April 2012

Found 22 blog entries for April 2012.


realtytimes.com - In Freddie Mac's results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey®, average fixed mortgage rates were down slightly and hovering just above their record lows as markets waited for the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.88 percent and has been below 4 percent all but one week in 2012. The 15-year fixed, a popular refinancing choice, averaged 3.12 percent.

30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.88 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending April 26, 2012, down from last week when it averaged 3.90 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.78 percent. 

 

15-year FRM this week averaged 3.12 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when

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nytimes.com - Even if your house hasn’t been featured on “Hoarders,” making an effort to clear out clutter and to ensure that your home is as neat and tidy as possible before opening your door to buyers is common advice in real estate circles. And for good reason, said Jeffrey Stockwell, a senior vice president with Stribling & Associates in Manhattan.

“It’s vital, because most real estate is aspirational, and buyers want to see themselves someplace better and more beautiful,” he said. “They want the feeling that if they move in there, it will be organized, clean and attractive. If they walk into a cluttered, messy space, there’s none of that feeling that life will be better.”

Even if your home is in good condition, Mr. Stockwell said, “if it’s

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inman.com - Traditionally, most homes have sold during the spring months. In the current volatile housing market, the time of year is not the most reliable predictor of the best time to sell.

Homes certainly show better in spring than they do on a dark and dreary winter day. Lately, however, weather patterns are hard to predict.

The weather has some effect on home sales. It can slow things down if incessant rain keeps sellers from being able to prepare their homes for sale. However, a bigger influence on the housing market is the overall economic situation and its impact on buyers' psyche.

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Beginning June 15, real estate agents working with distressed homeowners whose loans are backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should expect to receive a decision on a short sale offer within 30-60 days.

The GSEs issued new guidelines Tuesday that fall under the Servicing Alignment Initiative rolled out last fall and aim to bring greater transparency to the short sale process and expedite decisions related to these pre-foreclosure sales.

Not only is a short sale an effective foreclosure alternative when home retention is no longer an option, but it keeps homes occupied and helps to maintain stable communities, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

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 Housing affordability is still at a record high, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). It is at the highest level since record keeping began in 1970. This is based on the relationship between median home price, median family income and average mortgage interest rate.


NAR President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami, said this latest data underscores buyer opportunities in today’s market. "This is the first time the housing affordability index has broken the two hundred mark, meaning the typical family has roughly double the income needed to purchase a median-priced home," he said. "For buyers who can qualify for a mortgage, now is a very good time to become a homeowner." To read more on this article,…
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It's been no secret that the today's struggling housing market is being further hampered by decreased access to financing, both for buyers and builders.

This is why the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has announced new framework for reforming the housing finance system.

"Our plan seeks to overhaul the housing finance system to ensure that housing credit is available and affordable in the future and is delivered through a competitive, efficient, sound, safe and stable system," said NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg, a home builder from Gainesville, Fla.

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sfgate.com - Five years after the U.S. housing bust sent sales and prices plunging, the spring home-buying season is pointing to a long-awaited recovery.

Reduced prices, record-low mortgage rates, higher rents and an improving job market appear to be emboldening many would-be buyers. Open houses are drawing crowds. A wave of foreclosures is leading investors to grab bargain-priced homes.

And many people seem to have concluded that prices won't drop much further. In some areas, prices have begun to tick up.

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The relentless decline in home prices is nearing an end and prices should rise for the first time in seven years in 2013, but a possible new wave of foreclosures could threaten the recovery, according a Reuters poll of economists.

The median forecast of 24 economists polled by Reuters was for the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index to end the year unchanged. That was the same finding back in January for this house price gauge, which covers 20 cities.

"We are expecting a gradual improvement, but if we get a big wave of new foreclosures coming to the market, price declines could be even greater," said Yelena Shulyatyeva, an economist at BNP Paribas in New York.

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storyBozemandailychronicle.com - If you do the math, it just doesn’t pencil out. The city pays $1.2 million for a dilapidated old building, invests another $2.5 million in local and federal tax money in it, and then sells it for less than $400,000.

On paper, it looks like a disaster. But then it’s also the best deal the city could get and still preserve a historic home and establish a public park and meeting place – maintenance free.

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Rising rents and a healthier job market are inspiring more people to consider buying.

Builders are responding to the demand by laying plans for more homes this year than at any other point in past 3 1/2 years.

And banks are helping both by approving more loans.

 

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