The Ticker

Financial purge: Big bank stocks plunge

Dramatic crash in oil prices to blame
The DOW is not looking good as financial names took a big hit Thursday. Reeling off a 400-point loss, oil prices dropped below $27 a barrel for the second time in recent weeks. It settled at $26.21, the lowest point since 2003.
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MBA: New home purchases soared in January

Estimate surpassed expectations
Even though new home purchases dropped 6% in December, for the month of January, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Builder Application Survey shows mortgage applications for new home purchases increased by 14%.
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These are the top 5 most vacant cities in the U.S.

Not quite ghost towns, yet
The housing market continues to recover from the recent financial crisis. For the month of February, a recent RealtyTrac report shows that vacancy and “zombie foreclosures” are down 4% from a year ago nationwide. However, there are still some minority markets where its increasing.
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Survey: 45% of non-homeowners say finances keep them from buying

Nearly 30% say they can’t afford a down payment
Nearly half of all non-homeowners say that their financial situation is preventing them from buying a home, a new report from Bankrate.com showed. According to Bankrate’s survey, nearly 30% of all non-homeowners say that they can’t afford a down payment, despite only needing to save 3%.
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Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke purchases massive Texas ranch listed for $725M

It’s larger than New York City and Los Angeles combined
Stan Kroenke, the owner of the Los Angeles Rams, made headlines recently when the NFL agreed to allow Kroenke to move the team from St. Louis to Los Angeles. But the 60 acres that Kroenke owns in Inglewood, California where the team's new stadium will be built pales in comparison to his latest purchase.
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Freddie Mac to consumers: Here's how to avoid mortgage fraud

Video shows 'red flags' to look out for
As part of a continuing series that aims to educate consumers on all aspects of the homebuying process, Freddie Mac released a video that tells consumers how to avoid mortgage fraud when applying for a loan. In the video, Freddie Mac identifies several "red flags" that consumer should watch out for.
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Home appraisal values still below homeowner price expectations

Appraised values nearly 2% less than what sellers expect
Quicken Loans announced the average appraised values in December were 1.8% lower than homeowners valued their home. According to its monthly HPPI, December is the 11th straight month when appraised values were lower than homeowners expected, although December marks the fourth month the gap between the two values have narrowed.
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