December 5th, 2010

Weekly Recap (11/29/10-12/04/10)




Thinking about buying a foreclosed property?

With many markets saturated with foreclosed properties, more prospective homebuyers are taking a closer look at these types of properties than ever before. Purchasing a foreclosure isn’t just a simple matter of scoring a dirt-cheap bargain, however. What should you worry about — or not — when buying a foreclosed property?

Foreclosures being sold by banks have long been an attractive opportunity for real estate investors. But today, these homes are so plentiful in some markets that many consumers are purchasing them as primary residences…


Reader: “What is the difference between ‘rate’ and ‘APR’?

Recently, a visitor to had a question which they submitted in our “Ask the Expert” section. Their question was, “What is the difference between ‘rate’ and ‘APR’?”

Here was our answer:

APR is perhaps the most misunderstood part of mortgage finance. “Rate”, or more properly “contract interest rate” is the actual rate of interest you are being charged. If it costs you nothing to get your loan — that is, there are absolutely no costs whatsoever — your interest rate and APR would be identical. However, mortgage loans do have fees, and paying them means that your actual cost of credit is higher…

Thursday releases new ‘Two-Month Forecast for Mortgage Rates’

On a bi-monthly basis, releases our Two-Month Forecast for Mortgage Rates. In each forecast, we review our previous prediction — evaluating the circumstances that caused rates to do what they did — and we examine current economic factors and conditions in order to forecast mortgage rates over the next nine weeks or so.

Each two-month forecast is made up of four parts: (1) the preface; (2) a recap of our previous prediction; (3) the forecast discussion; (4) and finally the forecast itself. We’ll do a short summary of each section here on the blog, but be sure to visit to read our entire Two-Month Forecast for Mortgage Rates


Happy holidays from Freddie Mac

If you’re a homeowner who is anticipating an eviction notice, Freddie Mac just announced today that it won’t happen over the holidays later this month:

Freddie Mac today announced it has ordered all evictions involving foreclosed occupied single family and 2-4 unit properties that had Freddie Mac mortgages to be suspended from December 20, 2010 to January 3, 2011.

“If the property is occupied, our foreclosure attorneys will suspend the eviction to provide a greater measure of certainty to families during the holidays,” said Anthony Renzi, Executive Vice President of Single Family Portfolio Management at Freddie Mac…


Housing: Two steps forward, two steps back

While recent reports seem to indicate that our overall economy is growing at a decent pace (all things considered), one facet remains mired in seemingly-repetitive inconsistency: housing.

I know, no real surprise there. But it’s not as though housing indicators haven’t seen positive growth since the bubble burst — they have. It’s just that the periods of positive growth seem to always be canceled out by new negative reports.

The country’s GDP certainly isn’t growing by leaps and bounds, but it has shown some consistent signs of firming and even gradual improvement. Unfortunately, we can’t say the same for housing…


Mortgage rates level off, but may soon rise

Last Monday we posted about mortgage rates (for the week ending 11/19) which rose to mid-September levels. The fact that last week’s figures leveled off means there isn’t an immediate cause for concern, but it may be a sign of things to come, especially if the economy continues its gradual upward progression:

The most recent economic news, though, shines a rosier light on the economy, and if economic improvement is actually gathering steam, mortgage rates are less likely to move lower to any great degree, barring any new widespread crisis…

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About the HSH Blog'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 and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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