(Source: Reuters) – Europe’s biggest lender HSBC will no longer provide mortgages to some Chinese nationals who buy real estate in the United States, a policy change that comes as Beijing is battling to stem a swelling crowd of citizens trying to get money out of China.
(Source: USDOJ) BOSTON – A former real estate broker pleaded guilty on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016, in U.S. District Court in Boston, in connection a scheme to defraud a couple of the deposit they paid to purchase three properties in Randolph, Roxbury and Jamaica Plain.
Michael David Scott, 51, of Mansfield, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton scheduled sentencing for March 25, 2016.
(Source: OC Housing News) – When you see an American Express Card commercial, do you see a sophisticated financial manager or an irresponsible spendthrift? The credit card companies want you to see a savvy money manager who wisely uses their products. But is it wise to use a costly product you don’t really need?
(Source: FHFA) Washington, D.C. – Nationally, interest rates on conventional purchase-money mortgages increased from November to December, according to several indices of new mortgage contracts.
The National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders Index was 3.97 percent for loans closed in late November, up 12 basis points from 3.85 percent in November.
The average interest rate on all mortgage loans was 3.96 percent, up 10 basis points from 3.86 in November.
The average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages of $417,000 or less was 4.20 percent, up 12 basis points from 4.08 in November.
The effective interest rate on all mortgage loans was 4.10 percent in December, up 9 basis points from 4.01 percent in November. The effective interest rate accounts for the addition of initial fees and charges over the life of the mortgage.
The average loan amount for all loans was $318,000 in December, down $1,800 from $319,800 in November.
FHFA will release January index values Thursday, February 25, 2016.
(Source: Calculated Risk) – The Census Bureau released the Residential Vacancies and Homeownership report for Q4 2015.
This report is frequently mentioned by analysts and the media to track household formation, the homeownership rate, and the homeowner and rental vacancy rates. However, there are serious questions about the accuracy of this survey.
(Source: NAHB) NAHB analysis of the most recent Census estimates concerning sources of financing for new home sales reveals an ongoing long-run trend toward conventional mortgages.
Personal Loans Market Booming Thanks to Fed, Low Unemployment
(Source: Bankrate) NEW YORK – 24 million Americans are likely to take out a personal loan this year, according to a new Bankrate.com (NYSE: RATE) report, including 10 million who are very likely and 14 million who are somewhat likely.
“I think the actual number will be even higher,” said personal loans expert Todd Albery, the CEO of Quizzle.com, a Bankrate company. “A lot of people don’t plan for a personal loan until their roof leaks or their car breaks down. Since three in 10 Americans have no emergency savings whatsoever, they’re just one unplanned expense away from needing cash in a hurry.”
Lower rates expected to stimulate production and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing
(Source: HUD) WASHINGTON – In an effort to help preserve and increase the amount of affordable, quality rental housing across the country, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) today announced a multifamily insurance rate reduction designed to encourage capital financing of affordable and energy-efficient apartments. The rate reductions announced today will take effect on April 1, 2016, and will directly impact FHA’s Multifamily Housing Programs and properties housing low- and moderate-income families and/or developments installing energy-efficient systems or building within federal energy guidelines.
RICHMOND – Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced today that the Commonwealth of Virginia has recovered more than $63 million collectively from eleven banks to settle allegations that the banks misled the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) through the sale of allegedly misrepresented residential mortgage-backed securities. This is the largest non-healthcare-related recovery ever obtained in a suit alleging violations of the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act.
(Source: NAHB) – Sales of newly built, single-family homes rose 14.5 percent to 501,000 units in 2015, the highest level since 2007, according to newly released data from HUD and the U.S. Census Bureau. Meanwhile, sales in December increased 10.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 544,000 from an upwardly revised November reading.
Fifty percent of the American communities studied are struggling to find their way forward after the Great Recession
(Source: Demand Institute) – We studied 2,200 cities and towns in the US, and hundreds of metrics for each including their housing markets, to develop 9 profiles of American communities. There is a startling contrast in economic prosperity between successful and struggling American communities. America is divided into nine different community profiles, ranging from the successful — the “Affluent Metroburbs” — to the genuinely troubled — the “Endangered Communities.” Fifty percent of the American communities studied are struggling to find their way forward after the Great Recession. (more…)
(Source: MBA) WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mortgage applications increased 8.8 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 22, 2016. This week’s results include an adjustment to account for the Martin Luther King holiday.
(Source: Freddie Mac) MCLEAN, VA – Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey®(PMMS®), showing mortgage rates moving lower for the fourth consecutive week as the Fed held interest rates steady at its FOMC meeting on Wednesday.
SACRAMENTO—Today, Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton) has introduced a bill that would extend tax relief on forgiveness of mortgage debt for some homeowners.
AFTER ENDURING 10 YEARS OF EXCESSIVE MORTGAGE DEBT SERVICE, MANY PEOPLE DOWNSIZE WHEN PRICES RISE HIGH ENOUGH FOR THEM TO SELL.
(Source: OC Housing News) – Most people visualize the housing ladder as a steady upward progression from starter home to Mansion by the beach, but that’s seldom the reality. Many people buy entry-level housing, and when prices rise high enough for them to sell and have 20% down for a larger property, the participate in the move-up market. If their income grew while they lived in their entry-level home, the step up can be quite luxurious. If their income didn’t go up much, they are probably better off refinancing into a lower-cost mortgage and staying put.