Blogs & News

  • October 29, 2014 11:20 AM | Brandon Austin (Administrator)
    U.S. financial regulators this week announced separate actions that should boost the housing market and home sales by enabling more creditworthy borrowers to access home loans.

    Six federal regulators finalized new rules under the Dodd-Frank Act which define the standards of a qualified residential mortgage. The final rule exempts securitizers from retaining 5% of the credit risk on qualifying home loans packaged and sold as securities.

    By aligning the definitions of a qualified residential mortgage (QRM) and the qualified mortgage (QM), the standard lenders must follow to demonstrate they have determined a borrower’s ability to repay a mortgage loan, financial regulators have acted to alleviate confusion in the marketplace.

    Since 2011, NAHB has worked independently and with a coalition of housing advocates to urge regulators to establish a QRM rule that removes downpayment requirements and other onerous underwriting criteria to keep homeownership affordable for working American families.

    In an official statement, NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly applauded regulators for taking these actions.

    “The new QRM rule will encourage sound lending behaviors that support a housing recovery, attract private capital in the mortgage market, help ease tight credit conditions for borrowers, and reduce future defaults without punishing responsible borrowers and lenders,” he said.

    FHFA Director Announces Plans to Boost Credit

    In another important development this week, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt said that FHFA will announce new details in coming weeks that will specify when financial institutions must repurchase loans from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that were issued based on false or inaccurate information.

    “I hope our actions provide sufficient certainty to enable your companies to reassess existing credit overlays and more aggressively make responsible loans available to creditworthy borrowers,” Watt said in an Oct. 20 speech at the annual Mortgage Bankers Association conference in Las Vegas.

    To further unlock tight credit, Watt also announced plans for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to lower their downpayment requirements from 5% to as low as 3%.

    Credit to: http://nahbnow.com/2014/10/regulators-act-to-loosen-tight-credit-spigot-boost-home-sales/

  • June 20, 2013 9:57 AM | Brandon Austin (Administrator)

    Reasons why Facebook is still important

    Real estate agents continue to rely on social media to reach out to new clients and stay close to the ones they have, but with more and more social media entries coming into the fold, it can be overwhelming at times. There’s Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, Tumblr…the list goes on and on.

    It’s important to not let all the new options take you away from your Facebook page, which is still one of the most important ways of connecting to people and highlighting your realty business.

    “A Facebook page is a great way to connect with your community, clients and networks of people that could potentially become clients,” says “Outsmarting Social Media” author Evan Bailyn, a search engine optimization, social media, and crisis management expert. “You can create conversations; not only so clients or potential clients have an opportunity to acquire information, but they can also provide feedback.”

    Creating a business Facebook page is as easy as going to the site, choosing a name and adding some photos and information about the business. The more you add, the more attractive it will be for those that find you. The beauty of having a Facebook page is that it’s basically free advertising and you can use it to let customers know about new listings, updates to houses and it’s a great way to get referrals.

    For those who have a personal website and think that’s enough, Bailyn warns that you’re not getting as much out of the Internet as you can.

    “A website can be a lot of time, maintenance, and let’s face it, money. A Facebook page is free, and instantly connects you with clients, your potential clients and your community,” she says. “There are also built-in functionalities with a Facebook page, such as commentary and discussion, and you don’t need to worry about figuring out how to add these special features or insights to your website (or pay for someone to add it for you).”

    Unlike those checking you out on your website, people cannot exist on Facebook anonymously. They sign up with their personal information, so when they “like” your page, you’re automatically introduced to them by name, and given a way to communicate.

    Facebook does a lot of work for you. It offers built-in expansion: when people interact with your content everyone that they are connected with can see that interaction.

    Not that you don’t have to do anything. Once your Facebook page is up and running, the key to making it a success is to post new messages and photos and keep it interactive. Ask questions of your clients and fans. Have a team dedicated to producing regular quality content. Post pictures and video. Create conversation. People love to be heard.

    Source: rismedia.com

  • June 19, 2013 1:16 AM | Brandon Austin (Administrator)

    2013 Economic Growth on the Road to ‘Normal’

    The U.S. may be well into a prolonged period of steady economic growth, but it hasn’t yet reached its full potential, according to Fannie Mae’s (FNMA/OTC) Economic & Strategic Research Group. Fiscal headwinds are expected to keep growth to below 2.0 percent for the first half of the year, with gradual strengthening in the second half of 2013 and into 2014. However, as fiscal drags wane, growth should continue to move in the positive direction amid an ongoing recovery in housing, rising household wealth, and expanded energy production.

    “At the outset of the year, we forecasted that 2013 would witness sustainable but below-par growth as the economy begins its transition to more normal levels. Halfway through the year, our view is little changed,” says Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan. “We expect approximately 2.1 percent growth over the course of 2013, up from the anemic pace of 1.7 percent in 2012. This is consistent with the incremental improvement seen over the past few years but still below the economy’s potential. Our forecast calls for growth to push past 2.5 percent in 2014, boosted largely by tailwinds from the strengthening housing market.”

    Housing was largely positive entering the spring/summer season, with various indicators such as home prices, home sales, and homebuilding activity showing signs of long-term improvement toward normal levels. Despite rising mortgage rates during the past month, which have affected refinance originations, affordability conditions remain high and should not present a significant obstacle to potential homebuyers.

    For an audio synopsis of the June 2013 Economic Outlook, listen to the podcast on the Economic & Strategic Research.

    For more information, visit www.fanniemae.com.

    Source: rismedia.com

  • July 19, 2009 9:36 AM | Brandon Austin (Administrator)

    Builder Confidence is at a 7-Year High!

    In continuing signs the housing market is on the upswing, builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes hit a significant milestone in June, surging eight points to a reading of 52 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released this week. Any reading over 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

    “This is the first time the HMI has been above 50 since April 2006, and surpassing this important benchmark reflects the fact that builders are seeing better market conditions as demand for new homes increases,” said NAHB Chairman Rick Judson, a home builder and developer from Charlotte, N.C. “With the low inventory of existing homes, an increasing number of buyers are gravitating toward new homes.”

    The eight-point jump in the index was the biggest one-month gain since August and September of 2002, when the HMI recorded a similar increase of eight points.

    “Builders are experiencing some relief in the headwinds that are holding back a more robust recovery,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “Today’s report is consistent with our forecast for a 29 percent increase in total housing starts this year, which would mark the first time since 2007 that starts have topped the 1 million mark.”

    In a recent interview for RISMedia, David Schoner, a national leading expert in new-home sales and marketing, and 17-year vice president of Coldwell Banker, NRT, responsible for all New Homes Division operations, detailed the benefits of working in new home sales to agents.

    “There are a lot of positive things happening and new-home sales are clearly on the way back up,” he said. “When I see the limited inventory and bidding wars going on in so many markets, I think about what a great solution new homes offer. Agents are busy writing up offers, but are they actually closing deals? Buyers are getting frustratedundefinedinstead of paying top dollar and living with compromises, a new home can give them exactly what they want.”

    For Mark Woodroof, partner at Houston-based Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene, the inventory shortage is making new-home construction another critical profit center in the new age of real estate. “The inventory situation should not have snuck up on us,” explains Woodroof. “We were building less than 500,000 homes, when the market calls for 1.5 million a year. The new-home builders will not be able to fix this in a year, but it will be a continued growth area. There is a 30 percent increase in housing starts so far this year. However, we are adding 10,000 people a month with immigrationundefinedso new homes alone won’t get it done.”

    Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 25 years, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores from each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.

    All three HMI components posted gains in June. The index gauging current sales conditions increased eight points to 56, while the index measuring expectations for future sales rose nine points to 61 – its highest level since March 2006. The index gauging traffic of prospective buyers rose seven points to 40.

    The HMI three-month moving average was up in three of the four regions, with the Northeast and Midwest posting a one-point and three-point gain to 37 and 47, respectively. The South registered a four point gain to 46 while the West fell one point to 48.

    Source: rismedia.com

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