In a surprising story that came to light just last week on npr.org, National Public Radio (NPR) shared the results of its investigation, conducted along with ProPublica, on mortgage company Freddie Mac. The findings of the investigation revealed that Freddie Mae has been, as recently as 2011, utilizing complex mortgage securities that generated more money for the taxpayer-owned agency whenever homeowners were unable to qualify for new loans with lower interest rated.
You may want to sit down for this: it turns out the state of the housing market is officially worse than we thought. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) confirmed last week that it has been overstating the pace of existing home sales dating back to 2007, meaning the already futile market is in even worse condition than previously believed.
In a recent article on RealtyTimes.com, author Carla Hill noted that pending home sales increased by more than ten percent during the month of October, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). In addition, pending sales are now 9.4 percent higher than 2010 levels. The Midwest region showed the most promise with a 24.1 percent increase, while the Northeast and South regions also saw improvements.
On Monday afternoon of this week, Mortgage News Daily reported that mortgage rates had recovered from what was an “ugly” Monday morning. It was during the late morning when the secondary market, which underlies and drives mortgage rates, shifted significantly to help rates return to similar levels from last week. However, that shift came after most lenders released their new rate sheets containing higher rates.
As you have likely heard by now, last month the Obama administration announced new changes to HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program) which are designed to help borrowers refinance their existing mortgages (particularly those who owe more than their home is worth) to new loans with lower interest rates and monthly payments. As part of these changes, borrowers may refinance with someone other than their original lender. That means other lenders are able to compete for borrowers’ business by offering better terms and interest rates.