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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Government Considers New Mortgage Refinance Program

The federal government is exploring more solutions for underwater borrowers by discussing a proposed refinance program that would help homeowners with non-government backed loans.

The proposed initiative, titled Rebuild American Homeownership (RAH), would function similarly to the government's current Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP 2.0), which is designed to help borrowers who had financed their mortgages through Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, two government-backed entities.

What To Consider When Refinancing More Than Once

For many homeowners, mortgage refinance may seem like a good option on more than one occasion throughout the life of their loan. Mortgage lenders told The New York Times in a recent article that unforeseen events such as divorce or volatile changes in a home's value contribute to borrowers feeling the need to restructure their finances.

Refinancing a mortgage on multiple occasions has its pros and cons. In a positive climate for borrowers, where average rates are lower on fixed-rate loans than they were when a homeowner originally took out their mortgage, they have the opportunity to lower their monthly payment significantly.

Borrowers Applying For Refinance At Rates Not Seen In Years

New figures released today from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) weekly market survey show that homeowners have been applying for mortgage refinance at levels not seen in three years.

The survey shows that the number of applications submitted last week rose 2 percent over the previous one, making refinance account for 81 percent of all mortgage business. The last time the MBA had reported a larger occurrence of refinance was in their report for the week ending April 19, 2009.

Home Values Reach Yearly Highs as Interest Rates Hit All-Time Lows

The housing market has been filled with good news lately, as it seems every week a new survey or study reports an increasingly positive outlook for homeowners. This week is no different, as the Federal Home Finance Agency (FHFA) released their monthly Home Price Index for May on Tuesday, which shows home-values have increased 0.08 percent over prices reported by the agency in April.

Since October, the prices of homes across the nation have risen 4 percent, as buyer confidence increases and new home construction begins to amp up, according to figures from the FHFA and weekly mortgage surveys released by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) over the same period.

Average Interest On 15-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgages Sinking Faster Than Other Popular Options

Although average interest on fixed-rate mortgages have dropped across the board, rates on the 15-year loan have become markedly lower than most other types of mortgages.

According to figures from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the 15-year fixed rate loan now boasts rates that are more than 20 percent lower than those on the average 30-year loan. Though average rates on a 15-year mortgage have always been generally lower than those on a 30-year option, the variance has rarely been steeper than 9 percent in the past.

Housing Stock Down As More Homeowners Retain Their Properties

Sales were down last month for market-rate homes, according to figures from the monthly Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey released today, signaling positive news for current homeowners.

The number of available houses for sale shrunk markedly because of a sharp decline in foreclosure rates since June of 2011.

Possible Relief For Retirees Looking To Refinance

Many retirees face roadblocks when they seek out mortgage refinance because one of the main factors lenders take into account when going over an application is the borrower's current income.

Because retirees by definition don't have steady incomes but instead rely on social security and savings to get by, lenders may misinterpret these borrowers as less than prime candidates for refinance.

New Figures Show Increased Strength In Housing Market

Yesterday brought a flurry of good news for the housing market, as weekly and monthly figures were released showing an increase in new construction and improvement in the mortgage sector.

One new report from the Commerce Department that was made public Tuesday said that new home construction in June rose 6.9 percent to its highest levels since October of 2008.

New Proposal Suggests Energy Efficiency Be Considered During Mortgage Refinance

By incorporating energy efficiency incentives into the mortgage refinance process, a new report released by a state-run agency in California on Tuesday proposed that homeowners could effectively lower their monthly energy bills while bringing their loans above water.

The California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF) released their proposal on Tuesday that would make it so that new homebuyers and current homeowners would find it easier to stay on top of home costs if they adopted widespread energy efficient practices.

New Report Proves Changes to HARP 2.0 Effective in Helping Homeowners

A new report was released Monday by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) that indicated enhancements that were made last October to President Barack Obama's Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP 2.0) have been successful in luring borrowers to refinance after the program's sluggish beginning back in 2009.

According to the figures released with the report, more people took advantage of HARP 2.0 in the first five months of 2012 than had done so in the entire prior lifespan of the program.