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Mortgage & Housing Market News from HSH.com
January 2nd, 2011 (Modified on January 3rd, 2011)

Weekly Recap (12/27/10-01/01/11)

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Calender1 Saturday

Happy New Year!

On behalf of everyone at HSH.com, I’d like to extend a Happy New Year wish to all of you.

2010 was a frustrating year for many homeowners across the country. Despite 2010 being a year of some of the lowest mortgage rates we’ve seen in over 50 years, those rock-bottom rates remained quite elusive to thousands of American homeowners…

Friday

Most popular posts of 2010

Just as we did last year on New Year’s Eve, let’s take a look at our most popular blog posts of 2010 (judging by the number of comments):

Update1: HARP Receives One Year Extension — What’s the Point?” — 117 Comments — Published on 03/02/10

Update1: While many industry insiders have debated the success of the home affordable refinance program (HARP) — in fact, analysts at Barclays Capital referred to the program as a “failure” last week — one thing’s for sure, HARP will be extended another year. The expiration date is now slated for June 30, 2011…

Thursday

Rising mortgage rates and risky loan types

I carefully document all of the mentions HSH.com gets in the national media via the HSH in the News page on the blog (top-right corner). Today, HSH.com’s VP Keith Gumbinger was quoted in two articles — one from CNNMoney.com and the other from the San Francisco Chronicle. Both articles provide borrowers with some essential information about the mortgage market as we head into 2011.

By now, most of you are aware that mortgage rates have risen somewhat substantially from their absolute lows. Let’s start by taking a look at the CNNMoney article titled “Kiss 4% mortgage rates goodbye.” While homebuyers and would-be refinancers are definitely sad to see 4 percent mortgage rates go, the experts agree, these rising rates may good for the economy…

Wednesday

HUD increases support for housing counselors

Shaun Donovan, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, recently announced that HUD will increase the financial support they provide to housing counselors across the country in an effort to increase education and foreclosure prevention:

In an effort to help families find decent housing and to prevent future foreclosures, the Obama Administration today announced nearly $73 million in housing counseling grants to more than 500 national, regional and local organizations. As a result of the funding announced today, hundreds of thousands of households will have a greater opportunity to find housing or keep the homes they have because of the housing counseling and counseling training grants awarded today by U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan…

Tuesday

Grim outlook for home prices in 2011

Since forecasting is more of an art than a science — be it predicting weather patterns or the future direction of home prices — I tend to use words and phrases like could, perhaps, is likely to, etc. in order to cover me just in case my own forecast is off.

Yet when you look at the headlines surrounding the release of the latest S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, bold predictions are in no short order. The top headline on MarketWatch.com this afternoon read: “S&P’s Blitzer broaches ‘double dip’ U.S. home prices retreat.”

The threat of an upcoming “double-dip” in home prices was not the outlook any of us were hoping for as we consider the direction, and perhaps recovery, of home prices heading into 2011

Monday

Mortgage rates stop rising

Mortgage rates ended their six-week climb last week. Recently, mortgage rates reached five-month highs, but a holiday-shortened week and a less-than-stellar economic performance caused rates to fall back a few basis points:

HSH.com’s overall mortgage tracker — our weekly Fixed-Rate Mortgage Indicator (FRMI) — found that the overall average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages eased back just a little, shedding three basis points (.03%) to end HSH.com’s national survey at 5.15%. Conforming 30-year FRMs also declined by a like amount. FHA-backed offers, so crucial to first-time homebuyers and low-equity refinancers, declined by a line basis point to end the holiday-shortened week at 4.78%, while the overall average rate for 5/1 Hybrid ARMs rose by a like amount to land at 3.89% for the week. HSH.com’s FRMI and other public data series includes rates for conforming, jumbo, and most recently the GSE’s “high-limit” conforming products and so cover much of the mortgage-borrowing public…

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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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