Friday Five: Housing Market Firing on Almost All Cylinders
The housing economy's positives are mounting, but mortgage liquidity still eludes borrowers.
By Meghan Smith - House Logic
Republic: Americans Squeezed by Higher Rents, Tight Credit
Today's housing market is a buyer's paradise. It's now cheaper to buy a home than it is to rent in virtually every major city in the United States. But for many in the renter class, buying even a modest home is impossible because financing is so hard to secure. Access to credit for borrowers with less than spotless credit is severely limited; many households are "cut off from mortgage credit on this count alone."
The House Financial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit held a hearing Wednesday about mortgage lending rules being considered by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that various advocacy groups believe could harm consumers and the housing marketing recovery. The groups urge regulators to write "qualified mortgage" rules that will allow creditworthy consumers to get mortgages, protect consumers against risky loan products, offer lenders a safe harbor from litigation, and promote mortgage liquidity. All of which can greatly improve market conditions and the broader economy.
More: REALTORS® Ask Feds to Step Carefully with Mortgage Reform
Bloomberg News: Housing Rebound Signaled as Banks Resume Foreclosures: Mortgages
U.S. lenders are notifying more delinquent home owners that they face foreclosure, a step toward clearing a backlog of properties and helping to accelerate a housing recovery. Foreclosures picked up after the nation's five biggest banks settled an investigation about lost or doctored paperwork. Mortgage delinquencies are dropping, while demand for real estate is rising amid record-low borrowing costs and tight inventories of available real estate.
HouseLogic: Win for Home Owners: Congress Reauthorizes Flood Insurance for 5 Years
Congress last week agreed to continue the National Flood Insurance Program for the next five years, saving a vital program that's the sole source of affordable flood insurance for many home owners. NFIP protects property owners in more than 21,000 communities where you can't get a federally related mortgage unless you purchase flood insurance.
Realty Times: Housing to Play Key Role in Election
Washington and the housing market are never far apart. Experts ranging from real estate professionals to the members of the Federal Reserve have reported that the state of the nation's economic recovery relies heavily on a housing recovery. According to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, housing will play a large part in deciding the outcome of the 2012 presidential election.