The ‘buy-vs.-rent’ equation, which has see-sawed back and forth between both ends of the spectrum, has titled back toward renting as rising home prices create affordability pressures for many buyers. The Beracha, Hardin & Johnson (BH&J) quarterly index produced by Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and Florida International University, compares the long term impact on wealth… Read More »

As wildfires consume thousands of homes, droughts tighten their grip on many areas, and violent storms become more frequent and more deadly, I t is getting more difficult to assume that natural disasters affect someone else. A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that the number of disasters tallied between 200… Read More »

As the housing market has improved, homeowners and appraisers have been moving closer to agreement on housing values. But for most of this year, they have been moving further apart in their assessments, with appraisers valuing homes more conservatively than owners. Appraiser prices were 1.4 percent lower than owners’ estimates in June, according to Quicken… Read More »

The CFPB has asserted broad RESPA enforcement authority in a recent decision significantly expanding the liability of PHH Corporation for accepting “kickbacks” from mortgage insurers. The CFPB upheld an Administrative Law Judge’s finding that PHH had violated RESPA but increased the number of separate violations involved, increasing the required disgorgement from $6 million to $109… Read More »

Although appreciation rates have moderated over the past year, home prices are still rising. The S&P Case-Shiller 10-city index increased by 4.8 percent in February (vs.4.3 percent in January) and the 20-city index was up by 5 percent, compared with a 4.5 percent annual increase the previous month. Rising prices are something of a double-edged… Read More »

A legislative committee in Colorado has approved a measure that would create a commission to help oversee the title insurance industry and strengthen consumer protections in that state. The gap between what sellers think their homes are worth and their appraised values is widening. American Banker reports that CFPB officials have acknowledged privately that the… Read More »