Sunday, October 20, 2013

Mortgage Rates Much Lower After Debt Deal

English: Mortgage debt
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Mortgage rates fell significantly today, returning in line with the lowest levels seen in recent weeks for some lenders.  Not every lender experienced the improvement in the same way, however, with some still not back to last week's best offerings.  Whatever the case, the average top-tier Conforming30yr fixed rate is back to 4.25% (best-execution). Interestingly enough, the most comparable day for rate sheets is just before the start of the government shutdown. Read full article: Mortgage Rates Much Lower After Debt Deal

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Government Shutdown Updates - Oct 1, 2013

What does the government shutdown mean for REALTORS®?  Congress has failed to approve a Continuing Resolution (CR) providing funding for most government operations. Therefore, spending authority for most of the government expired at midnight on Sept. 30, 2013. Until legislation providing for funding is signed into law, many offices and programs of the federal government are now shut down. This means many, but not all, government programs, including some that impact federal housing and mortgage programs, have been suspended or slowed due to the lapse in government funding. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requires each agency to have contingency plans in place. The information below is based on NAR staff review of agency agency contingency plans for the current shutdown and past experience with previousshutdowns and near-shutdowns.  Download PDF summary.  

Federal Housing Administration HUD’s Contingency Plan states that FHA will endorse new loans in the Single Family Mortgage Loan Program, but it will not make new commitments in the Multi-family Program during the shutdown. FHA will maintain operational activities including paying claims and collecting premiums. Management & Marketing (M&M) Contractors managing the REO portfolio can continue to operate. You can expect some delays with FHA processing.

VA Loan Guaranty Program Lenders will continue to process and guaranty mortgages through the Loan Guaranty program in the event of agovernment shutdown. Expect some delays during theshutdown

Flood Insurance
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confirmed that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will not be impacted by a government shutdown, since NFIP is funded by premiums and not tax dollars. Changes to the flood insurance program scheduled to take effect on Oct. 1 will be implemented as scheduled.
Government Sponsored Enterprises
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will continue operating normally, as will their regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, since they are not reliant on appropriated funds.
The Making Home Affordable program, including HAMP and HAFA, will not be affected as the program is funded through the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act which is mandatory spending not discretionary.

FEMA new flood maps/increase...??? Article below by Matthew L. Brown, Boston Business Journal

In an Oct. 2 letter to Congressional leaders, Coakley demands that Congress delay implementation of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 until the Federal Emergency Management Agency has confirmed the science behind its proposed new flood maps.
Massachusetts’ Congressional delegation signed a letter to Senate and House leadership Sept. 26 asking for an affordability study, a delay in premium increases, a review of the maps to ensure accuracy and an improvement in FEMA’s outreach activities.
“While we support the underlying intent of the legislation,” the Sept. 26 letter reads, “we have grave concerns about its implementation.” It is signed by senators Edward Markeyand Elizabeth Warren, and all eight Massachusetts members of the U.S. House of Representatives (excluding Markey's former 5th District seat, to be filled in a December special election).
In Coakley's letter, she argued FEMA should also be made to do an affordability review related to the new maps. Homes and businesses not previously thought to be in flood-prone areas would be, according to the proposed new FEMA maps.
Coakley and others argue that homeowners and business owners in those areas would be forced to buy expensive flood insurance.
On Tuesday, officials in Chatham, Mass., voted to put off adopting the new FEMA maps, arguing, like Coakley, that they should be peer-reviewed. The new maps reportedly would affect about 1,300 parcels in Chatham. Full Story


topStoriesWednesday, October 02, 2013
News Alert: RE/MAX IPO Surges at Opening Bell
The RE/MAX initial public offering, which was priced at $22 per share this morning, surged more than 20 percent within an hour of trading. More than 6.5 million shares traded hands as the stock rose sharply, signaling continuing investor optimism in the recovery of the U.S. housing market. RE/MAX agreed to sell 10,000,000 shares for the public offering.

The RE/MAX public offering follows other successful IPOs in the sector, including Realogy, Trulia, and Zillow, as the U.S. housing market continues to rebound.

According to RISMedia CEO John Featherston, longtime industry observer and analyst, “The RE/MAX public offering to investors provides a ...
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