Mortgage lending could finally ease if Fannie and Freddie address lenders’ buyback fears

Mortgage lending could finally ease if Fannie and Freddie address lenders’ buyback fears

Mortgage lenders could get a lot more willing to extend loans to borrowers with less-than-pristine credit if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac give them more clarity on what circumstances will trigger demands that mortgage originators buy back loans that go...
Friday, October 17, 2014
Surge in mortgage applications driven by refi requests

Surge in mortgage applications driven by refi requests

Lower mortgage rates are fueling demand for home loans, but don’t get too excited yet — most borrowers are looking to refinance an existing home, not take out a purchase mortgage. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey of ...
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Builders slashing prices as lower FHA ceilings dent new-home sales

Builders slashing prices as lower FHA ceilings dent new-home sales

When HUD slashed FHA loan limits in 652 high-cost U.S. counties in January, suddenly many builders found their homes priced too high for the government-backed loan program, popular with borrowers who don’t have 20 percent to put down on a ......
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Mortgage rates plunge as investors yank money out of stocks

Mortgage rates plunge as investors yank money out of stocks

Fears that Europe’s faltering economy will create drag for the rest of the world have wreaked havoc in stock markets, and mortgage rates have plunged as investors seek a safer place to park their money — namely, bonds and mortgage-backed ...
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
No sign of a boom in real estate agents

No sign of a boom in real estate agents

Real estate booms and busts can have a corresponding impact on the agent and broker population. But in California at least, real estate licenses show little sign of climbing out of their recent trough. California home prices peaked in 2006, ......
Monday, October 13, 2014
Man arrested for attack of Laguna Niguel real estate agent

Man arrested for attack of Laguna Niguel real estate agent

John Glenn, a man described as a “transient,” was arrested Sunday on suspicion of attempted robbery and felony assault after he allegedly attacked a 55-year-old female real estate agent in Laguna Niguel, California, the Orange County Reg...
Monday, October 13, 2014
Moody’s reads ADP tea leaves and sees signs of wage growth

Moody’s reads ADP tea leaves and sees signs of wage growth

While much progress has been made on the unemployment front, the crucial question for the real estate industry is when we’ll see some wage growth. As regular readers of Lou Barnes’ Inman News column are aware, much of the continuing ......
Friday, October 10, 2014
Wells Fargo paying $5M to resolve maternity leave discrimination allegations

Wells Fargo paying $5M to resolve maternity leave discrimination allegations

In the biggest settlement of its kind to date, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage has agreed to pay $5 million to resolve allegations that it violated the Fair Housing Act by discriminating against women who were pregnant or had recently given ......
Thursday, October 9, 2014
The Corcoran Group sees surge in listings despite defections

The Corcoran Group sees surge in listings despite defections

The Corcoran Group may have seen some big names defect to rivals William Raveis, Urban Compass and Douglas Elliman, but it’s still New York City’s second-biggest brokerage, with listing volume up 62 percent from a year ago, to $3.4 billio...
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Tight mortgage credit and stagnant wages a one-two punch for housing

Tight mortgage credit and stagnant wages a one-two punch for housing

Mortgage lending has actually gotten tighter this year, according to a CoreLogic index that says credit availability in May was about a third of what it was in the baseline year of 1998 — a decent parallel for the present, ......
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Realtors spending $1.4M to head off San Francisco transfer tax

Realtors spending $1.4M to head off San Francisco transfer tax

Realtors are throwing their weight behind a campaign to defeat a San Francisco ballot measure that would attempt to address the city’s skyrocketing rents by imposing an additional transfer tax on multi-unit residential properties sold within fi...
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Toronto Realtors target land transfer tax, question about commissions ‘inappropriate’

Toronto Realtors target land transfer tax, question about commissions ‘inappropriate’

The Toronto Real Estate Board likes mayoral candidate Doug Ford’s proposal to slash land transfer taxes by 60 percent over a four-year period. But at a press conference where Ford floated the idea, TREB President Paul Etherington squashed any d...
Monday, October 6, 2014
Wait for it, wait for it … wage growth!

Wait for it, wait for it … wage growth!

With unemployment finally starting to ease after years of what was often described as a “jobless” economic recovery, there’s some concern that globalization, by keeping a lid on U.S. wages, will derail the recovery’s momentum....
Monday, October 6, 2014
If Ben Bernanke can’t refinance his home, what does that say about mortgage lending?

If Ben Bernanke can’t refinance his home, what does that say about mortgage lending?

Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has a new job at a think tank, makes $250,000 a speech, and has a lucrative tell-all book in the works, but he and his wife were recently turned down when they tried to refinance ......
Friday, October 3, 2014
Houzz raises $165 million, launches online store

Houzz raises $165 million, launches online store

Houzz has raised $165 million and is baking a product marketplace into its residential design database. Consumers visit Houzz to share and browse photos of home designs and projects. Now, the site has beta launched an online store that allows vi...
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Wall Street Journal documents real estate coaching phenomenon

Wall Street Journal documents real estate coaching phenomenon

The Wall Street Journal takes a look at real estate coaches, who “explain, and in some cases provide, new technology to agents.” One of the top real estate coaches, Tom Ferry, has cross-promotion deals with Bank of America and Zillow. .....
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Top 10 hyperlocal real estate brokerage blog posts

Top 10 hyperlocal real estate brokerage blog posts

So if a real estate brokerage posts a list of “Top 10 small towns in America” on its blog, does that even register with most of us? But what about the “10 snobbiest small cities in America“? States where the ......
Monday, September 29, 2014
Should ‘I didn’t mean to’ be a defense against housing discrimination claims?

Should ‘I didn’t mean to’ be a defense against housing discrimination claims?

Plaintiffs in fair housing lawsuits may have to be able to prove that policies that have a “disparate impact” on minorities were intended to discriminate if the U.S. Supreme Court gets involved in a case in Texas. The Texas Department .....
Thursday, September 25, 2014