Category: Industry News

American Society of Appraisers, National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers to merge

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A shift in the appraiser world is underway, as the American Society of Appraisers and the National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers announced Wednesday that the groups plan to merge.

Here are the particulars.

The American Society of Appraisers, which bills itself as “the original multidisciplinary valuation society,” and the National Association of Independent Fee Appraisers, which calls itself “the leading voice for independent professional real estate appraisers,” announced that the groups reached a “Memorandum of Understanding” that will eventually lead to NAIFA merging into ASA.

According to the groups, the merger will add to ASA’s nearly 5,000 multi-discipline credentialed valuation professionals in over 75 countries and create “one of the largest networks of U.S. professional real estate appraisers.”

Read the source article at U.S. Housing Finance News

Mortgage rates tumble to fresh 2017 low

Yesterday, interest rates fell to the lowest they’ve been all year! This is great news for those who are ready to purchase a home or are considering refinancing.

Mortgage rates can change at any moment; that’s why it’s so important to strike while the iron is hot.

Rates for home loans fell in line with Treasury yields, nudging mortgage rates to the lowest level of the year, Freddie Mac said Thursday.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.08%, down 2 basis points during the week. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.34%, down from 3.36%. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.18%, down one basis point.

Those rates don’t include fees associated with obtaining mortgage loans.

The 10-year Treasury yield fell five basis points during the week as investors continue to re-assess the expectations for fiscal stimulus and economic growth that followed the November election even as fresh geopolitical worries flared. The benchmark government bond breached a key technical level, 2.30%, twice during the week.

Read the source article at MarketWatch

Vacation Home Sales Drop, Investment Home Sales Rise

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Vacation home sales took a serious fall in 2016 while investment home sales were on the rise, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

There were approximately 721,000 vacation home purchases last year, a 21.6 percent plummet from the 920,000 sales level in 2015. Last year’s level was the lowest for this sector since the 717,000 mark set in 2013. However, the median vacation home price in 2016 was $200,000, up 4.2 percent from 2015 ($192,000) and the highest since 2006 (also $200,000). Vacation sales accounted for 12 percent of all transactions in 2016, down from 16 percent in 2015 and the lowest level since 2012 (11 percent).

Read the source article at National Mortgage Professional Magazine

Demand for houses still grows despite interest rates increasing

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Potential existing-home sales decreased in February as interest rates continue to rise, according to the Potential Home Sales model from First American Financial Corp., a provider of title insurance, settlement services and risk solutions for real estate transactions.

Potential home sales increased to a 5.7 million seasonally-adjusted, annualized rate. While this is down 0.5% from January, or 28,000 sales, it is up 2.4% over the past 12 months.

Potential home sales measures existing-homes sales, which include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate based on the historical relationship between existing-home sales and U.S. population demographic data, income and labor market conditions in the U.S. economy, price trends in the U.S. housing market, and conditions in the financial market.

Read the source article at U.S. Housing Finance News

Fed Announces Rate Hike

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In a statement, the Fed explained its actions: “In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 3/4 to one percent. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting some further strengthening in labor market conditions and a sustained return to two percent inflation.”

Read the source article at National Mortgage Professional Magazine

New bill threatens CFPB’s freedom as independent agency

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s freedom as an independent agency to enact regulation could soon change due to a new bill working its way through Congress. This bill, “OIRA Insight, Reform, and Accountability Act,” has already made its way through the House and has moved onto the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Will the industry finally get the regulatory relief it’s been asking for if the bill passes?

Read the source article at U.S. Housing Finance News