Estate buyers information



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Description: Real Estate ABCs consumer tips, hints, and resources for home buyers, sellers, and mortgage borrowers

Long-term mortgage interest rates continued their move to record highs for 2015, according to data from mortgage finance company Freddie Mac. July was the first month that interest rates stayed above 4 percent for the entire month since September 2014.

Sales of existing U.S. homes rose in June to an eight-year high, spurred on by rising interest rates and higher demand, according to the National Association of Realtors. Total existing-home sales grew to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.49 million homes, the highest level since February 2007, up 3.2 percent from the 5.32 million in May. Sales rose 9.6 percent from the previous year.

Once considered the riskiest type of loan available, interest-only mortgages are making a comeback in the housing market. This time around they may not be as risky and definitely will not be as widely available.

Rapidly growing home prices and increased demand for mortgage loans has pushed lender optimism about the housing market to new heights, according to mortgage guarantor Fannie Mae, a sign that a recovery is continuing to gain steam in 2015.

With new federal regulations going into effect on Aug. 1, closing mortgage documents will become a little simpler for homebuyers. However, this upcoming process may make things more difficult for mortgage lenders.

The share of ‘zombie foreclosures’ – homes in the foreclosure process where owners have vacated before the bank has repossessed the property – rose to 25 percent of all active foreclosures as of the end of January, according to foreclosure data firm RealtyTrac. The report found that although the total number of such defaults fell 6 percent to 142,462 from the previous year, the share of zombie foreclosures rose 21 percent from the same time in 2014.

Even though long-term mortgage interest rates declined for the majority of the last year, most analysts are predicting that higher rates will make a comeback in 2015. Most of those forecasts are based on the fact that the Federal Reserve has ended its bond-buying program and is likely to slowly start raising its target interest rates this year in order to combat inflation.

After several years of ultra-tight mortgage standards, there may be a break in the clouds for borrowers with less-than-perfect credit soon. Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac put into place new guidelines for home loan lenders that took effect December 1 and several big banks are already preparing to make some significant changes to their credit requirements.

Young would-be homebuyers are increasingly unable to make the dream of homeownership come true, according to the results of the latest survey from the National Association of Realtors. The Great Recession, student loans, and a strict lending climate seem to be the big problems for the nation’s young buyers.

Although the Federal Reserve has been regularly broadcasting its plans to raise its target interest rate next year, no one seems to be listening. Two economists at the San Francisco Fed found that neither economists and investors nor the general public believe that the Fed will raise rates as soon as they say.






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