2013 looks to be a good year for real estate

dennis-norman-realtorI continue to see encouraging news about the housing market and today was no exception.  The Freddie Mac housing market outlook for December was released and included a very encouraging outlook for the real estate market in 2013 by its chief economist, Frank Nothaft.  Not that I’m on the same level as Northaft, but I will be coming out later this month with a short market recap video for 2012 as well as an outlook for 2013, both specifically for the St Louis real estate market.  In the meantime, below are the highlights from Mr Nothaft’s projections for the U.S. real estate market for 2013.

Continue reading “2013 looks to be a good year for real estate

St. Louis Mortgage Rate Update; Refinancing Homeowners Reduced Debt In Fourth Quarter

Freddie Mac recently released their fourth-quarter refinance analysis and it shows that 85 percent of homeowners who refinanced their mortgages during the fourth quarter of 2011 maintained or reduced their principal balance by paying-in additional money at the closing table. Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s vice president and chief economist, said savvy homeowners are taking advantage of some of the lowest fixed-rates in more than 60 years to lock in interest savings.

According to Nothaft, the typical borrower who refinanced during the fourth quarter reduced their interest rate by approximately 1.4 percentage points. During the fourth quarter, 37 percent of homeowners who refinanced their mortgage maintained about the same loan amount and 49 percent reduced their principal balance. The percentage of cash-in borrowers was the highest in the 26-year history of the analysis. Continue reading “St. Louis Mortgage Rate Update; Refinancing Homeowners Reduced Debt In Fourth Quarter

Mortgage Rates Finish 2011 Near Historic Lows

Dennis Norman St Louis Realtor, mortgage ratesFreddie Mac released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS), showing average fixed mortgage rates finishing the year near their all-time historic lows. Thirty-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 3.95 percent and have been at or below 4.0 percent for the past nine consecutive weeks keeping homebuyer affordability at a near all-time high. Continue reading “Mortgage Rates Finish 2011 Near Historic Lows

Interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fall below 4 percent; first time in history

Dennis Norman, St Louis REALTOR - Mortgage Interest RatesThis morning, Freddie Mac released the results of it’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey revealing that the interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.94 percent, dropping below 4.0 percent for the first time in history! All I can say is WOW!

Continue reading “Interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fall below 4 percent; first time in history

Record low interest rates coupled with low prices make buying a home more affordable than ever

Dennis Norman, St Louis REALTOR - Mortgage Interest RatesThis morning, Freddie Mac released the results of it’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey revealing that the interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.01 percent, which is an all-time record low and the interest rate on a 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.28 percent, also an all-time record low! Continue reading “Record low interest rates coupled with low prices make buying a home more affordable than ever

Freddie Mac Offering Closing Cost Assistance to Home Buyers

HomeSteps, the home-sale division of Freddie Mac, announced today it is launching a nationwide sales promotion on it’s inventory of foreclosed homes starting today.  The promotion, titled “The HomeSteps Summer Sales Promotion”, is offering up to pay buyer’s closing costs, up to 3.5 percent of the sales price and a bonus to the selling agent for offers on Freddie Mac homes originated between today and July 31st and that close by September 30, 2011. Continue reading “Freddie Mac Offering Closing Cost Assistance to Home Buyers

Mortgage Relief and Foreclosure Moratorium for Missouri Homeowners Impacted by Recent Storms

Dennis Norman St LouisSpring storms in April caused 8 areas of the U.S. to be declared a National Disaster area, and another 9 more so far in May.  As a result of tornadoes, severe storms and flooding on April 19th, five counties in Missouri, Butler County, Mississippi County, New Madrid County, Saint Louis County, and Taney County, were declared a National Disaster areas on May 9th, making homeowners eligible for assistance, including possible mortgage payment relief and/or protection from foreclosure.  Continue reading “Mortgage Relief and Foreclosure Moratorium for Missouri Homeowners Impacted by Recent Storms

Freddie Mac Extends Foreclosure Protection for Service Members Through 2011

Freddie Mac, one of the nation’s largest investors in conforming, conventional mortgages, announced it will delay initiating foreclosure for at least nine months for financially troubled service members who are released from active duty through the end of 2011 and have Freddie Mac-owned mortgages.

“Our military make sacrifices every day to protect our homes and families,” said Anthony Renzi, Executive Vice President of Single Family Portfolio Management at Freddie Mac. “This small act will protect financially troubled service members when they return from active duty by giving them more time to work with their lender to stay in their home.”

 

Four Tips for Avoiding Mortgage Fraud

Dennis Norman

The CEO of Freddie Mac, Ed Haldeman, published a blog post this week which said reports of mortgage fraud were on the rise; there were nearly 38,000 cases of mortgage in the first half of 2010 – a 13 percent increase over the same period in 2009.

 

Haldeman says that the fraudsters prey on the vulnerability of struggling borrowers by offering a quick fix to a homeowner who is under water and desperate.  A common ploy for a scammer is to promise a struggling homeowner mortgage relief of modification of their loan.  Continue reading “Four Tips for Avoiding Mortgage Fraud

Freddie Mac offers loan modification “room service” to help borrowers

Dennis Norman
Dennis Norman

By: Dennis Norman

In an effort to help delinquent borrowers obtain Loan Modifications under the Affordable Refinance Program of the Making Home Affordable Program Freddie Mac has hired a company to come to borrowers homes and help them put together the documents and complete other actions needed to begin their three-month trial payment periods under the Affordable Refinance Program.

The company hired by Freddie Mac, Titanium Solutions, will target late-paying borrowers with Freddie-Mac owned mortgages who have not responded to letters or phone calls from their lenders or those who have responded but need to provide additional information or documents to launch their three-month Home Affordable Modification trial period. Titanium will also help those borrowers who have started their trial periods complete the documentation process to enable them to be converted into final modifications. Continue reading “Freddie Mac offers loan modification “room service” to help borrowers

Interest rates drop for 3rd consecutive week; remain at 3-month low

Dennis Norman

Dennis Norman

According to Freddie Macs weekly mortgage market survey the interest rate on home mortgages dropped for the third-consecutive week and remains at a three-month low in the US.

St. Louis is included in Freddie Mac’s Southwest Region in which the survey shows the interest rate on a 30 year fixed rate mortgage for the week ending September 17, 2009, averaged 5.05 percent with 0.6 percent in fees and points.

Freddie MacThe interest rate on a 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.54 percent with 0.5 percent in fees this week.  The interest rate on a five-year ARM averaged 4.47 percent with 0.5 percent in fees this week and the rate on a one-year ARM averaged 4.88 percent with 0.3 percent in fees. Continue reading “Interest rates drop for 3rd consecutive week; remain at 3-month low

Interest Rates drop to lowest level in three months

Dennis Norman

Dennis Norman

According to Freddie Macs weekly mortgage market survey the interest rate on home mortgages dropped to a new three-month low. The survey shows the interest rate on a 30 year fixed rate mortgage averaging 5.12 percent with 0.7 percent in fees and points this week, down from 5.29 percent last week. Last year at this time, the 30 year interest rate averaged 6.47 percent.

Freddie MacThe interest rate on a 15-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.56 percent with 0.7 percent in fees this week, down from 4.68 percent last week. Last year at this time the 15 year interest rate averaged 6.00 percent. Continue reading “Interest Rates drop to lowest level in three months

Refinancing borrowers choose fixed-rate loans over ARMS

Freddie MacFreddie Mac announced that in the second quarter of 2009, refinancing borrowers overwhelmingly chose fixed-rate loans, regardless of whether their original loan was an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) or fixed. In fact, ninety-nine percent of prime borrowers who originally had a conforming ARM selected a new conforming fixed-rate mortgage when they refinanced.

While 30-year fixed-rate mortgages still tend to be the preferred loan, more borrowers are choosing 15-year fixed-rate loans than before. “When interest rates hit very low levels for fixed-rate mortgages, borrowers often take tis opportunity to lower their interest rate and shorten their loan term,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac. “In April mortgage rates reached new lows for both 15-year and 30-year fixed rate loans. Many borrowers could shorten their loan terms without having a big increase in their mortgage payments, thereby building equity faster, reducing the total interest paid over the life of the loan, and ensuring that their loan is largely paid off by their retirement.”

Mortgage rates decline this week on better than expected economic news

Dennis Norman

Dennis Norman

According to Freddie Macs weekly mortgage market survey mortgage rates decreased slightly for the week ending August 6, 2009 from the prior week. The survey shows 30 year fixed rate mortgages averaging 5.22% with 0.6% in fees and points, down from 5.25% the week before. Last year at this time, the 30 year rate averaged 6.52%.

Rates on 15 year fixed-rate mortgages decreased slightly as well, down to 4.63% from 4.69% the week before, 5/1 ARM’s held about the same at 4.73% and 1 year ARM’s as well as 4.78%. This time last year these arms were 6.05% and 5.22% respectively.

Missouri is included in the southwest region on Freddie Mac’s survey and rates in our region were pretty consistent with the national averages reported above for fixed rate loans, however 5/1 arms in our region averaged only 4.64% compared with 4.73% nationally, and 1/1 arms in our region were 5.05%, quite a bit above the national average of 4.78%.

“Better-than-expected economic reports helped to keep mortgage rates low this week,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. “The economy slowed by an annual rate of 1 percent in the second quarter, which was more positive than market forecasts.”

Interest rates increase slightly this week

Dennis Norman

Dennis Norman

According to Freddie Macs weekly mortgage market survey mortgage rates increased slightly this week from the prior week. The survey shows 30 year fixed rate mortgages averaging 5.20% with 0.7% in fees and points, up from 5.14% the week before. Last year at this time, the 30 year rate averaged 6.63%.

Rates on 15 year fixed-rate mortgages increased slightly as well, up to 4.68% from 4.63% the week before, 5/1 ARM’s held about the same at 4.74% and 1 year ARM’s as well as 4.76%. This time last year these arms were 6.18% and 5.49% respectively.