rates may have accomplished something that the housing lobby has spent millions of campaign contributions and decades of political pressure to prevent. Did the mortgage interest deduction, long the holy grail of homeownership, become worthless eight years ago when low rates and falling prices so reduced the value of the interest that owners can deduct that the ... Read More »

Price Realities are Blowing Away Forecasts

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  This was supposed to be a year of “moderating” prices and a “return to normalcy.”  Instead, upward price pressures have not abated, and red-faced economists are scrambling to crank up their forecasts as price trends at the outset of the buying season knock their protections into a cocked hat. The culprit? Most forecasters predicted three years of rising prices ... Read More »

Has Homeownership Become a Privilege?

Greedy Business Partners

  During the housing boom mortgage lending was available to people with a broad range of incomes. Since the bust, first-time buyers have become a more select group, according to a new analysis of Census data by BuildZoom’s Chief Economist, Dr. Issi Rorem. “In 2005 the annual number of first time home buyers in the U.S. hit an all-time high ... Read More »

Is Bad Information Keeping Potential Buyers in Apartments?

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A new survey from Bankrate found that primary reason 29 percent of renters can’t buy a home is they can’t afford a down payment.  However, at least one out of five of them are overestimating how much they think they will have to raise for a down payment. The more than 3250 non-homeowners participating in the survey expect that they ... Read More »

Will Sellers Step up the Plate in 2016?

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Richard Paul Kane / Shutterstock.com

    “It is important to recognize that 2016 is shaping up to be the best year in recent memory to sell. Supply remains very tight, so inventory is moving faster. Given the forecast that price appreciation will slow in 2016 to a more normal rate of growth, delaying will not produce substantially higher values, and will also see higher ... Read More »

First-time Buyers Lose Again

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‘Closed loan credit scores continued tumble, while DTI rose in October’ promised the headline from Ellie Mae this month. Eagerly I scanned through the data, hoping at last to see a relaxation of the squeaky tight lending standards for purchase loans, enough to really mean something to the millions of young buyers trying to maneuver their way through student loan ... Read More »

Home Prices: The Tilting of America

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  The chart below from Case-Shiller’s release today of its July data says it all.  Prices now are shifting a lot on a monthly basis.  The range between appreciating and depreciating markets seems to be growing and no longer do the “sand” states, judicial foreclosure states or foreclosure states or cities with the best economies and most jobs. Rather, with ... Read More »

The Truth about Lending Standards

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  Perhaps you have heard that it’s getting easier to get approved for a mortgage to buy a home. Yet the first-time buyers you work with don’t seem to be doing any better than they did six, 12 or even 24 months ago. The news reports you’ve been reading are misleading.  They may accurately trends for refi mortgages or mortgages ... Read More »

Private Label Securitization—the Missing Link

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Without a return to a robust private label securitization market for pristine borrowers, securitization of riskier loans won’t occur and without a vehicle to finance them, origination of these loans to be fairly limited. That’s the conclusion of “The Rebirth of Securitization,” a white paper by the Urban Institute’s Laurie Goodman published September 10.  Just seven days later CoreLogic’s Faith ... Read More »

Home Prices: Old Peaks and New Pitfalls

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In July, the National Association of Realtors announced that by its calculations, the national median existing-home price for all housing types surpassed the record national median sales price of $230,400   set nine years ago. For many, reaching the price peak is a good reason to break out the bubbly and celebrate the official end of the housing recession.  It’s been ... Read More »

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