Are mortgage regulators trying to turn ‘mythic housing recovery’ into a real one?

Are mortgage regulators trying to turn ‘mythic housing recovery’ into a real one?

By giving lenders some assurances that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac aren’t going to make them buyback mortgages at the drop of the hat, federal regulators are essentially saying, “Go ahead and lend; we’ll hold the paper,” writes...
12 hours ago
Mortgages haven’t been this cheap since summer of ’13

Mortgages haven’t been this cheap since summer of ’13

Cheap mortgages are renewing interest in refinancing, but don’t seem to be doing much to spur homebuyers into action yet. Freddie Mac’s weekly survey of lenders shows rates on 30-year fixed-rate home loans at 3.92 percent, the best rate s...
16 hours ago
.Realty top-level domain auctioned for $5.58M

.Realty top-level domain auctioned for $5.58M

The rights to administer a new generic top-level domain, .Realty, were auctioned off Wednesday for $5.58 million to “domaineer” Jay Westerdal’s Fegistry LLC. Thanks to its trademark on the term “Realtor,” the National As...
18 hours ago
Mumbai-based Housing.com in talks to raise $40M

Mumbai-based Housing.com in talks to raise $40M

“Technology and analytics will be the biggest differentiator and game changer in the online real estate industry,” says Rahul Chowdhri, an investor in Mumbai-based Housing.com, reportedly in talks with investors to raise an additional $40...
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Launch of .realtor seen as ‘key moment’ for top-level domains

Launch of .realtor seen as ‘key moment’ for top-level domains

Chances are that most Realtors are aware that a new “top-level domain” — .realtor — will debut this week. The National Association of Realtors, which won the right to administer the domain, will give away 500,000 .realtor doma...
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
North Dakota Realtors put $900K behind bid to ban real estate transfer taxes

North Dakota Realtors put $900K behind bid to ban real estate transfer taxes

The North Dakota Association of Realtors has spent close to $900,000 on ads supporting of a ballot measure that would preemptively ban real estate transfer taxes in the state, even though there’s no organized opposition. Republican state Rep. S...
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
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