August 8th, 2010

Weekly Recap (8/2/10-8/7/10)




FHA Loans Are Now More Expensive”:

This past week Congress has approved changes that allow the FHA to replenish their depleted reserves, thus increasing costs for borrowers.

The FHA will simultaneously lower their upfront mortgage premium from 2.25% to 1%, and increase their annual mortgage premium from .55% to up to 1.55%…


Helping Underwater Borrowers: More than a Rumor“:

Angry mobs with their pitch forks and torches were already beginning to gather yesterday when the White House refuted rumors that they were planning on expanding their refinance efforts, most notably with a measure that included paying down the balances of underwater borrowers who presently can’t refinance.

Speculation about a possible expansion of the federal refi program began to grow after an article titled “An August Surprise from Obama?” was published in the political section of Reuters.com


‘Vulture’” Investors Find a New Prey: Rentals“:

Any seasoned investor gauges the current state of the market(s) they are in and makes the necessary adjustments to stay at the head of the pack. Real estate investors are no different.

Say hello to the “vultures.” The vultures are the real estate investors that pick on the scraps of dying housing markets, where foreclosures are rampant and prices are at rock-bottom levels. A few years back, these same vultures were flipping and selling housing quickly for a hefty profit. Yet today, the vultures are still buying “distressed properties,” but they’re holding on to them for a lot longer than they used to. Many vultures are going from buyer and seller, to buyer and landlord…

Guest Post: What I Think Is Wrong With HVCC“:

There are many issues surrounding the home valuation code of conduct (HVCC) which certainly contribute to the elements that are slowing down the housing recovery.

Appraisals are ordered through a so-called management company which assigns an appraiser or an independent firm to conduct the home appraisal. The appraisers are usually not familiar with the area and no sufficient research is done to arrive at the true value of the property. This, in my opinion, cannot be blamed on appraisers, as they work almost for minimum wage (considering the cost of the commute, photos and research). An appraisal in California can cost anywhere from $385 to $450 or even higher depending on the size of the property. Almost 65% to 70% of that cost goes to the management company and the rest to an appraisal company which may have to split the fee with the actual appraiser…


Five States Get $600M to Help Homeowners“:

Back in February, it was the five hardest-hit states — Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan and Nevada — that got federal money to help repair their housing markets. (You can click here to get a full breakdown of how much they got and how they plan on spending it).

Today, the Treasury Department approved plans submitted by five additional states — North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island and South Carolina — for $600 million in funding to prop up their beleaguered housing markets…


New Resource for Struggling Mortgage Borrowers“:

Fannie Mae recently unveiled www.KnowYourOptions.com, a website designed to target borrowers who “are struggling with [their] mortgage payment or facing foreclosure.” The website provides a host of “easy to find” information that is structured to give borrowers a sense of each one of their available options so they can either do their best to stay in their home or exit gracefully. Basically what Fannie has done is to gather all of their essential information from FannieMae.com and grouped it into one place…


Mortgage Rates See Minor Increase“:

For the first week in a while, mortgage rates managed to stop falling. The measly two-basis-point increase was nothing in the way of a difference maker for potential borrowers, and furthermore, there really isn’t much in the way of an economic indicator that is likely to pull rates too much higher in the weeks ahead

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About the HSH Blog

HSH.com's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

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Tim Manni

Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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