Foreclosures Fall Drastically From 2012

The average number of foreclosures in the U.S. fell last month by approximately 20% year-over year according to CoreLogic. Last year, around 68,000 homeowners completed the process while this year only 55,000 completed the process. Experts have said that while foreclosure rates have decreased compared to past years, the considered normal amount of completed foreclosures a year is approximately 21,000 per month. The chief economist for CoreLogic, Dr. Mark Fleming said, “so far this year, distressed inventories have fallen dramatically, down 14.4%, and serious delinquencies are down 15.9%.” More here

Reverse Mortgage Rules May Tighten

Experts are suggesting that many older Americans should consider their home’s value as a way to help their finances during retirement years. Reverse mortgages are expected to become a vital part of many financial retirement plans over the coming years, though past and future changes to the plan may make the process slightly more difficult. The mortgage plan that allows homeowners, age 62 and up, to tap into their home equity might become more restrictive. The FHA is considering conducting financial assessments on borrowers, including revision of credit scores, to ensure the individual can afford to pay their homeowners insurance and property taxes. More here

Mortgage Rates Stabilize

Mortgage rates have stabilized after many months of continuous growth, according to Freddie Mac. The average 30-year fixed rate loan fell .06% last week. Experts say that even as the housing market in general begins to stabilize and slightly drop, rates are still much better than last year and will continue to help the economy grow.  Additionally, existing home sales are considered high with levels still 15% higher than levels seen in 2012. More here

First-Time Home Buyers Vital To Housing Market

First-time home buyers have helped improve the housing market, representing around 40% of sales over the last 30 years, according to the National Association of Realtors. Experts believe that first-time home builders are the stepping stones to a full housing recovery. Steven Ricchiuto, chief economist with Mizuho Securities USA Inc said, “First-time buyers are important to get the housing market to move to a new plateau, without them, you just get stuck at a marginal recovery environment.” Additionally, last months first-time home buyers accounted for approximately 29% of existing home purchases. More here

Mortgage Activity Falls Slightly

Mortgage activity continues to slow slightly, falling for the sixth consecutive week. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage activity dropped 1.2% last week while interest rates also fell. The average 30-year, fixed rate conforming loans fell around 0.10% while the points for 30-year, fixed rate loans slid down from 0.42 to 0.4. Jumbo loan rates fell approximately 0.14% while points for long-term jumbo loans jumped to 0.41 from 0.4. Additionally, the interest rate on a 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell from 3.7% to 3.63% and the interest rate for short term, adjustable-rate contracts also decreased from 3.39% to 3.3%. More here

More Companies Expect Economy To Continue To Grow

According to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Business Economics, more companies are growing confidence in the U.S. economy and have started to hire more employees.  Approximately one-third of economists surveyed said that their businesses added jobs between April 2013 and June 2013 and 39% said they plan to hire more employees over the coming six months. Additionally three-quarters of the respondents expect the economy to grow by approximately 2.1% over the next year. More here

Home Sales Slightly Decrease While Prices Reach New Highs

Over the last few months, home sales in the United States have soared to record high levels but have recently slowed.  According to the National Association of Realtors, U.S. home sales decreased 1.2% averaging an annual rate of 5.08 million units. Although home sales have fallen slightly, sales pace in June 2013 is still the second highest pace seen since late 2009. Experts say the recent rise in mortgage rates is not to blame for the slight fall in home sales. Economist at RBS, Guy Berger said, “the rise in mortgage rates is a headwind, but it’s probably not enough to derail the home sales recovery. The fundamentals in the market are still very good.” More here

House Flipping Returns To The Market

According to a newly released report from RealtyTrac, investors who flip houses are making a comeback. House flipping occurs when investors purchase a home with the intention of re-selling the house for a higher price within a six-month time frame. The report showed that, in the last two years, house flipping has increased by 74% in the United States. House flipping was, in the past, blamed for the housing meltdown of 2004-2008, but experts are not expecting any repeat. Mark Goldman, real estate finance professor at San Diego State University said, “the symptoms that caused that problem no longer exist. There was a lot of stupid money in the market. Anybody could borrow, zero-down loans are gone.” More here

Mortgage Rates Fall From Last Week

Mortgage rates are lower this week with 30-year fixed rate mortgages decreasing to 4.37%, a 0.14% drop from the previous week. The 15-year fixed rate mortgage also dropped 0.12% from last week averaging 3.41%. Chairman Ben Bernanke said, “the Fed will continue to stimulate the economy, even after it begins to slow the bond purchases.” Mortgage rates overall remain historically low, helping to fuel economic growth and aid the housing recovery. More here and here