Monthly Archives: April 2015

Mortgage applications surge on spring demand

img2 Pedestrians pass a sign advertising mortgages at a Citibank branch in New York. Despite volatility in interest rates, mortgage applications moved decidedly higher last week, continuing their strong stride into spring. Total volume increased 4.6 percent sequentially, on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending March 27th, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). "This week's mortgage application survey falls right into line with recent indications that home sales – new, existing and pending – are on the rise, as is consumer sentiment," said Lynn Fisher, MBA's Vice President of research and economics." Mortgage applications to purchase a home rose 6 percent week to week and were 8 percent higher than one year ago. Applications to refinance, which are more dependent on interest rate levels, rose 4 percent for the week and are 44 percent higher than they were one year ago. The average contract...
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JPMorgan Chase on track to pay $4 billion to homeowners as part of settlement

JP Morgan Chase & Co sign outside headquarters in New York A sign outside the headquarters of JP Morgan Chase & Co in New York, September 19, 2013. REUTERS/MIKE SEGAR (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) is on track to meet its mandate to provide billions of dollars in consumer relief to struggling homeowners as part of a settlement it reached over bad residential mortgage-backed securities it sold before the financial crisis, an independent monitor said on Thursday. Joseph Smith, the monitor overseeing the settlement the largest U.S. bank reached in 2013 with the federal government and five states, credited Chase $2.2 billion out of the $4 billion goal it is required to provide to consumers by 2017. The bank receives extra credit for certain types of help and less for others, so the total is not a dollar-for-dollar accounting of the assistance provided. The relief comes in the...
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Don’t get too optimistic about the housing market

The current housing market is emblematic of the effect that ultra-low interest rates have had on the economy at large. Low interest rates have inflated the economy just as they have inflated housing prices. In other words, the economy has become heavily dependent on low interest rates, and nobody can predict what will happen when the training wheels are removed. S&P Case Shiller's latest 20-city home-price index, which is a value-weighted average of 20 metropolitan area indices within the United States, rose 4.6 percent year-over-year in January. This is good news for those of us whose biggest investment is our home. The growth rate in home prices had been slowing sharply in recent months, but the latest data may provide some hope that this trend has stopped — at least for now. In the table below, we show the YOY growth rates in home prices over the past nine years. Read more Comments are closed