New single-family homes recorded a sharp uptick in January, running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 543,000, following reports of homebuilder sentiment that show strength in the market for new homes.
Mortgages processed through the U.S. Department of Agriculture came to a halt when the government shut down last week. The closing thwarted the processing of new USDA loans, creating another potential drag on the housing market.
Here's a troubling anecdote for you, via the Wall Street Journal:
When Erick Moore first read about the USDA's Rural Development Guaranteed Loan program, he says he imagined it would be "restricted to some little farmhouse." Instead, the 33-year-old computer programmer moved last month into a four-bedroom, three-bath home in Fuquay-Varina, N.C., 17 miles outside Raleigh. The house sits on nearly one acre and features a brick facade, 10-foot ceilings and hardwood floors.
The Federal Home Loan Banks' Mortgage Partnership Finance Program announced a new partnership with the USDA Rural Development program on Tuesday.
Under this new arrangement, approved Home Loan Banks participating in the MPF Program can now purchase RHS Section 502 government-guaranteed loans from qualified members, including commercial banks, thrifts, credit unions, and insurance companies.
“Nearly every part of the real estate process has been transformed by technology except for home financing. Getting a mortgage is still manual, frustrating and confusing,” said Nick Stamos, CEO and founder of Sindeo..
Legacy insurers are headed toward solid ground, with some experiencing their first full year of profitability since the housing crash. New entrants, meanwhile, are raising capital, entering the fray and gaining market share. Read More
First, I’m not suggesting totally yanking FICO or Vantage Scores or anything like that. What I am recommending is the adoption of other models that would equally, or even more effectively, determine who can repay a loan. Read More