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Aug 21

Single-Family Housing Starts Remain Strong

The market for newly-built homes remains strong. As reported by the U.S. Census Bureau, July featured 502,000 single-family housing starts nationwide on a seasonally-adjusted, annualized basis, marking the fourth straight month during which single-family starts posted north of one-half million. The last time this milestone occurred was in the four months ending April 2010 -- the last month of that year's federal home buyer tax credit. A "housing start" is a home on which construction … [Read more...]

Jul 25

Home Values Rise 0.8% In May 2012

The housing market's bottom is 9 months behind us. Home values continue to climb nationwide. According to the Federal Home Finance Agency's Home Price Index, home values rose 0.8% in May on a monthly, seasonally-adjusted basis. May's reading marks the sixth time in seven months that home values rose. Values are now higher by 4 percent since the market's October 2011 bottom. As a DC home buyer or seller, though, it's important to understand what the Home Price Index measures. Or, more … [Read more...]

Nov 22

Maximum FHA Loan Limits Restored To $729,750

After a brief return to lower, pre-2009 levels, FHA loan limits have been restored. As signed into law last Friday, maximum FHA loan limits are -- once again -- as high as $729,750. The move creates additional mortgage financing possibilities in more than 650 U.S. counties, and promises to increase the FHA's mortgage market share, which has grown from 6% in 2007 to roughly 30% today. The change in FHA loan limits also marks the first time that FHA loan limits exceed those of conventional … [Read more...]

Oct 13

Retail Sales Expected To Rise; Mortgage Rates Should Rise, Too

The American Consumer is alive and well, it seems. Friday morning, the Census Bureau will release its Retail Sales figures for September. The report is expected to show an increase in gross receipts for the 15th straight month with analysts predicting a 0.6 percent increase from August. The projected increase represents the largest jump in Retail Sales in six months and would likely lead mortgage rates higher for buyers in DC and   nationwide. The connection between Retail Sales and … [Read more...]

Oct 06

A Mortgage Rate Strategy Ahead Of Friday’s Jobs Report

Mortgage rates are prepped to make big moves in the next 36 hours. Is it time for you to call in your rate lock? Friday, at 8:30 AM ET, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the Non-Farm Payrolls report for September. Issued monthly, the "jobs report" offers sector-by-sector job creation figures from the month prior, and reports on the national Unemployment Rate. Last month, exactly zero net new jobs were created, the government said. This month, economists expect a net 60,000 new … [Read more...]

Jul 26

Is An FHA Mortgage Better Than A Conforming One?

The FHA is insuring a greater percentage of loans than during any time in recent history. In 2006, it insured roughly 5 percent of the purchase mortgage market. Today, it insures one-quarter. "Going FHA" is more common than ever before -- but is it better? The answer -- like most things in mortgage -- depends on your circumstance. Like its conforming counterpart, an FHA-insured mortgage is available as a fixed-rate loan and as an adjustable-rate one. Payments are made monthly and come … [Read more...]