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Real Estate ABC - Information on Buying and Selling A Home

Interest Rate Report - October 14

Long-term mortgage interest rates took their sharpest upward turn of the year in September, according to mortgage finance company Freddie Mac, but rates are still well below their yearly highs.

Existing Home Sales - October 14

U.S. existing-home sales dipped in August as investors left the market, according to the National Association of Realtors, while prices fell for the second month in a row. Sales of existing homes fell 1.8 percent in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.05 million, down from 5.14 million in July, and are down 5.3 percent from the previous year.

Slowdown in Home Prices Represents Shift in Market Fundamentals

U.S. existing-home prices continued to rise in July, according to a recent report from the S&P Dow Jones Indices, although at a much slower pace than the month before, with the quick cool-down surprising market analysts. Though this stabilization could mean less profit for sellers, the slowdown may also indicate that the housing market is making a key shift in its recovery.

No One Believes the Fed’s Promises to Raise Interest Rates

Although the Federal Reserve has been regularly broadcasting its plans to raise its target interest rate next year, no one seems to be listening. Two economists at the San Francisco Fed found that neither economists and investors nor the general public believe that the Fed will raise rates as soon as they say.

Thaw in Mortgage Credit Standards Could Speed Housing Recovery

After years of ultra-tight mortgage lending standards, a new report from the Federal Reserve indicates that banks may be easing their requirements for home-buyers. If that occurrence should become a trend, the stalled U.S. housing market recovery could make headway again by the end of the year.

Mortgage Credit Standards Are Loosening, But Only For the Wealthy

The latest reports show that U.S. mortgage lenders have been easing their credit standards for loan applicants – well at least for the wealthiest customers, that is. For first-time buyers and those with any credit blemishes things have not gotten any easier.

Investors Back Out but Who Will Fill the Home Buyer Void

Last year investors bought one out of every five home sales in the U.S., according to the National Association of Realtors, but with rising home prices and fewer distressed properties, that percentage is likely to fall significantly this year.

Re-defaults Loom Large as Mortgage Modification Payments Set to Rise

HAMP was designed to save millions of American homeowners from foreclosure by offering mortgage modifications that would either reduce their monthly interest rate or their total loan principal. Those who qualified for rate reductions got fixed rates for five years for as low as 2 percent.

How Will the Mortgage Market Handle Higher Interest Rates?

Long-term U.S. mortgage interest rates have likely hit bottom and are likely on their way back up. Rising rates may bring a new wave of buyers to the mortgage table, hopefully replacing a lot of the business that will be lost on refinance loans. The Federal Reserve has hinted that it might reduce its efforts to keep rates low sooner than previously thought.

Getting the Big Picture on the Housing Market

In its most recent meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of the Federal Reserve decided once again to leave its target interest rate unchanged in the range of zero to 0.25 percent. That rate has not changed since December 2008, and it looks as though there will be no movement for some time to come.


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