The source of home price movement: buyer purchasing power

Buyer purchasing power is one of the biggest influences on home prices. When buyer purchasing power falls, home prices are likely to follow. When purchasing power rises, the seller’s outlook for a rise in pricing is good. The buyer purchasing power index (BPPI) is negative in the first quarter (Q1) of 2018 due to higher fixed […]

Cramer: Don’t be fooled—retail REITs’ stocks are still very risky to own

On a rough day for the stock market in which the Dow Jones industrial average plunged nearly 600 points, CNBC’s Jim Cramer noticed one stock group trading surprisingly well: retail-focused REITs, or real estate investment trusts. Retail REITs became some of 2017’s worst-performing equities as the underlying companies fell under pressure amid waves of store […]

Regional Spotlight: California Home Prices Close Year on High Note

Amid the lowest housing inventory levels in more than 13 years, existing-home sales in California still eked out a year-over-year gain, while the median sales price posted a solid annual increase, according to the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.). Closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes in California totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 420,960 units […]

Employers Can Now Add to Down Payments

A new program allows employers to help workers’ down payment on a home, similar to how companies contribute to a 401(k). HomeFundMe, a Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac-approved down payment crowdfunding platform, allows borrowers to crowdfund their down payment from several sources, including their employer. CMG Financial, a mortgage banking firm, created the HomeFundMe program. Employers can […]

Lawmakers Target Seller-Financed Homes

Seller-financed deals are increasingly coming under scrutiny. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is investigating some larger investors using seller financing in real estate deals, accusing some investors of abusing the practice by evicting buyers for missing just a single payment or selling homes at the end of the agreements that are in complete disrepair. Legislators […]

3 Foreclosure Alternatives: What to Do Before Your Mortgage Goes Underwater

  DS011/iStock   Maybe you’ve missed a couple of monthly mortgage payments. Maybe a notice of default from your lender is looming right now. You understand the severity of the situation, but what most homeowners don’t know is that foreclosure is not the only option you have when you’re no longer able to afford your house. The […]

Mortgage volume stuck for second straight week, but jumbo loans get cheaper

Perhaps it is the August lull or the start of a more prolonged slowdown in the housing market, but homeowners and homebuyers seem unimpressed by the lowest mortgage interest rates of the year. Total mortgage application volume barely moved last week, down 0.5 percent from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. That’s […]

ARM rates on the rise

The average adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) rate on a 5/1 ARM was 3.23% in July 2017. This is up from a year earlier when the rate was 3.08%. ARM rates increased significantly going into 2016 and again going into 2017, partly due to the Federal Reserve’s (the Fed’s) decision to increase the target Federal Funds rate. Expect […]

Refinances down following interest rate rise

The number of residential mortgages refinanced in California fell in the first quarter (Q1) of 2017. Just 61,500 mortgages were refinanced in Q1 2017, down from 90,900 one year earlier. Still, the number of refinances remains above the recent trough of 46,000 occurring in Q1 2014. Recently, refinancing was most popular at the end of 2012, when mortgage rates were […]