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May 24

New Home Sales Rise For 7th Month Out Of 8

The April New Home Sales report suggests that the market for newly-built homes is as strong as the market for existing ones. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of new homes sold rose 3.3 percent in April to a seasonally-adjusted, annualized 343,000 units sold -- its second-highest reading since April 2010. April 2010 marked the last month of that year's federal home buyer tax credit program. April's New Home Sales data also marks the 7th of eight consecutive months during which the … [Read more...]

Oct 26

District of Columbia Posts One Year Gain in Home Values

The August 2011 Case-Shiller Index was released this week. On an monthly basis, 10 of 20 tracked markets worsened. On an annual basis, valuation degradation was worse. Only Detroit and Washington, D.C. posted higher home values in August 2011 as compared to August 2010, rising 2.7% and 0.3%, respectively. However, the index has been moving in the right direction. Since bottoming out in March of this year, the Case-Shiller Index is up nearly 4 percent. As home buyers and sellers in … [Read more...]

Sep 08

After A Pause, Mortgage Guidelines Resume Tightening

Mortgage guidelines appear to be tightening with the nation's largest banks. In its quarterly survey to senior loan officers nationwide, the Federal Reserve uncovered that a small, but growing, portion of its member banks is making mortgage approvals more scarce for "prime" borrowers. A prime borrower is described as one with a well-documented payment history, high credit scores, and a low monthly debt-to-income ratio. Of the 53 responding "big banks", 3 reported that mortgage … [Read more...]

Jul 14

For The 9th Straight Month, Foreclosure Filings Fall

For the 9th straight month last month, foreclosure activity slowed. According to foreclosure-tracking firm RealtyTrac, the number of foreclosure filings dropped 29 percent nationwide on an annual basis in June. The phrase "foreclosure filing" is a catch-all term, comprising default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions. June marked the ninth consecutive month of sub-300,000 filings after 20 months above it -- a promising signal for the housing market in District of Columbia … [Read more...]

May 19

Fed Minutes Put The Heat On Mortgage Rates To Rise

The Federal Reserve released its April 2011 Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes Wednesday. In the hours since, mortgage markets have worsened; rates in DC are higher by 1/8 percent this morning, at least. The "Fed Minutes" is published 8 times annually, three week after each scheduled FOMC meeting. The minutes are the Federal Reserve's official recap of the conversations and debates that shaped the prior FOMC session. Another way to consider the Fed Minutes is as the companion … [Read more...]