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Two major lending changes mean it's suddenly easier to get a mortgage

Diana Olick/ CNBC
Wednesday, 5 July 2017


  • The nation's three major credit rating agencies, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian, will drop tax liens and civil judgments from some consumers' profiles if the information isn't complete.
  • Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are allowing borrowers to have higher levels of debt and still qualify for a home loan.
  • These changes come at a time when lenders are competing for a shrinking market of borrowers


Home prices rise on lower rates, Increased demand

National Mortgage News
By Brad Finkelstein
June 06,2017

Home prices were up 6.9% in April over the prior year, as lower mortgage rates during the month stimulated consumer demand to purchase a property, according to CoreLogic.

"Mortgage rates in April dipped back to their lowest level since November of last year, spurring home-buying activity," said CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft in a press release. "In some metro areas, there has been a bidding frenzy as multiple contracts are placed on a single home. This has led home-price growth to outpace rent gains."


Orlando home prices, rents on the rise 

By Mary Shanklin
April 24, 2017

Housing costs — both rents and home prices — in the Metro Orlando area rose faster than in most metropolitan areas within the state and the nation in March from a year earlier, two new reports show.

The midpoint price for a house that sold last month in Orange, Seminole, Osceola and Lake counties was $238,000, and that was up 10.7 percent from a year earlier, according to a new report by Florida Realtors. Prices in 20 metropolitan areas in the state rose similarly but slightly less, 10.4 percent.

“Higher demand, coupled with a shortage of available homes for sale, continues to put pressure on prices — so buyers are eager to make an offer when they find the right property,” stated Maria Wells, president of Florida Realtors. Sellers, she said, “continue to receive a higher sales price as inventory remains scarce.”

Near Metro Orlando, Volusia County’s March home sales prices rose 12 percent and Brevard County’s rose 10.9 percent from a year earlier. Polk County, meanwhile, increased 6 percent. The state’s lowest price growth was in Gainesville and the rest of Alachua County, where prices rose 1.7 percent from March 2016 to a median of $183,000.

Orlando-area renters experienced higher lease-rate increases in March compared with renters nationally, according to a new report by Zillow. In March, Orlando rents were up 3.2 percent from a year earlier and reached a midpoint of $1,400, according to Zillow. Across the country, rents increased an average of 0.7 percent during that time, reaching a median of $1,408, the real estate marketing company reported.

Orlando’s trend of rising rental costs contrasted with South Florida, where rents declined 0.6 percent to a median of $1,849 during the year-long period that ended in March.

Central Florida’s rent growth slowed from a year earlier, when it climbed 4.4 percent during a 12-month timeframe.

“The slowdown in rental appreciating is mainly due to new construction finally meeting demand, and even outpacing demand in some areas,” said Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell.

Rents, he added, “are the highest they’ve ever been, weighing heavily on renters’ budgets and making it extremely difficult for those renters hoping to become homeowners to save enough money for a down payment.”



Fed leaves key rate unchanged, now

Orlando Sentinel
2 February 2017
By Martin Crutsinger

The Federal Reserve has left its key interest rate unchanged at a time of solid economic gains but also heightened uncertainty surrounding the new Trump administration.

At the same time, the Fed pointed to improved sentiment among consumers and businesses. And it said it had become more confident that inflation will reach its 2 percent target. But the Fed offered no hints about when it will resume raising rates.  

In a statement it issued Wednesday after its latest policy meeting, the Fed said it wants more time to monitor the economy and still envisions a gradual pace of rate increases.

The statement offered a slightly more upbeat tone than it did after the Fed's previous meeting in December, reflecting rising confidence in the economy and signs that chronically low inflation is moving higher.


Orlando home prices and sales rise - along with interest rates

By Mary Shanklin

January 25, 2017

Orlando-area home prices and sales were not the only thinks that increased from November to December.  Mortgage interest rates rose too.

The midpoint price for a house purchased in an area of mostly Orange and Seminole counties during December was $207,900, which was up from $201,000 a month earlier and $185,000 a year earlier, according to Orlando Regional Realtor Association.

Higher prices didn't dissuade year-end buyers. With 2,948 sales during December, members of the association sold 425 more houses thatn they did a month earlier and 309 more than a year earlier.

"Reduced inventory resulted in a year of fewer options for buyers and dampened sales, plus contributed to consistently rising prices," said Bruce Elliot, president of the association and advisor for Regal R.E.Professionals LLC.

As rates on a 30-year mortgage increased from 3.82 percent to 4.32 percent during a one-month period, more buyers jumped into a market that was already somewhat depleted with listings. ________________________

Mortgage rates kick off new year with a drop

January 5, 2017

CNN Money
by Kathryn Vasel

 Here's some good news to start the new year: mortgages are a little cheaper.

 Potential new spending and tax cut plans proposed by Donald Trump, along with a rate hike from the Federal Reserve sent the interest rate on the U.S. government's 10-year Treasury note surging in the weeks after November 8.

Treasury notes serve as a benchmark for various types of credit, including mortgages. When rates move higher, it becomes more expensive to borrow money.

"It was a run up that was based on euphoria that we are going to see fiscal stimulus and that brings about faster economic growth," said Greg McBride, Bankrate's chief financial analyst. "But there has been a lot of that priced into that run up, and the reality is even if we do get fiscal stimulus that money might not hit the economy in 2017."



Mortgage rates jump to a new high for 2016

December 8, 2016
Nathan Bomey, USA Today


Mortgage rates ticked up to a high for 2016 as anticipation of higher inflation under President-elect Donald Trump's administration and a Federal Reserve interest rate hike next week drove the cost of borrowing higher.

Amid the prospect of a more vibrant economy and more rapidly-rising prices, lenders are raising borrowing costs. The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.13% for the week ending Thursday, up from 4.08% in the previous week, according to Freddie Mac. An increase of that amount equals a payment of about $6 more per month for a prospective home buyer taking out a 30-year, $200,000 mortgage.

The average rate for a 15-year mortgage rose to 3.36% from 3.34% last week and a 5-year adjustable mortgage jumped to 3.17% from 3.15%.

___________________________Home prices pass pre-recession peak

November 30, 2016
Associated Press

Washington - U.S. home prices have fully recovered from their steep plunge during the housing bust and Great Recesion, according to a private measure.

The Standard & Poor's CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index, released Tuesday, is slightly above the peak it set in July 2006, after rising 5.5 percent in September from a year earlier. The milestone comes after more than four years of steady gains.

Still, prices have not fully recovered in many cities and other gauges show that home prices remain below their peak



No Fed rate hike, but one may come in December

November 2, 2016
By CNN Wire

NEW YORK, NY — Like the election, the Federal Reserve is keeping America in suspense…till December.

The Fed decided not to raise the bank’s key interest rate at the end of a two-day meeting on Wednesday. The decision was widely expected, with only 6% of investors betting there will be a rate hike. A few key reasons, among them the U.S. election, were believed to be behind the Fed’s decision.

But the Fed may be looking to raise rates in December. Fed Chair Janet Yellen has said in recent months that the case for raising rates has “strengthened.”

The Fed reiterated that sentiment on Wednesday.

“The Committee judges that the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has continued to strengthen but decided, for the time being, to wait for some further evidence of continued progress toward its objectives,” Fed leaders said in a statement.

A December rate hike is no guarantee though, especially if Donald Trump pulls off an unexpected win, which would likely roil financial markets around the globe, forcing the Fed to hit the pause button again.

But the economy has continued to grow at a decent, 2% pace, and the job market has kept up the momentum. The unemployment rate is very low at 5%, down from 10% shortly after the Great Recession ended in 2009. And wage growth has shown nascent signs of accelerating this year.

Against that backdrop, Wall Street believes there’s a strong chance of a December hike. Right before the Fed’s announcement Wednesday afternoon, investors believed there was nearly a 70% chance of an increase at the end of the Fed’s meeting on December 14.






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