Are record-low interest rates masking high-cost mortgage lending?

Are record-low interest rates masking high-cost mortgage lending?

Five leading economists weigh in and the answer may surprise you partners with Google to predict housing trends

Nowcast will predict in real time

The New York Times rambles, and mangles mortgages along the way

Mortgage finance and mortgage regulation aren’t the paper’s strong suits

Rising home prices heal hardest-hit real estate markets

Five states classified as hardest-hit housing markets by the Treasury are seeing positive home price growth year-over-year, which is good news for underwater and distressed borrowers in those areas.  

Rising home prices give borrowers more equity to tap into as they try to lift themselves out of distressed situations.

New data from the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index shows cities in hardest- hit states like California, Arizona, Florida and Georgia experiencing annual home price increases in October.  

Illinois, on the other hand, continued to grapple with a 1.3% decline in annual home prices within its key market of Chicago.  

The five states are among the 19 jurisdictions the Treasury chose to receive $7.6 billion in federal aid back in 2010 to support programs for struggling homeowners. Designated as the "hardest-hit states," the jurisdictions continue to improve as prices rise.

California's Los Angeles market saw home prices grow 6.2% from last year in October. The state's San Francisco market also is healing, with home values up 8.9% from a year ago.

Florida, which battled an onslaught of foreclosures after the mortgage market meltdown, has two recoveries occurring in the cities of Miami and Tampa. Tampa home prices are up 5.9% year-over-year, while Miami prices grew 8.5%, according to the S&P Case-Shiller HPI report. 

Atlanta home prices fell 0.4% from September to October, but still rose 4.9% over a year ago — a positive sign for one of Georgia's key markets, according to S&P/Case-Shiller data.

And then you have Arizona, a hardest-hit state that entered a recovery after becoming a hot spot for real estate investors. The state's Phoenix market is experiencing 21.7% growth in home prices year-over-year and 1.4% value growth from September to October.

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