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Freddie Mac Offers Distressed Homeowners a Complete Guide to Foreclosures and Alternatives

Freddie Mac is now offering distressed homeowners a complete guide to foreclosure and how to avoid it, from assessing your situation to what to do when your home has been foreclosed on, as part of a new website launched this week as a one-stop resource for homeowners.

The "MyHome by Freddie Mac" site offers homeowners a number of options under the "Foreclosure and Alternatives" tab that tell a borrower who to contact for help as well as non-foreclosure solutions that include both home retention and home forfeiture options.

Freddie Mac first discusses the importance of taking stock of your financial situation and determining what a borrower can and cannot pay for as far as home-related expenses, such as major and minor repairs. If a borrower cannot pay for these things, or is incurring another major expense that will keep them from paying the mortgage, Freddie Mac recommends reaching out to the lender as soon as possible.

"Your lender wants to help you with your mortgage," Freddie Mac said on the site. "They do not want your home or the expenses that come with foreclosure."  Read Source

More than 1.5 Million ‘Boomerang Buyers’ Could Re-Enter Mortgage Market In Next Three Years

More than 1.5 million "boomerang buyers" – those negatively affected by the housing crisis – could re-enter the housing market at some point in the next three years, according to a study released by TransUnion on Wednesday.

Boomerang buyers include those who are 60 or more days delinquent on a mortgage loan, have had a mortgage loan modified, or have lost a home through foreclosure, short sale, or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. TransUnion estimates that about 700,000 boomerang buyers could re-enter the mortgage market in 2015, and another 2.2 million could re-enter the market over the next five years.   Read Source

Senator Proposes Legislation to Help Underwater Borrowers Avoid Foreclosure

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) has proposed legislation that will help underwater homeowners avoid foreclosure and remain in their homes, according to an announcement on Menendez's website.

The Preserving American Homeownership Act is intended to help the estimated 5.1 million Americans who are underwater, or owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth. That number accounts for about 10 percent of homes with a mortgage in the United States, according to data recently released by CoreLogic. About 40 percent of those 5.1 million underwater borrowers (approximately two million) owe at least 25 percent more than their home is worth.  Read Source

Mortgage Default Indices Continue Falling to Historic Lows

The national composite default index reported a historic low for the second month in a row in May, one of four out of five national indices to report historic lows for the month, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices and S&P/Experian Consumer Credit Default Indices for May 2015 released Tuesday.

The composite index declined by nine basis points from April to May, down to 0.88 percent, a historic low for the second consecutive month. The first mortgage default rate also posted a decline of nine basis points from April to May down to 0.74 percent, also a historic low. The second mortgage default rate fell by one basis point for the same period, down to a historic low of 0.42 percent.  Read Source

Negative Equity Rate Falling, But 4 Million Borrowers May Be Trapped Underwater

The number of borrowers who owe more money than their home is worth is slowly decreasing; however, more than half of these borrowers are stuck in an underwater free fall with little to no hope of resurfacing.

According to Zillow’s first quarter Negative Equity Report released today, although the negative equity rate is falling, about 4 million homeowners owed at least 20 percent more than the worth of their home. In order for these underwater homeowners to even come close to breaking a sale, their homes would have to appreciate by more than the percentage at which they are underwater..  Read More

Outlook for Housing and Economy Remain Positive Despite Q1 GDP Contraction


In its second of three estimates of real gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the first quarter released Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) issued a downward revision of what analysts had already deemed "paltry" growth of 0.2 percent in the advance estimate for Q1 reported at the end of April.

According to the BEA's second estimate for Q1, which is based on more complete source data than were available for the advance estimate, the GDP contracted at an annual rate of minus 0.7 percent. Despite economic growth taking a step backward, the forecast for housing for the rest of the year remains positive, according to Fannie Mae SVP and chief economist Doug Duncan. New home sales increased by 6.8 percent in April up to 517,000 annualized units; the National Association of Realtors' Pending Home Sales Index has risen by 14 percent in the last 12 months; existing home sales are at a nine-year high; and purchase applications recovered at the end of May from a slow first half of the month up near a two-year high.  Read Full Article At Source

Delinquency Rate Falls Below 3 Percent for First Time Since 2007 depleted-money

depleted-moneyThe percentage of residential mortgage borrowers who are delinquent (more than 60 days behind on their mortgage payments) was reported at 2.95 percent in Q1, the first time it has been below 3 percent in more than seven years, according toTransUnion's Quarterly Industry Insights Reportreleased Monday.

Q1 marked the 13th consecutive quarterly decline in mortgage delinquency rate. Q1's percentage of 2.95 was a drop from 3.29 percent in Q4 2014 and from 3.59 percent in Q1 2014. Before Q1, the mortgage delinquency rate had not been below 3 percent since Q3 2007 (immediately prior to the beginning of the recession), when it was reported at 2.61 percent.

Read complete article at Source

Housing Forecast Calls for Increase in Existing-Home Sales forecast

forecastAccording to Auction.com’s, LLC Real Estate Nowcast for May, despite an unexpected drop in April, existing-home sales in May are expected to pick up and fall between seasonally adjusted annual rates of 5.03 and 5.34 million annual sales, with a goal of 5.18 million. This is a 2.9 percent increase from April and a 5.8 percent increase from a year ago. Auction.com expects May sales to come in at 5.18 million units (SAAR), and median sales prices at $220,799.

Read complete article at Source

Eight of the Top 10 Hottest New Home Sales Markets Are in the South

home-for-sale-sign-twoUsing two both new home sales figures and new home sales share, CoreLogic determined that eight out of the 10 hottest markets for new home sales are located in the South, let by Nashville, Tennessee, at 17 percent year-over-year growth.

In CoreLogic's recently-released May 2015 MarketPulse, Chief Economist Sam Khater noted that Nashville is one of only five markets nationwide which has had a greater number of home sales in 2015 than it had in the pre-crisis years of the early 2000s.

Read complete article at Source

Rising Rents Not Motivating Consumers to Buy Homes, Research Shows

home-keyNew Freddie Mac research reveals that despite rising rents, the majority of renters are not motivated to purchase a home and positive perceptions about renting are increasing. Harris Poll was selected by Freddie Mac to conduct the survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults online in March 2015 to get their renting viewpoints.

"We've found that rising rents do not appear to be playing a significant role in motivating renters to buy a home," said David Brickman, EVP of Freddie Mac Multifamily. "This contradicts what some in the housing market think as they expect more renters ought to be actively looking to purchase a home. We believe rising rents are primarily a sign of increased demand rather than a signal that home purchases will be increasing."

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than one-third of U.S. households are renting homes, and renters make up all net household growth over the last several years.  Read More at Source

1 in 4 renters use half their pay for housing costs

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than one in four U.S. renters have to use at least half their family income to pay for housing and utilities.

That's the finding of an analysis of Census data by Enterprise Community Partners, a nonprofit that helps finance affordable housing. The number of such households has jumped 26 percent to 11.25 million since 2007.  Since the end of 2010, rental prices have surged at nearly twice the pace of average hourly wages, according to data from the real estate firm Zillow and the Labor Department.

"It means making really difficult trade-offs," said Angela Boyd, a vice president at Enterprise Community Partners. "There are daily financial dilemmas about making their rent or buying groceries." 


Study Reveals Housing Market To Be At Its 'Healthiest' Level Since 2001

In its first-ever analysis of the U.S. housing market released Thursday, Nationwide Economics indicated that the national market was at its healthiest level in 14 years. 

Nationwide's Health of Housing Markets (HoHM) Report – Q1 2015 is the first report in a planned quarterly series of reports. Using a metric known as the Leading Index of Healthy Housing Markets (LIHHM), Nationwide said the health of the overall housing market in the United States suggest there is little reason to believe that another downturn will occur in housing during the coming year.  Read More

GSEs to Streamline Modifications for Homeowners at Risk of Default

Servicers are now required to evaluate mortgage loans backed by the two GSEs and actively reach out to borrowers to offer a streamlined loan modification if the mortgage loan was previously modified to include a step-rate feature (which allows for a gradual rate increase in the first few years) and if the mortgage rate becomes 60 days delinquent in the first 12 months following a rate increase.  Read More

Negative Equity Remains a 'Serious Issue' Despite Year-Over-Year Decline

Despite the year-over-year decline in the percentage of underwater residential properties, negative equity remains a serious issue, according to Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. For the full year of 2014, 1.2 million borrowers regained equity – but nearly five and a half million properties remained in negative equity as of the end of the year after approximately 172,000 homes slipped into negative equity from the third quarter to the fourth quarter in 2014.  Read More

Freddie Mac Economist Expects Best Year for Housing Since '07

Freddie Mac Deputy Chief Economist Len Kiefer, who will be a keynote speaker at the upcoming Five Star Government Forum in Washington, D.C., on March 18, predicted in Freddie Mac's March 2015 Economic and Housing Market Outlook that the coming year would be the best for housing since 2007, immediately prior to the crash.  Read More

Legislation to Extend Tax Relief to Distressed Homeowners Currently in House, Senate Committees

Congressman Tom Reed (R-New York) introduced the Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act of 2015 (H.R. 1002) on February 13, and that bill is now being heard in the House Committee on Ways and Means. Two weeks later, Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) and Dean Heller (R-Nevada) introduced a similar bill (S. 608), which is currently in the Senate Banking Committee. Both bills would extend relief to homeowners on forgiven mortgage debt – the remaining mortgage balance when a borrower sells a home in a short sale to avoid foreclosure.  Read More

Survey: Investors Still Prefer Flipping Despite Rising Rents, Low Vacancy Rates

Survey: Investors Still Prefer Flipping Despite Rising Rents, Low Vacancy Rates
In its February 2015 Real Estate Investor Activity Report, Auction.com reported that overall, 56 percent of investors preferred flipping compared to 42.8 percent who preferred renting. The percentage of investors surveyed in February who preferred flipping was 6 percentage points higher than in Q4 2014.  Read More

Equity Firms Are Lending to Landlords, Signaling a Shift

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, large private equity firms spent tens of billions of dollars buying foreclosed homes across the United States to operate them as rental properties.

Now some of those same firms are providing loans to smaller investors seeking to do much the same.

Three big private equity firms — the Blackstone Group, Colony Capital and Cerberus Capital Management — are betting that so-called landlord loans to small and midsize investors will become the next big opportunity to profit from the rebound in the United States housing market. The private equity firms are providing financing indirectly to hundreds of real estate funds buying single-family homes, something that until recently was not widely available.  Read More

Orlando renters stretch paychecks further

With rent and home prices fast rising, renters are paying their Orlando landlords an average of about a third of their monthly income, according to a new report by Zillow.

Long considered one of the more affordable markets in the country, Orlando renters now spend a greater share of their income to rent than the national average. Historically, Orlando-area renters spent 20 percent to 25 percent of their paychecks for rent.


Landlord in trouble after refusing to rent housing to families with children younger than 6

The Ohio Civil Rights Commission has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Fair Housing Contact Service against an Akron property owner accused of refusing to rent housing to families with children younger than 6.

John Gourley of Akron, owner of Fleetwood Properties, published an advertisement that appeared to limit the family makeup of prospective renters.   Read More

Deltona backs off tougher standards for rental properties

DELTONA — Landlords who complained about a new ordinance regulating rental properties got what they wanted Monday night.  The City Commission unanimously repealed the higher standards — including inspections and fees — on homes for rent.

The ordinance was one of three aimed at fighting blight in a city where the percentage of rental homes has grown since the Great Recession and housing crisis pushed thousands of Deltona homes underwater or into foreclosure.  Read More