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C.H. Naamad

Boston Luxury Residential

By C.H. Naamad | Broker in 02116
  • FHA rescinds $1,000 credit dispute rule

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Boston, Home Selling in Boston, Financing in Boston  |  June 18, 2012 9:37 AM  |  301 views  |  No comments

    The FHA rescinded a controversial rule that would have shut out many homebuyers with ongoing credit disputes of more than $1,000.

    The Federal Housing Administration rescinded a rule that would have denied financing to potential homebuyers with ongoing credit disputes of more than $1,000, according to an alert sent to lenders Friday.

    The FHA quietly drafted [2] the rule in March to mitigate risks to its emergency fund. The rule went into effect April 1. Borrowers had to either pay off the outstanding balance on collections accounts or document an arrangement to pay before the mortgage was approved.

    Industry experts pushed back, particularly homebuilders and lenders with much of their business tied to first-time homebuyers.

    Combined with the increasing insurance premiums to bolster an FHA emergency fund on the brink [3] of a bailout, many claimed more business would be pushed to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two mortgage giants the government wants to wind down.

    On April 3, the FHA clarified [4] a borrower can be exempted from the rule if the disputed collections account stems from a "life event," such as a medical bill, death, divorce or loss of employment.

    The FHA delayed [5] the rule a week after it went into effect and said it would take comments from the industry until July.

    According to the letter [6] sent Friday, the FHA completely revoked the rule. Any loans written to fit the guidelines in the week between April 1 and April 8 will not be deemed in violation of HUD requirements.

    Edward Mills, senior vice president at FBR Capital Markets, said the FHA has to strike a tough balance between helping potential homeowners who cannot get credit elsewhere and protecting the insurance fund.

    "FHA killing off the rule is not a surprise when you take into account the resounding objection from the housing finance community and their concern that this would overly constrain credit," Mills said. "This action shows how it can be incredibly difficult to make choices that move towards protecting the insurance fund over keeping mortgage credit available."

    An FHA spokesperson did not immediately reply to requests for comment. 
    Source: HousingWire

  • Now is The Time to Buy: Mortgage Rates Hit All-time Low

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Boston, Home Selling in Boston, Financing in Boston  |  May 3, 2012 7:17 AM  |  475 views  |  No comments

    Fixed mortgage rates hit new all-time lows this week as anemic economic growth and inflation took rates to unheard depths.

    The Freddie Mac survey showed the 30-year, FRM averaged 3.84% for the week ending Thursday — the lowest rate ever recorded — inching down from the prior week's average of 3.88%. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.71%.

    The rate’s previous all-time record was 3.87%, registering on February 9.

    The 15-year FRM, a popular refinancing choice, averaged 3.07%, slightly falling from last week when it averaged 3.12%. A year ago, the average rate for a 15-year FRM was 3.89%.

    This rate’s former all-time low was 3.11%, registering on April 12.

    Five-year, Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 2.85%, up from 2.78% the prior week and down from 3.15% a year earlier.

    And one-year, Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 2.85%, unchanged from last week and down from 3.14% last year. This rate is also a new low.

     “Signs of slowing economic growth and inflation remaining subdued allowed yields on Treasury bonds to ease somewhat and brought most mortgage rates to new all-time record lows this week,” Freddie Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said in response to the new rate depth.

    Gross domestic product rose at an annualized rate of 2.2% in the first quarter, down from the previous quarter of 3% and below the market consensus forecast of 2.5%.

    Home loan analytics firm Bankrate, which surveys large banks, reported the 30-year FRM slipped to 4.05% from 4.09%, while the 15-year FRM fell to 3.25% from 3.28%. The 5/1 ARM also fell to 3.02% from 3.03%. 
    Source: HousingWire

    C.H. Naamad
    Broker

    Boston Luxury Residential
    BostonLuxuryResidential.com
    LuxuryBuildingsBoston.com/
    ch@blrboston.com
    Cell: 617-407-9740

     “If you have any questions about Boston real estate, or desire more information about a property, please contact Boston Luxury Residential: C.H. Naamad:  617-407-9740, or email @ ch@blrboston.com  to begin working for you.”  

  • Market Conditions Improve For National Apartment Industry

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Boston, Financing in Boston, Rent vs Buy in Boston  |  April 29, 2012 10:29 AM  |  438 views  |  1 comment

    Optimism continues for the apartment industry nationwide, according to a quarterly survey of market conditions by the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC).

    The findings reflect a gradual recovery for the multifamily sector that faced a 50-year low in apartment starts in 2009.

    The first quarter survey's four indexes measuring market tightness, sales volume, equity financing and debt financing all remained above 50 for the eighth time in the past nine quarters. Any number above 50 indicates quarter-to-quarter growth.

    "Market conditions improved across the board, even from the rather strong level of three months ago," said NMHC Chief Economist Mark Obrinsky. "Demand for apartment residences, and apartment properties, continues to grow. We anticipate this increasing further in the coming years due in part to the large number of younger households moving into the housing market and a greater preference shown for renting."

    "The strength of the sector's recovery has attracted capital to the industry," Obrinsky added. "But our latest survey finds that capital is largely targeted at top-tier properties in core markets and not widely available throughout the U.S. Fully 79 percent of respondents said capital was constrained either by property type, by market or both."

    Key findings show that capital availability lacks uniformity. Only 17 percent of multifamily firms reported that capital is available for all property types in all markets. By contrast, 36 percent said it is constrained in secondary and tertiary markets and 34 percent said it is constrained for all properties other than top-tier ones, even in primary markets.

    The market tightness index increased to 74 (out of 100) from 60. Forty-nine percent of respondents reported tighter markets, reflecting lower vacancy rates and/or higher rents, compared to only one percent reporting looser markets.

    The debt financing index declined to 65 from 74. As the only index that dropped below 50 in the past nine quarters, borrowing conditions continued to improve for the industry. Just four percent believed conditions worsened from last quarter, compared to 34 percent that reported improving conditions.

    The sales volume index rose to 57 from 50. This continues an 11-quarter run above 50, and some reports from the field suggest that volume could be even higher if more product was available.

    The equity financing index grew slightly to 62 from 60. One-third of respondents reported quarter-to-quarter equity financing as more available, compared to nine percent reporting less availability. 
    Source: B&T 

    C.H. Naamad
    Broker

    Boston Luxury Residential
    BostonLuxuryResidential.com
    LuxuryBuildingsBoston.com/
    ch@blrboston.com
    Cell: 617-407-9740

     “If you have any questions about Boston real estate, or desire more information about a property, please contact Boston Luxury Residential: C.H. Naamad:  617-407-9740, or email @ ch@blrboston.com  to begin working for you.”  

  • NAR: Pending home sales rise to highest level in 2 years

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Boston, Home Selling in Boston, Financing in Boston  |  April 26, 2012 3:31 PM  |  435 views  |  No comments

    Pending home sales increased in March and are well above a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors.

    NAR’s pending home sales index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 4.1% to 101.4 in March from an upwardly revised 97.4 in February. It is 12.8% above March 2011 when it was 89.9. The data reflects contracts but not closings.

    The index is now at the highest level since April 2010 when it reached 111.3.

    Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said 2012 is expected to be a year of recovery for housing. “First-quarter sales closings were the highest first-quarter sales in five years. The latest contract signing activity suggests the second quarter will be equally good,” he said.

    “The housing market has clearly turned the corner,” Yun added. “Rising sales are bringing down inventory and creating much more balanced conditions ... which means home prices will be rising in more areas as the year progresses.”

    The index is based on a large national sample, typically representing about 20% of transactions for existing-home sales. An index of 100 is equal to the average level of contract activity during 2001, which was the first year of examination. 
    Source: HousingWire

    C.H. Naamad
    Broker

    Boston Luxury Residential
    BostonLuxuryResidential.com
    LuxuryBuildingsBoston.com/
    ch@blrboston.com
    Cell: 617-407-9740

     “If you have any questions about Boston real estate, or desire more information about a property, please contact Boston Luxury Residential: C.H. Naamad:  617-407-9740, or email @ ch@blrboston.com  to begin working for you.”  

  • ‘Mixed’ is The Word For March Housing Scorecard

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Boston, Home Selling in Boston, Financing in Boston  |  April 9, 2012 10:50 AM  |  312 views  |  No comments

    Despite signs of stability, the overall outlook for housing remains mixed according to the Obama administration's March housing scorecard, released Friday by Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

    Mortgage delinquencies were substantially below last year's levels and sales of existing homes in January and February marked the strongest start to a year since 2007. But prices remain in decline, and March home sales were nearly flat nationwide, declining from 385,800 to 382,500.

    "The data this month show that we're making important progress in providing relief to homeowners," said HUD Assistant Secretary Raphael Bostic. "It's clear that the Administration's efforts continue to provide significant positive benefits."

    Foreclosure completions were also down in March, but increased foreclosure activity is expected in the coming months following the mortgage servicing settlement reached with the five largest banks in early February.

    Total home equity for U.S. homeowners was also down from the prior quarter, falling to just over $6 trillion, and remains lower than it was in the first quarter of 2009. 
    Source: B&T

    C.H. Naamad
    Broker

    Boston Luxury Residential
    BostonLuxuryResidential.com
    LuxuryBuildingsBoston.com/
    ch@blrboston.com
    Cell: 617-407-9740

     “If you have any questions about Boston real estate, or desire more information about a property, please contact Boston Luxury Residential: C.H. Naamad:  617-407-9740, or email @ ch@blrboston.com  to begin working for you.”  

  • Buying cheaper than renting in nearly 100 major U.S. markets:

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Boston, Financing in Boston, Rent vs Buy in Boston  |  March 29, 2012 11:42 AM  |  501 views  |  No comments

    Buying is more affordable than renting in 98 out of the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas — even in New York, Los Angeles and Boston, according to real estate company Trulia's rent vs. buy index.

    The index is based on asking prices for rental units and homes for sale on the company's website between Dec. 1, 2011, and Feb. 29.

    “As rents rise and prices stagnate, homeownership is becoming even more affordable, but rising rents create a dilemma for people who can’t afford to buy yet,” says Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist. “Rising rents make it harder for people to save for a down payment, which is the biggest barrier to buying a home that aspiring homeowners face.”

    Homeowners are choosing, or being forced, to rent rather than buy even though the latter is cheaper in key markets Trulia reviewed.

    But as they turn to renting, the influx of demand squeezes the nation's rental supply, pushing monthly rents higher.

    The nation's median rent stands at $712 per month — well above the average monthly mortgage cost of $647, Paul Dales, senior economist at Capital Economics, recently found. He estimated decreased vacancies in the home-rental market will push average rental rates up as much as 5% by early 2013, compared to 2.4% in January.

    As a consequence of less willingness and ability to buy a home, households in rentals will rise by at least 850,000 a year over the next few years, Dales said.

    He expects rents to rise at an annual rate of 3% this year and remain at that level in 2013. "Assuming that the economic recovery gains firmer footing, in future years there is scope for rents to rise by around 4% a year," Dales said.

    Only in Honolulu and San Francisco is renting often a better deal than buying. However, Trulia points out that buying a home in these markets might make sense for people who plan to stay in their next home for at least five years and can benefit from the mortgage-interest tax deduction.

    “Metros where homeownership is expensive tend to have stronger long-term economic growth and little room to build new homes, like Boston and the San Francisco Bay Area, where people expect home prices to increase over time," Kolko says.

    "Buying is much cheaper than renting in slow-growing places with high vacancy rates and land to spare, like Detroit and Cleveland, where prices are unlikely to improve much in the future," he says. 
    Source: HousingWire and Trulia

  • National Pending Homes Sales Dip 0.5 Percent In February

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Boston, Home Selling in Boston, Financing in Boston  |  March 26, 2012 11:02 AM  |  344 views  |  No comments

    Contracts to purchase previously owned homes nationwide unexpectedly fell in February, suggesting a further pull back in sales as the housing market struggles to regain its footing.

    The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said on Monday its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in February, slipped 0.5 percent to 96.5.

    Economists polled by Reuters had expected signed contracts, which lead existing home sales by a month or two, to advance 1 percent after a previously reported 2 percent rise. Contracts signed were up 9.2 percent in the 12 months to February.

    Contracts fell in three of the four regions, but jumped 6.5 percent in the Midwest. Data last week showed sales of previously owned homes fell in February and the decline in signed contracts suggests home purchases could be weak again in March. 
    Source: B&T

    C.H. Naamad
    Broker

    Boston Luxury Residential
    BostonLuxuryResidential.com
    LuxuryBuildingsBoston.com/
    ch@blrboston.com
    Cell: 617-407-9740

     “If you have any questions about Boston real estate, or desire more information about a property, please contact Boston Luxury Residential: C.H. Naamad:  617-407-9740, or email @ ch@blrboston.com  to begin working for you.”  

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