Housing industry professionals view the continuing decline in the nation’s home ownership rate (which hit a new low in the second quarter) as a sign of housing market distress – if not a cause of it. But some Federal Reserve economists think the trend reflects good sense on the part of ‘millenials’ who have demonstrated… 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 »

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 »

Continuing their efforts to reform the title insurance industry New York state regulators recently cut title insurance premium rates on refinance transactions. “We are pleased the title insurance industry is doing the right thing here and appreciate their cooperation with us to cut these rates,” Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of the New York Department of Financial… 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 »

Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt is insisting that loans with low (3 percent) down payments, which Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will now be able to purchase, are no riskier than loans with larger down payments as long as they are properly underwritten. Congressional representatives quizzing him at a recent House Financial Services… Read More »

The American Land Title Association is asking the CFPB to rethink the kind of information the agency will collect for its new consumer complaint database. The millenials are coming! The millenials are coming – into the housing market. And that bodes well for home sales. A shortage of available homes for sale is becoming a… Read More »