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Real Estate ABC - Information on Buying and Selling A Home
Long-term mortgage interest rates stayed in an extremely tight range in April, moving only as much as 0.05 percent from high to low point, according to data from mortgage finance company Freddie Mac.
Existing U.S. homes sales made a leap to their highest sales pace in a year-and-a-half in March, according to the National Association of Realtors, with home prices and inventory rebounding as well.
Sales of existing homes rose 6.1 percent in March to a total of 5.19 million – the highest pace since September 2013 – up from 4.89 million in February. On a yearly basis, sales are up 10.4 percent.
After the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee met in last April, the mortgage industry breathed a sigh of relief, as they decided to keep the target interest rate at the rock bottom range of 0 to 0.25 percent for the following six weeks.
With new federal regulations going into effect on Aug. 1, closing mortgage documents will become a little simpler for homebuyers. However, this upcoming process may make things more difficult for mortgage lenders.
Investors Back Out but Who Will Fill the Home Buyer Void
The share of ‘zombie foreclosures’ – homes in the foreclosure process where owners have vacated before the bank has repossessed the property – rose to 25 percent of all active foreclosures as of the end of January, according to foreclosure data firm RealtyTrac. The report found that although the total number of such defaults fell 6 percent to 142,462 from the previous year, the share of zombie foreclosures rose 21 percent from the same time in 2014.
Even though long-term mortgage interest rates declined for the majority of the last year, most analysts are predicting that higher rates will make a comeback in 2015. Most of those forecasts are based on the fact that the Federal Reserve has ended its bond-buying program and is likely to slowly start raising its target interest rates this year in order to combat inflation.
After several years of ultra-tight mortgage standards, there may be a break in the clouds for borrowers with less-than-perfect credit soon. Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac put into place new guidelines for home loan lenders that took effect December 1 and several big banks are already preparing to make some significant changes to their credit requirements.
Young would-be homebuyers are increasingly unable to make the dream of homeownership come true, according to the results of the latest survey from the National Association of Realtors. The Great Recession, student loans, and a strict lending climate seem to be the big problems for the nation’s young buyers.
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.
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.
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