A CFPB pilot project has concluded that e-closings make the closing process more efficient and less confusing for borrowers. The CFPB’s continuing crackdown on Marketing Services Arrangements (MSAs) has led at least two lenders (Wells Fargo and Prospect Mortgage) to abandon them. In a series of enforcement actions, the CFPB has found that MSAs violate… Read More »

Consumers seem to be feeling somewhat better about the housing market, based on responses to Fannie Mae’s June National Housing Survey. Although the number of respondents viewing this as a good time to buy declined, the number who see this as a good time to sell increased to 52 percent ― moving beyond the 50… Read More »

The home purchase and rental markets usually move in opposite directions: When one rises, the other typically remains flat or falls. Soaring foreclosures and a battered housing market – both byproducts of the severe economic downturn – predictably boosted demand for rental units. But strengthening home sales have not as yet made a dent in… Read More »

The housing market continues to show signs of strength. Existing home sales rebounded strongly in May after an April swoon, increasing by 5.1 percent for the month and by more than 9 percent year-over year. Pending home sales, measured by a National Association of Realtors reached their highest level in 9 years – posting their… Read More »

Housing industry analysts have been trumpeting the steady decline in negative equity rates as home prices have climbed during the past two years. But despite those gains, 4 million homeowners remain underwater, with homes worth at least 20 percent less than their outstanding mortgages, according to Zillow’s first quarter “Negative Equity Report.” That represents a… Read More »

An improving economy and a strengthening labor market could draw more first-time buyers into the housing market. But it is not at all clear that millennials, who represent the lion’s share of this homebuyer pool, will behave like past generations of homebuyers or trigger the home buying surge on which industry analysts are counting. The… Read More »

If there is a silver lining in the sluggish housing recovery, it is the apartment market, which has been booming. And analysts are predicting that the good times may continue for the remainder of this year and well into 2016. While single-family starts have lagged (the 20 percent April surge was an exception), multifamily starts… Read More »

An old song says “love is lovelier the second time around.” Some housing industry executives are hoping lenders will view homeownership the same way when they consider mortgage applications from borrowers who have defaulted on previous home mortgages. Industry estimates peg the number of “boomerang buyers” at close to 5 million – a tempting statistic… 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 »