Fewer borrowers are seeking to purchase or refinance a home as mortgage applications saw a double-digit drop last week and the 30-year fixed rate topped 4 percent to hit a one-year high.
Mortgage investment giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have ease rules to allow retirees the use of “imputed” income — or potential earnings over a period of time — from 401(k), IRA and other retirement assets to qualify for a home loan. The changes can help seniors qualify for a mortgage to downsize into a new home or refinance via currently low interest rates.
The so-called Streamlined Modification program was slated to start July 1, but Freddie Mac said it is available now to all eligible borrowers nationwide to “expedite financial relief for potentially thousands of distressed families.”
Expect a modest “re-acceleration” in the U.S. economy in the second half of 2013, with housing acting as the tailwind in helping sustain growth, said Fannie Mae Monday in its monthly market update.
Questions regarding the housing recovery’s sustainability remain. But the formula is simple: new home construction is creating a demand for jobs, which will help further bring down the unemployment rate.
President Obama’s weekly address is all about the “healing” housing market seven years after the bubble burst and how to further improve the finances of Americans and the mortgage-financing system.
Fannie Mae, the biggest mortgage finance company under government control, said Thursday it earned a record $58.7 billion profit in the January-March quarter and that it would remain profitable for the “foreseeable future.”
HARP refinances, as they are commonly known, hit 2.3 million by the end of February, it was announced Tuesday, but the program’s pace has picked up even more in recent weeks, especially helping deeply “underwater” borrowers.
Consumer advocates have been trying to get Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two U.S.-subsidized housing-finance giants, to initiate mortgage debt forgiveness for deeply underwater homeowners — but their regulator has refused.
If Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were to initiate mortgage principal write-downs, up to 1.2 million borrowers who are “underwater” on their home loans could be helped — while saving taxpayers $2.8 billion, according to a new report from the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office.