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Monthly Archives: November 2012

HARP 2.0 Helping Older Residents In Hardest-Hit States Refinance Mortgages

Government-backed mortgage securer Freddie Mac showed yet again in this week's Primary Mortgage Market Survey that average interest on fixed-rate loans have hit rock bottom and are looking to stay there.

As reported in past articles, with rates lower than they have ever been before, and government programs like the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP 2.0) making it easier than ever for homeowners to restructure their loans, borrowers have been taking advantage of mortgage refinance in droves.

A Quick Rundown Of The FHA Streamline Refinance Program

Because the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is the primary backer of mortgages nationwide, more home loans have been refinanced through the FHA than any other loan insurer over the past year.

But just because the FHA loan is one of the most prominent options, does that mean it necessarily offers the best refinance package for borrowers in need?

Another Week Of Steady Mortgage Activity As Market Breaks Even

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), a real estate analytics group who monitor 75 percent of all mortgage activity nationwide, released their weekly seasonally adjusted index on Wednesday, which signaled continued stability in the housing markets.

According to the figures, the number of mortgage applications filed over the past week dipped slightly by 0.9 percent compared to the week earlier. Specifically, the number of applications for mortgage refinance slipped by 1.5 percent.

What Is LTV and What Role Does It Play In Mortgage Refinance?

When homeowners begin to contemplate whether or not mortgage refinance is a good option for them, the deciding factor often comes down to the borrowers loan-to-value ratio (LTV).

The LTV is basically an analysis of how much money a homeowner owes on the loan they are looking to refinance versus the actual value of the house following a lender's appraisal. When the value of the property exceeds that of the loan, borrowers are more likely to get lowered interest, and potentially shorter terms, on their refinanced mortgage.

Foreclosed Upon Properties Present Unique Opportunity For Potential Buyers

According to housing market analysts RealtyTrac, the number of homes foreclosed upon in October was up 12 percent from the previous month. However, compared to levels a year ago, the incidents of foreclosure have dropped markedly.

This increase goes along with anticipated yearly seasonal trends where larger numbers of distressed homeowners fall into default near autumn.

Home Sales Stay Positive Throughout October

On Monday, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced that home sales continued their upward momentum throughout October. After adjusting their estimates for September downward following reports last month, the uptick in October reverses skepticism that many analysts had been feeling about the housing market.

"Altogether, the report is encouraging. Our view is that housing is in a recovery phase," said Michael Gapen, an economist at Barclays Capital, said in a story to The Associated Press on Monday. He added that though the overall economy is showing increased signs of health, Gapen believes it will be restrained by limited credit and modest job gains.

Senate Inches Closer To Vote On New Mortgage Legislation As Interest Rates Reach All-Time Lows

The past year has seen the mortgage markets following steady positive trends, with record-low average interest on home loans reached for 20 of the past 41 weeks, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Last week was no different, as average interest plummeted again to an all-time low of 3.34 percent on the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. This marks the first time in seven weeks that a new low has been reached, though rates have been hovering near the figure for more than three months.

Green Construction On The Rise According To New Study

Despite uncertainty regarding the overall economy, green construction has risen markedly over the past year with potential home buyers flocking to take advantage of the affordability of energy-efficient housing.

McGraw-Hill's 2013 Dodge Construction Green Outlook report showed that by the end of 2012, the market for green buildings will exceed $85 billion compared to 2005 when the market was only roughly $10 billion.

Mortgage Applications Surge As Nation Recovers From Devastating Storm System

After Hurricane Sandy devastated the Eastern Seaboard over the first week of November, the mortgage markets took a tumble as residents of coastal states assessed the widespread damage and paused financial activity during the recovery.

New reports from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) released on Wednesday show that two weeks after the storm made landfall, markets have rebounded markedly, with applications for new mortgages rising 12 percent over the week ending November 9.

Number Of Average Homeowners Keeping Up With Monthly Mortgage Payments Reaches Three-Year High

New reports are showing that the number of homeowners struggling to stay consistent on their home loans is shrinking nationwide as delinquency rates dropped over the quarter.

According to a report from credit reporting agency TransUnion, the number of homeowners who are more than two months late on their monthly mortgage payments shrank to only 5.41 percent over the third quarter of 2012.