Mortgages Blog

Thursday, June 17, 2010 10:53 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

Mortgage rates held steady this week, the same as the previous week’s record low, with the 30-year fixed averaging 4.88 percent in Bankrate’s survey. For the few homeowners who haven’t refinanced yet, this is good news. Well, as long as they qualify for a mortgage. Among the qualifications are having a job and owning a

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010 11:45 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

Mortgage rates are flat this morning, following a report that says housing starts plummeted in May. I’m not implying a cause-and-effect relationship. But the lousy housing starts numbers surely don’t hurt folks who are looking for a good rate on a mortgage refinance. Single-family housing starts fell 17 percent in May (PDF file) compared to

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010 9:52 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

Homeowners are refinancing in big numbers, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The MBA says refi applications rose 21.1 percent last week and are at their highest level since May 2009. Three-quarters of mortgage applications were from homeowners hoping to refinance. And the MBA says purchase applications were up, too. These numbers are seasonally adjusted,

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010 2:43 pm
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

The head of a credit counseling organization says she’s glad that consumers have irrational and self-destructive attitudes about mortgages. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling conducted a financial literacy survey in which 15 percent of respondents said that there is “no justifiable circumstance under which it would be acceptable to default on a mortgage.” (Emphasis

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Tags: Mortgages
Tuesday, June 15, 2010 11:46 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

State Farm is opting out of the National Flood Insurance Program, Jay MacDonald notes today in his insurance blog. Starting this fall, State Farm will begin transferring existing customers to NFIP Direct. The impetus for the move appears to be State Farm’s frustration with the repeated on-again, off-again authorizations of the flood insurance program.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010 10:35 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

Here’s the question to ask, as the House and Senate negotiate a financial reform bill: Will the new law prevent another meltdown in mortgages and real estate? Probably not. Reckless lending fueled the housing bubble, and the housing bubble fueled reckless lending. The two phenomena operated in a vicious circle. To prevent another meltdown, a

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Monday, June 14, 2010 9:02 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

There are a few reports on this week’s economic calendar that could have a modest impact on mortgage rates. The highlight is Thursday’s Consumer Price Index for May. The consensus is that prices were flat, give or take a tenth of a percentage point. I doubt that the CPI report will yield a surprise. I

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Friday, June 11, 2010 11:47 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

Mortgage rates haven’t moved much, if at all, in response to a report of rotten retail sales in May. Retail sales, excluding autos, fell 1.1 percent in May compared to the previous month. Economists and investors had expected a more modest drop, so this report was worse than expected. The year-over-year trend is positive, though:

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Thursday, June 10, 2010 10:42 am
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

Mortgage rates hit another record low in Bankrate’s weekly survey, with the 30-year fixed falling yesterday to 4.88 percent. Judging by the yields on mortgage bonds, the average rate should have been two or three basis points lower than that. Mortgage planner Jim Sahnger tells me: “Borrowers should be aware that as pricing has improved,

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010 1:42 pm
By Holden Lewis · Bankrate.com

Mortgage bond yields have flattened out at a remarkably low level, and mortgage rates have done the same. It’s not too late to refinance. If you missed a refi opportunity a couple of weeks go, you have another chance now. Bankrate conducts its weekly rate surveys on Wednesdays, and if the research department were making

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