The NAHB reports that builder confidence increased from Q1 2009, but is still low. The MBA’s weekly survey shows that mortgage application volume increased by 3.4 percent. According to Freddie Mac, of all borrowers who had 30-year FRMs, 75% refinanced into a new 30-year FRM. Barclays estimates that foreclosure shadow inventory should peak during the summer of 2010.
Analysts are claiming that an increase in the average family size could reduce demand for housing. The US Senate is proposing many new changes to the Restoring American Financial Stability Act. The Department of Labor reports that national unemployment levels increased to 9.9 percent. According to the US Census Bureau,the homeownership rate fell to 67.1 percent in the first quarter.
Existing home sales rose 6.8 percent in March. Mortgage origination volumes decreased 46 percent in 2009. US house prices dropped 0.2% from January to February. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are creating the Loan Modification Scam Prevention Network which will work to educate borrowers and take in complaints.
The Census Bureau reports that rental vacancy rates for Q3 of 2009 were at 11.1 percent. According to RealtyTrac, Chico, California had a 98 percent increase in foreclosures from Q3 of 2008. The Attorney General claims that 60 percent of the nation’s pay-option ARMs, originated between 2004 and 2008, are located in California. Wilber Ross Jr. believes that commercial real estate is headed for a major collapse.
Moody’s estimates that prices will continue to decline until Q3 of 2010. According to Freddie Mac, interest rates on 30-year fixed rate loans have increased to 5.03 percent. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the number of vacant properties rose to 18.7 million, but the homeownership rate has maintained at 67.6 percent.
The NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index shows that sales increased by 6.4 percent in August. Research from Deutsche Bank Securities shows that 26 percent of borrowers owe more than their home is worth. A $250,000, four-bedroom, 1700 square feet, three-bathroom house in Los Angeles made the nation’s list of most searched for homes. A survey shows that realtors are in favor of expanding the $8,000 dollar tax credit. Regulation Z changes are now in effect. FHA first-time borrowers may see hike in down payment requirements according to new legislation introduced. Realtors are also interested in expanding first-time tax credit to repeat buyers. Does that mean investors? One could only be so hopeful.