The Home Front


February 2009


Mortgage Rates Inch Higher to 5.07%

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Freddie Mac said Thursday that average 30-year fixed mortgage rates increased slightly, to 5.07 percent, in the week ending Feb. 26. Rates at those levels are still extremely attractive.

Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®) in ...

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Banks Take First Quarterly Loss Since 1990

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The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Thursday reported that the nation's banking industry suffered its first quarterly loss in nearly two decades during the last three months of 2008.

Here are the ugly details:

Commercial banks and savings institutions insured by the Federal Deposit ...

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5 Beefs With the Home Mortgage Interest Deduction

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Harvard professor Edward Glaeser is calling for a makeover of the home mortgage interest deduction. "Ending the madness of encouraging Americans to bet everything on housing, we can hopefully reduce the odds of a tragic repeat of the current boom-bust cycle," he writes in a New York Times blog ...

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Residential Real Estate Delinquency Rate Jumps

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The Federal Reserve says that delinquency rates for residential real estate loans jumped to 6.29 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008 from 5.22 percent in the pervious quarter. The rate has more than doubled from 3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007. Commercial real estate is experiencing a ...

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Home Price Declines Set New Records

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The most recent Case-Shiller report, released Tuesday, showed that the national housing swoon picked up steam in December:

The decline in the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index – which covers all nine U.S. census divisions – recorded an 18.2% decline in the 4th quarter of 2008 ...

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Real Estate Decline in 'Final Chapter?'

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Merrill Lynch economist David Rosenberg sees a silver lining in the ugly housing figures that were released earlier this week:

[After adjusting for homes not “built for sale,”] starts sagged sharply in January to a mere 245K units at an annual rate, down 12% sequentially and 54% on a ...

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Mortgage Rates Drop to Nearly 5%

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Heads up, thirty-year fixed mortgage rates are heading back towards 5 percent:

Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS®) in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.04 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending ...

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10 Counties Hit Hard in the Housing Bust

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Integrated Asset Services recently released a snapshot of ten American counties that have been hit particularly hard in the housing bust. The red figures represent their percentage drops from their peaks:

Integrated Asset Services, LLC (IAS) (www.iasreo.com), a leader in default management ...

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Mortgage Rates Fall to 5.16%

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Thirty-year fixed mortgage rates fell modestly this week to 5.16 percent, from 5.25 percent a week ago, Freddie Mac said Thursday:

Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®) in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.16 ...

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Meet the Press: Congressmen on the Bailout

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Sen. Richard Shelby Slams Stimulus, Bailout

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As the Democrats look to build GOP support for their efforts to revive the struggling economy, Sen. Richard Shelby, the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, offered his thoughts on the plan.

From CNN:

Leading Republicans warned Sunday that the Obama administration's $800 ...

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Mark Zandi: Home Prices to Stabilize This Year

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The Moody's Economy.com team, headlined by Chief Economist Mark Zandi, has issued a new report titled, Housing in Crisis: When Will Metro Markets Recover? Here's a look at their key findings:

1. House prices will stabilize by the end of this year.

2. The national Case-Shiller house ...

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Mortgage Rates Increase to 5.25%

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Mortgage rates ticked modestly higher in Freddie Mac's most recent survey, Bloomberg reported:

"The average U.S. rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage rose this week, thwarting Federal Reserve efforts to cut borrowing costs, on investor concern the government will increase spending.

The ...

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Homeowner Vacancy Rate Rises

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The fourth-quarter homeowner vacancy rate increased by .1 percentage point to 2.9 percent from the same period of 2007, the government said Tuesday. Here's what economists at Goldman Sachs said about the figures in a report of their own.

Homeowner vacancy rates remain very elevated, which ...

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