Tag Archives for " Bankrate "

December 15, 2010

Interest Rate RoundUp, Mortgage Rates on the Rise

The election is over and so is the need to keep interest rates artificially low. If we absorb the pain now, we’ll be less likely to remember it during the 2012 election. Don’t wait! Rates are rising!

Interest Rate Roundup for Dec. 2, 2010 from Bankrate.com

Mortgages
4.71% (30-year fixed)
0.36 (average points)

Here’s a look at the state of mortgage rates from Bankrate.com’s weekly national survey of large banks and thrifts conducted Dec. 1, 2010.

Mortgage products took a sharp leap upward this week, with the 15- and 30-year home loans rising significantly amid signs that the U.S. economic recovery may also be gathering strength.

The 30-year fixed rate mortgage shot up 13 basis points, to 4.71 percent, its highest level since last summer. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percent.

The story was much the same for 15-year fixed rate mortgages, although their ascent was not as steep, climbing 10 basis points to 4.07 percent.

The rises were more moderate for adjustable-rate mortgages. The popular 5/1 ARM rose 8 basis points, settling at 3.74 percent. With a 5/1 ARM, a mortgage has a fixed rate for the first five years, and is adjusted annually — based on market conditions — for the remainder of the loan’s term.

It was the highest rate for 30-year mortgages since July. Bankrate’s July 21 national survey found an average rate of 4.74 percent, after which home loans began a descent that lasted until early November and brought mortgages to record low rates.

Although it is difficult to establish a direct relationship — and the housing market remains troubled by virtually every measure — the strengthening of mortgage rates is occurring as the tepid economic recovery is also gaining momentum.

On Wednesday, the Institute for Supply Management, which tracks manufacturing industries, said factory output has now risen for 16 months in a row. In addition, a Federal Reserve survey found that 10 of its 12 regions are seeing economic expansion, while the other two — St. Louis and Philadelphia — have mixed conditions.

The economic indicator most relevant to housing, however, is unemployment. The country will get an indication of whether the labor market is recovering on Friday, when the government releases figures for unemployment and job creation for the month of November.

Find out monthly mortgage payments using Bankrate’s mortgage calculator.

— Gregg Fields

Read more: National mortgage rates for Dec. 2, 2010

To take advantage of low mortgage rates and low interest rates while you can, contact a Realtor who can help you! Click here.

November 26, 2010

Foreclosure Freeze is Thawing! Important news for buyers & sellers

According to Fannie Mae, they are lifting some of the holds on eviction actions and REO closings that were put in place in September 2010. The holds were placed in response to the issues of possible defects with affidavits submitted in foreclosure actions. This means the homes that were removed from the market will be placed back on the market and closings will be able to proceed over the next week as Fannie Mae works through lifting the holds.

The following are instructions for brokerages Fannie Mae has issued to inform them of the current situation and how to proceed.

“Effective November 24, 2010, Fannie Mae is issuing the following instructions for REO properties relating to all loans which were formerly serviced by GMAC, Bank of America, PNC Mortgage Corporation, JP Morgan Chase, One West Bank and Sovereign Bank in all states previously on hold:

1. Our prior guidance with respect to evictions and lockouts for each of the affected servicers remains in effect at this time.

2. Proceed with scheduling and holding the closings of Fannie Mae REO property as agreed between the parties. If a title issue arises with respect to the potential defect of an affidavit used in the underlying foreclosure, the Closing entity will identify the issue in AMN as they would any other title issue and will work with their title representative for further instructions.

3. Please reach out to all buyers that have been awaiting closing to ensure that they can now move forward. They may reschedule to an earlier date if needed. It is possible that their loan and/or closing files will need to be updated before their closing can be scheduled.

4. Please reach out to those buyers that elected to terminate their contracts to determine if still interested in purchasing the property. All details of the contact and response must be noted in AMN. We require response/update in comments within 72 hours of this notice if the buyer associated with the terminated contract wishes to re-engage.

Over the next week, impacted properties will be removed from their current “Unable to Market” status in AMN and will again be available to market.”

For more information regarding the foreclosure freeze or for help buying a home that was taken off the market due to a title defect, please click here.

Charlotte Home Prices Drop, US Existing Home Sales Jump

According to the Charlotte Business Journal, Charlotte-area home prices drop 3.4% and existing US home sales jump 10%.
The following are two excerpts from articles about each of these subjects:

Charlotte-area home prices drop 3.4%

“Homes prices in the Charlotte market fell 3.4 percent in August from a year earlier, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index. And August’s local prices dipped 0.4 percent from the July level, the report says.

The year-over-year price drop was the third-largest among the 10 U.S. cities that posted declines. The local downward trend runs counter to S&P/Case-Shiller’s overall national index of 20 cities, which saw a 1.7 percent price increase in August from a year ago.”

Read more: Charlotte-area home prices drop 3.4%

Existing-home sales jump 10%
“Sales of existing homes in the United States jumped in September, though they remained lower than year-ago levels.

The National Association of Realtors says sales of existing single-family houses, townhomes, condos and co-ops rose 10 percent from August to September — the biggest monthly gain in nearly 28 years.

But compared with a year ago, existing-home sales nationwide were down 19.1 percent in September.

Still, the Realtors’ group says the housing market is in the early stages of recovery.

“A housing recovery is taking place but will be choppy at times depending on the duration and impact of a foreclosure moratorium,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “But the overall direction should be a gradual rising trend in home sales with buyers responding to historically low mortgage interest rates and very favorable affordability conditions.”

Distressed-home sales accounted for 35 percent of all sales in September, up from 34 percent in August.

Sales in the South rose 10.6 percent in September. That region includes the Carolinas but also stretches from Delaware to Florida, under the association’s reporting system.”

Read more: Existing-home sales jump 10%

For more information regarding buying or selling homes in Charlotte Metro and surrounding areas, click here.

October 25, 2010

What You Need to Know About HUD Homes -AND- Why They Are So Affordable

Showcase Realty has recently acquired the honor of being one of the few brokerages able to list HUD Homes in the Charlotte, NC Metro and surrounding areas. The following is a quick helpful explanation of HUD Homes from the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development:

What is a HUD Home?
A HUD Home may be a single-family house, a townhome, condominium or other type of residence. The properties were deeded to HUD/FHA by mortgage companies who had foreclosed on FHA-insured mortgage loans. Now HUD must sell these homes – as quickly as possible at market value – in order to obtain the maximum financial return on its mortgage insurance funds.

Who can buy a HUD Home?
Anyone who has the money or can qualify for the necessary amount of mortgage financing can purchase a HUD Home. You do not have to be low-incomeor meet any other auch limitations.

Can I get a HUD Home for free, or for one dollar?
No. HUD acquires its properties through the foreclosure of FHA insured mortgages. One of HUD’s many missions is to maximize return to the FHA insurance fund, which it does by selling the properties at fair market value.

How do I buy a HUD Home?
HUD’s policy is to market acquired properties on a competitive basis with offers being submitted through any participating licensed real estate broker. Local brokers will assist you in the transaction. They can show the property to prospective buyers, as well as answer questions and provide information on the location of parks, schools, shopping and employment centers.

Are HUD Homes meant for low income people?
HUD Homes come in a variety of price ranges, though most are affordably priced, making them accessible to low and moderate income Americans.

What are the income requirements?
If you make a cash purchase, there are no income requirements. Otherwise, you must be able to qualify for a particular type of mortgage financing based on established mortgage lending criteria.

How does HUD decide how much to charge for a HUD Home?
THe listing price of a HUD property is a price based on the appraised value.

Can investors purchase HUD Homes?
Yes. However, HUD offers its properties to owner/occupants for a period before making them available to investors.

What happens if I can’t close the sale within the time permitted by HUD?
You’ll probably have to pay fees for an extension of time, usually in increments of 15 days.

Is there any way for me to get advanced notice about homes that will be coming up for sale?
No. HUD Homes are listed for sale in the local multilple listing service (MLS), the Internet at www.hud.gov or ask your broker.

Since the partnership is still very new, Showcase Realty’s HUD Homes have not become available on MLS yet – but will be very soon. Keep checking back to see when they will be listed or keep an eye on our website.

Mortgage Rates Remain Virtually Unchanged, Linger at Historical Lows

Rates are at a historic low, check out the article that DSNews.com recently published about it!

“After weeks of continuous declines, mortgage rates remained nearly flat for the week ending June 3, 2010, Freddie Mac and Bankrate reported Thursday.

According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.79 percent with an average 0.8 point this week, barely inching up from last week’s average of 4.78 percent. However, this week’s average was significantly lower than last year at this time when 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 5.29 percent.Continue reading