Housing Starts Increase From 2012

New home starts in the United States increased year-over-year to 10.4% according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In June 2013, housing starts dropped an estimated 9.9%. Experts have suggested that the extreme wet weather in many parts of the nation may have played a key role in the decrease. Additionally, building permits have increased from last year as well as house completions. More here

Immigration Reform Could Add 3 Million Homeowners

A new study has found that passage of immigration reform would allow approximately 3 million new homeowners to be added to the housing market. According to the National Association of Hispanics Real Estate Professionals, it is expected that around 6 million undocumented immigrants will attempt citizenship, and of that 6 million, half are expected to become homeowners. Juan Martinez, NAHREP president said, “foreign-born householders have a high value and strong desire for homeownership.” More here

Obama Administration's Housing Scorecard Shows Strengthening

The housing market is showing further signs of improvement according to the Obama Administration’s Housing Scorecard for June. Foreclosure starts and completions are decreasing drastically across the nation compared to last year. Home values and prices are continuing to rise with home values lifting 2.4 million homeowners above water. Kurt Usowski, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs said, “the Obama Administration’s efforts to speed the housing recovery are showing continued progress as the June scorecard indicators highlight ongoing improvements throughout the housing market.” More here

Large Bank Originations Increase

Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase recorded large profits last quarter that exceeded earnings from the second quarter in 2012. JPMorgan saw a 12% increase in originations, averaging $49 billion while Wells Fargo reported $112 billion in originations. Although profits are rising, growing interest rates may decrease mortgage production by approximately 40%. Directors for Fitch Ratings said, “we expect mortgage volumes will continue to fall, as many borrowers have already refinanced their homes or are still unable to refinance because of depressed housing values. Additionally, a shift in the mix of mortgage originations from refinancing toward new purchase loans could offset some volume pressure in coming quarters, especially if the housing market recovers at a somewhat faster pace.” More here

Fixed Rate Mortgages Continue To Climb

30-year fixed rate mortgages jumped to the highest level seen since around mid-2011, averaging 4.51%, up 0.22% from last week according to Freddie Mac. Meanwhile, the 15-year rate mortgage also grew 0.14% from last week, averaging approximately 3.53%. Experts suggest that the continuous rise in mortgage rates will increase borrowing costs and improve the job market. The property economist at Capital Economics Ltd., Paul Diggle said, Housing affordability has deteriorated slightly in response to the rise in mortgage interest rates, but remains considerably better than the historical average.” Additionally, home prices  are also on the rise with May 2013 seeing the largest growth since the beginning of 2006. More here

Rising Mortgage Rates Not Likely To Effect Consumer Optimism

According to Freddie Mac, mortgage rates remain low when compared to rates in the past. In the 1980’s mortgage rates averaged around 10%. Rates now are hovering around 4.30%. Trulia took a survey in an attempt to find what the main worry was for Americans looking to buy a home. 41% of participants said their number-one fear is that mortgage rates would continue to increase before they could buy while 37% said they were scared of rising home prices. Additionally, the survey found that 36% of consumers are worried that they would not be able to find a home for sale that they would be interested in buying. All together, experts say that rising mortgage rates are not likely to negatively effect a large amount of home buyers. More here

Foreclosure Rates Fall to 2.6%

Foreclosure rates continue to decrease in the United states according to CoreLogic. May 2013 had 19,000 fewer foreclosure listings than May 2012, averaging 52,000 completed foreclosures. The amount of homes in some stage of the foreclosure process has also fallen. Foreclosure inventory in May 2013 accounted for 2.6% of all mortgages. Additionally, the state of Florida had the most foreclosures from May 2012 to May 2013 with California, Michigan, Texas and Georgia following. More here

Americans Take Advantage Of Favorable Housing Market

An increasing number of Americans are taking advantage of low mortgage rates and lower home prices according to Fannie Mae’s June 2013 National Housing Survey. Though mortgage rates are slowly increasing, consumers are recognizing many advantages of  buying a home while rates are still low. Inventory remains limited making it harder on many home-buyers. Trulia’s Chief Economist, Jed Kalko said, “people might want to buy before rates rise, but tight inventory makes it hard to find what you want fast.” More here

Maximum Home Flood Insurance Plans Increase

According to information from The Government Accountability Office, the National Flood Insurance Program has increased to 1.3 trillion policy holders. Experts suggest the program has room for improvement such as increasing coverage limits, although, many improvements to the program have already taken place in hopes of avoiding flood related losses. Additionally, homeowners with maximum coverage jumped from 11% to 42% over the last 10 to 11 years. More here

Federal Reserve's Bond-Buying Program Expected To End

The Federal Reserve’s bond-buying program is expected to come to an end as the economy continues to improve. John Sim, a JPMorgan analyst said,”we expect to see the risk premium between prime/subprime floaters to compress. The nature of this move higher in rates should benefit bonds levered to the housing market recovery more.” More here