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Mortgage Credit: The Private/Public Paradox

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Next September, two months before the Presidential election, America celebrates eight years since the Treasury Department took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and turned them into wholly owned subsidiaries. Since then the federal government’s control over the nation’s housing markets has grown even greater than ever. While we’ve been waiting for policymakers to fix a broken system of housing, ... Read More »

The Rent Trap Redux: Why Millennials Can’t Buy

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Though 2015 was dubbed the Year of the Millennial, though the final sales data are not yet in, actual purchases by young first-time buyers disappointed many real estate observers. Between July 2014 and June 2015. first–time buyers declined to 32 percent (33 percent a year ago), which is the second–lowest share since the survey’s inception (1981) and the lowest since ... Read More »

New Study Suggests MLS Sold Prices are Inflated in Down Markets

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  Transaction prices reported by multiple listing services may differ by an average of 8.75 percent from sold prices reported on HUD-1 settlement statements, possibly because brokers are under pressure to inflate prices in a declining market, according to a new study by three real estate economists at Florida Gulf Coast University published last month by the Appraisal Journal. In ... Read More »

NAR Lowers Sales Forecast

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The National Association of Realtors has reduced its outlook for existing sales in 2016 from a 3 percent increase over 2015 (5.45 million sales) to an increase of only 1 to 2 percent (5.30 to 5.40 million sales). The new forecast, three months before the opening of the home sales season, amends an early one made at NAR’s annual meeting ... Read More »

Clear Capital Puts a Chill in 2016 Price Forecasts

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  Prices in the year to come are going to be a lot worse than most earlier forecasts, according to  Clear Capital’s view of the market, which refuses to “sugarcoat the data”.  The provider of real estate valuations, data and analytics calls for continued market instability and a trend of decreasing rates over the next 12 months, especially in mid ... Read More »

QM Rule is a Yawner

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Despite months of turmoil and repeated complaints from lenders, Realtors, builders and other members of the housing lobby, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s Qualified Mortgage Rule enacted in 2014 has not had any significant impact on risk taking and credit availability, according to a new study by the Federal Reserve. Congress passed one of the most comprehensive financial reform laws ... Read More »

Will Sellers Step up the Plate in 2016?

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    “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 »

Mortgage Rates in 2016: Nothing to get Excited About

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    Bankrate’s senior financial analyst Greg McBride isn’t sweating the new environment in mortgage rates.  December’s FOMC decision to start the upward climb one baby step at a time won’t really mean much to home sales in the larger scheme of things and most homeowners who wanted to refinance have already done so. McBride sees rates on a 30-year ... Read More »

No Relief in Sight on Rents

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  The long anticipated slowdown in rent increases from record numbers of new multi-family projects opening for business has yet to materialize as rental demand drove rents to record levels in the first three quarters of 2015, sending the national apartment market soaring to its strongest year in a decade. According to data from Axiometrics, a specialist in apartment market ... Read More »

“Know Before You Owe” Blamed for Sudden Sales Slump

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Existing-home sales dropped off considerably in November to the slowest pace in 19 months, but the National Association of Realtors said some of the decrease was likely due to the “Know before you owe” or the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures rule (TRID), which took effect October 3. The rule requires lenders and service providers to provide binding estimates and final accounting ... Read More »

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