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September 26th, 2010

Weekly Recap (9/20/10 – 9/25/10)

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Here’s just a taste of every blog post we published this week (click on the titles to read the entire post):

Saturday

Fannie Mae: HAMP harder to qualify, foreclosures speed up“:

Beginning on November 1, 2010, Fannie Mae will no longer consider unemployment benefits as income for borrowers applying for HAMP. Fannie hopes that the new restriction will serve to curb the large number of HAMP redefaults. This will also mean that fewer borrowers will qualify for the federal modification effort.

Earlier this month, Fannie Mae told servicers that they need to speed up their handling of troubled loans. Fannie warned servicers that they will fine them if they fail to deal with the troubled mortgages in a swift and timely manner.

Friday

Home sales remain dismal: Bring back the homebuyer tax credit“:

So while even those who championed the hardest for these homebuying incentives to begin with no longer think they have a place in the market, we wonder the opposite — maybe we need another tax credit.

Given the fact that the credits have disturbed the market to such a great degree, and twice nonetheless, would a third credit produce better results than the first two?

If we hadn’t already distorted the natural function of the market so greatly (and twice), the answer would probably be no. While there is little doubt that there have been some benefits, the resounding criticism is that the tax credits probably only incentivized borrowers who would have bought anyway, tax credit or not. Still, having gone to this well twice already, and with the market still in such difficult shape, the answer is probably a reluctant “yes”.

Thursday

Here’s Washington’s chance to step aside“:

Last month, both Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan said that the government needs to begin to play a smaller role in the housing and mortgage markets. Well, here’s their chance…

The federal loan limits on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA-backed loans — currently $729,750 — are set to expire at the end of this year. Nick Timiraos of the Wall Street Journal writes that, when they expire, the limits will fall to around $625,500.

To some, this seems like the perfect opportunity for Washington to begin to scale back their deep involvement in the markets. However, critics of the lower federal loan limits say that doing so will immediately cause an already-fragile housing market to suffer some more.

Wednesday

Is Washington driving housing’s pessimistic mood?“:

It’s hard to get away from the overwhelming skepticism and pessimism surrounding the present and future state of the housing market. Studies, surveys, articles and reports have all highlighted the challenges facing the market, adding to the atmosphere of negativity. Just this morning I read about a recent survey that found that real estate professionals are significantly more pessimistic than homeowners about the future direction of home prices.

A recent TIME magazine cover story plainly revealed what they think about owning a home. “Homeownership has let us down,” is the very first line of the article. There’s absolutely no sugar coating of opinions there, and it is a sentiment no doubt echoed by many people.

While the pessimistic opinions of many are well documented, some of us are wondering, “Who’s driving these negative opinions?” If homeowners are less pessimistic about the market than real estate professionals are, if the majority of homeowners maintain that walking away from your mortgage is still “unacceptable,” why do the headlines continue to be so bleak?

I believe at least a portion of the skepticism in the housing market is being driven by Washington.

Tuesday

Info for first-time buyers, homeowners, FHA borrowers and more…“:

HSH.com consistently publishes new, educational articles for consumers. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer, an existing homeowner, an FHA borrower or a struggling homeowner looking for a loan modification, each of our latest articles has something for you.

Let’s take a brief look at the latest content in our Library

Monday

Mortgage rates find some consistency as summer ends“:

This summer was quite an interesting time for mortgage rates. Mortgage rates fell a little more than one-third of a percentage point during the summer, seemingly reaching all-new lows every week. Yet as summer has begun to wind down, so have the declines.

For the last six weeks or so, rates have wandered in a very narrow range and seem to be finding some consistency. According to our latest Market Trends Newsletter, “Provided the economy gets no worse, and there is no return of financial panic, mortgage rates don’t really have much place to go.”

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3 Responses to “Weekly Recap (9/20/10 – 9/25/10)”

  1. Tweets that mention Weekly Recap (9/20/10 – 9/25/10) | HSH Financial News Blog -- Topsy.com Says: September 26th, 2010 at 9:06 am

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Travis Knutson, Mortgage News, Ron Effot, NCHousingMarket, Bobbie Neace and others. Bobbie Neace said: Mortgage & Housing Market News from HSH.com: However, critics of the lower federal loan limits say that doing so w… http://bit.ly/a6sMvN [...]

  2. Alex Dsouza Says: September 27th, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Thanks for providing a quick weekdays updates of blog. I just browsed through some of the postings and found them interesting. Keep the good work. I’ll keep visiting and just now subscribed for regular updates.

  3. Tim Manni Says: September 28th, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Hey Alex,

    No problem, glad you find the weekly updates useful, looking forward to hearing from you in the future,

    -Tim

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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.

Our bloggers:

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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