Discussing the latest BofA horror story, a warning to Realtors about phishing, Freddie outlook for housing, mortgage rates and more…
A California judge has fined Bank of America $46 million for its “heartless” and “cruel” treatment of a couple as they struggled to prevent losing their home to foreclosure.
In his decision this month, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Christopher Klein said the Charlotte-based bank pushed Erik and Renee Sundquist to “battle-fatigued demoralization” during the couple’s fight to hang onto their Sacramento-area home.
The size of the fine, Klein said, reflects the bank’s “high degree of reprehensibility” and is meant to be an amount that “won’t be laughed off in the board room.”
It has been some time since we last heard about BofA settling or getting fined or some other evil sneaky stuff. This is something anyone looking to buy a home needs to be aware of…
REALTORS Beware: Possible Phishing Attempt
If you receive an email with the subject “NAR: Urgent Update” from firstname.lastname@example.org, it is not from NAR. The email uses the phrase “all registered realtors are hereby advised to view the recent publication released” with a link. Do not click any of the links, which may ask for passwords. Please delete this email if you see it.
The National Association of REALTORS® urges its members and state and local REALTOR® associations to be on high alert for email and online fraud.
Scary stuff! And this is not the first scam I have heard of lately with spoofed email addresses. The criminals are also imitating individual REALTORs as well.
Freddie Mac’s March 2017 Housing Outlook
Since 2000, house prices have risen 76 percent, while per capita disposable income has risen by 72 percent by the end of 2016.
With inventory tight, home prices outpacing incomes and interest rates headed higher, affordability has declined, putting a pinch on prospective homebuyers.
The affordability pinch in many markets will sideline prospective buyers resulting in a modest decline in total home sales from just over 6 million in 2016 to an estimated 5.9 million in 2017.
Sean Becketti, Chief Economist, Freddie Mac Said:
Recent indications of stronger growth convinced the Federal Reserve to raise the Federal funds rate this month and to signal further increases later this year. These Fed actions are unlikely to derail the moderate improvements in growth and employment, but rising interest rates will reduce mortgage originations and put a cap on house sales in 2017. As we approach the spring homebuying season, housing will be financially out of reach for many buyers because they will be competing in an environment of tight inventory, rising house prices and rising mortgage rates.
Additionally, based on our analysis of 2016 refinance activity, markets with the largest increase in house prices also experienced a high share of cash-out refinances. For example, in the Denver and Dallas metro areas the refinance cash-out share was above 50 percent for all borrowers who refinanced last year.
Remember this is a national report. Still it is pretty freaking impressive that home prices have increased 76% since 2000.
REALTORS® are generally optimistic about the existing homes market in the next six months. The REALTORS® Confidence Index—Six-Month Outlook for single-family homes, townhomes, and condominiums each registered above 50, indicating that more REALTOR® respondents expected market conditions to be “strong” than “weak” over the next six months.
I think some of my peers are always optimistic, almost to the point of being delusional. However, I think that other than the tight inventory, there is ample reason to be confident right now.
Altisource announced this week that is going to buy up to 3,500 single family rental properties. This will seriously bump up Altisource’s portfolio of rental homes.
Now if a big investment company is buying rental homes, do you think there is a lesson for you?
Freddie Mac Says Mortgage Rates Decreased
- 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.14% with an average 0.5 point
- This is down from last week when it averaged 4.23 percent.
- Last year at this time, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.71%
- 15-year fixed-rate mortgages this week averaged 3.39% with an average 0.4 point
- This is down from last week when it averaged 3.44%
- A year ago at this time, 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.98%
Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac said:
The 10-year Treasury yield remained relatively flat this week. The 30-year mortgage rate fell 9 basis points to 4.14 percent, another significant week-over-week decline. Despite recent mortgage rate fluctuation, new home sales far exceeded expectations in February and jumped 6.1 percent to an annualized rate of 592,000.
Remain calm folks. I am amazed that rates dropped despite the Fed raising their benchmark rate and hinting they will raise it 2 more times this year. I wonder if the unrest in the stock market is responsible for this?
Also this is the average mortgage rate and may not reflect what is realistic for every potential home buyer. However, if rates and prices keep rising, it will seriously affect your monthly payment:
Sales of commercial properties have softened substantially since last year, largely as a result of volatility in the capital markets that suppressed lending activity and concerns over the presidential election. With those issues behind us, some argue that sales volumes should start improving. Many claim that property brokers are seeing a marked increase in requests for brokers’ opinions of value- and property-level research, services that generally precede a property owner’s decision to market a property for sale. Whether that activity translates into actual sales remains to be seen.
So there is a silver lining to this gray cloud in that more owners are contemplating selling. But as they said, whether or not this turns into sales is another kettle of fish…
The Conventional Single-Family Serious Delinquency Rate decreased one basis point to 1.19 percent in February; the Multifamily Serious Delinquency Rate remained flat at 0.05 percent in February.
This is excellent news and this is the lowest serious delinquency rate since March 2008 for Fannie Mae. The normal serious delinquency rate is 1%. If things keep improving at the rate they have been, we will get back to normal later this year.
U.S. mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may write down $21 billion of tax-related assets if there is a deep cut in the federal corporate tax rate as promised by President Donald Trump, according to an analyst at BMO Capital Markets on Friday.
These assets, known as deferred tax assets, are items such as tax credits that may be used to reduce a company’s taxes. If the rate cut is lowered to 20 percent from 35 percent, the value of Fannie and Freddie’s deferred tax assets is worth less and it would be recognized against their capital.
Not good, especially as we have been hearing more talk about doing something with Fannie and Freddie lately. I wonder if the negative impact of this would be lessened if Fannie and Freddie were not sending their earning to the Treasury?
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