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Mortgage & Housing Market News from HSH.com

Harvard housing center predicts growth in remodeling activity

February 21st, 2014 | 1 Comment | Posted in News by Marcie Geffner

11182_house framingHomeowners are poised to embark on a remodeling spree this year, according to a recent report released by the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.

The metric, known as the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity, or LIRA, predicted double-digit gains in spending for home improvement projects in the first half of 2014 and slightly slower increases by the third quarter. Read the rest of this entry »

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What’s new with mortgage rates?

February 19th, 2014 | Leave a Comment | Posted in News by Tim Manni

Looking over the two latest mortgage-rate reports from HSH.com, it seems as though the decline we’ve been enjoying for much of 2014 has come to an end—at least temporarily.

“Well, it was a nice run while it lasted, but of late the selloff in stocks and the corresponding decline in yields and mortgage rates has switched places, with equities again appealing to investors at the expense of bonds,” wrote Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH.com, in the latest Market Trends newsletter. “Although the latest economic data wasn’t great, soothing words from Fed Chair Janet Yellen [last] week about the expected path of the economy and Federal Reserve’s intentions for policy seemed to spread a bit of cheer. While this was much to the liking of stock markets, the mix of mostly softer news kept interest rates from rising by much.”

Rates rise

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HARP hits 3 million loans refinanced milestone

February 12th, 2014 | Leave a Comment | Posted in News by Marcie Geffner

More than 3 million homeowners have refinanced their mortgage through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) according to a recent report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

Introduced in April 2009, HARP was intended to help borrowers who owed more than their home was worth refinance into a loan with a lower interest rate or more stable payments.

In a statement, FHFA Director Mel Watt characterized 3 million HARP refinances as “an important accomplishment” that “represents real help” for borrowers affected by the mortgage crisis.

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Economic strain proves fruitful for mortgage borrowers

February 10th, 2014 | 2 Comments | Posted in News by Tim Manni

The year of rising mortgage rates, 2014, has been anything but, at least so far.

Several economic reports out last week have echoed the sentiment we first saw in the December employment report. December’s job figures took everyone by surprise, proving to be the first serious indication that the economic recovery was not on as solid of a footing as we all thought.

Combine the weaker reports in the U.S. with a Federal Reserve who has continued to reduce their market supports, not to mention economic weakness abroad, and the result has been investors the world over seeking shelter within the safe-haven of U.S. Treasuries.

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Tips and tools for easier snow removal

February 7th, 2014 | Leave a Comment | Posted in News by Tim Manni

Below is a post by Sean T. Johnston, first appearing on our partner site the Zing blog at Quicken Loans:

All it takes is one snowfall of more than a few inches to turn the beautiful grandeur of a winter landscape into a back-breaking workout. Preventing Mother Nature from making your driveway and sidewalks impassable is an age-old battle.

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Fed tapers, mortgage rates could still drop

January 29th, 2014 | Leave a Comment | Posted in News by Marcie Geffner

Federal Reserve BuildingThe taper continues.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), a function of the Federal Reserve, opted Wednesday to further scale back its pace of their purchasing program known as Quantitative Easing (QE).

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Our Super Bowl pick is still alive!

January 24th, 2014 | 1 Comment | Posted in News by Tim Manni

Mortgage Rate ConceptWe’re still in it! HSH.com’s pick of this year’s Super Bowl winner, based off mortgage rates, is still alive.

After the first round of the NFL playoffs concluded early in the month, we noticed that the city with the highest mortgage rate won each matchup. That being the case, we decided to create a bracket and pick the winner of the Super Bowl based off which city had the highest mortgage rate. Our “winner” is the Seattle Seahawks.

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More new homes still aren’t enough to ease inventory woes

January 23rd, 2014 | Leave a Comment | Posted in News by Marcie Geffner

iStock_New ConstructionHomebuilders have stepped up production of for-sale houses, but in a cautious and measured way that might not be enough to ease supply constraints in some markets, judging by recent reports from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the U.S. Census Bureau.

The NAHB reported that homebuilding nationwide declined 9.8 percent to 999,000 units in December. That figure is seasonally adjusted to account for the slower pace of construction in winter and annualized to represent how many homes would be completed if the monthly pace continued for a year.

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Will the city with the highest mortgage rates win the Super Bowl?

January 17th, 2014 | Leave a Comment | Posted in News by Tim Manni

Seattle_450x225At the beginning of the month, HSH.com put together a slideshow of all the teams in this year’s NFL playoffs along with some interesting facts about their corresponding housing markets.

After the first round of the playoffs concluded, we noticed that the city of every team which came out victorious had a higher mortgage rate than their opponent. For fun we thought, “how about we pick the winners of all the playoff games, including the Super Bowl, based on which city had the highest mortgage rate.”

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Where are Americans moving to?

January 15th, 2014 | 1 Comment | Posted in News by Marcie Geffner

Single Female HomebuyerOregon, South Carolina, North Carolina, Washington, D.C., South Dakota, Nevada, Texas and Colorado might not seem like 10 places with that much in common.

But in fact, those nine states, plus the District of Columbia, were the top 10 U.S. destinations people moved to last year, according to an annual study recently released by United Van Lines, a moving van company headquartered in St. Louis.

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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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