Home Price Index (HPI): Home Values Rising Nationwide

Home Price Index (HPI): Home Values Rising Nationwide | Mortgage Rates And News From The Mortgage Reports Blog.


Home Price Index (HPI): Home Values Rising Nationwide

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Home Price Index off less than 20% from April 2007 housing peakAre home prices rising or falling? It’s a tough question — especially because the answer depends on where you get your facts. It also matters  how old those facts just happen to be.

Click here to get today’s mortgage rates.

HPI Rises 0.3% In February

Each month, the government’s Federal Home Finance Agency — the overseer of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — publishes the Home Price Index.

The Home Price Index measures the change in appraised value of the same home between successive FHFA-backed transactions (i.e. home purchase, home refinance), then uses those changes to track home valuations nationwide.

According to the Home Price Index, home values rose a seasonally-adjusted 0.3 percent between January and February 2012, and up 0.4% since last February. The data runs counter to Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Index which shows home values in decline.

The February Case-Shiller Index has values down more than 3 percent since last year.

In contrast to the HPI, Case-Shiller uses purchase contracts only; tracks single-family homesales only; and accounts for home sales in just a handful of cities nationwide.

Click here to get today’s mortgage rates.

Colorado, Arizona Among Top States

Like everything in real estate, home values are a local phenomenon. In February, not every U.S. region show rising values.

According the Home Price Index, some areas experienced relatively large gains — the Mountain Region gained 1.9% in February — and others experiences relatively large losses. The West North Central Region shed 1.0 percent.

Other regional highlights include :

  • New England Region (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut) : + 0.8%
  • Pacific Region (Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California) : -0.9%
  • South Atlantic Region (Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida) : 0.9%

Even regional notes, however, aren’t telling enough. On a city-by-city basis, and on a street-by-street level, housing markets can vary.

Click here to get today’s mortgage rates.

The Flaw In The Home Price Index

As a home buyer or seller, published data showing “rising home values” or “falling home values” may be interesting, but it’s not necessarily relevant. Most home valuation trackers — including the government’s Home Price Index and the private sector Case-Shiller Index — come standard with a severe, built-in flaw.

Both used “aged” data.

Today, the calendar reads May. Yet, we’re still discussing February’s housing data. Data from February has little value buyers and sellers in May’s housing market. And, even then, characterizing the data as “from February” is somewhat of a stretch. This is because the home values used in both the Home Price index and the Case-Shiller Index are collected from actual mortgage transactions, which are recorded at closing — not at the time of sale.

Click here to get today’s mortgage rates.

This affects valuation trackers because on a purchase, the sale price is often agreed upon 45-60 days prior to closing. Yet, those values don’t reach the Home Price Index or the Case-Shiller Index until two month later. For refinances, the lag between appraisal and closing is typically 30 days.

Therefore, when we look at the Home Price Index and Case-Shiller Index reports, what we’rereally seeing is a snapshot of housing as it was 5 months ago. Data like that is of little relevance to today’s buyers and sellers. Today’s real estate market is driven by today’s supply-and-demand — not February’s.

The Home Price Index and Case-Shiller Index are useful gauges for economists and law-makers looking at long-term trends. For buyers and sellers, though, they’re less relevant. Real-time data is what matters most.

Click here to get today’s mortgage rates.


Whether you’re buying a home or refinancing one, home valuations matters. But, so do mortgage rates. Rising mortgage rates will do more to change your home affordability than rising home prices ever could. A 1% rise in mortgage rates takes 11 percent off your purchasing power.

Take a look at today’s low mortgage rates. Plan your budget accordingly.

Click here to get today’s mortgage rates.

Courtesy of Dan Green



Mortgage and Housing sales data update

Existing Home Sales Rose 5% in December:

Home sales rose in December to the highest pace in nearly a year. The gain coincides with other signs that show the troubled housing market improved at the end of last year.

The National Association of Realtors said Friday that sales increased 5 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.61 million, the best level since January 2011 and the third straight monthly increase.

Sales are increasing at a time when the market is flashing other positive signs. Mortgage rates are at record-low levels. Homebuilders have grown slightly less pessimistic because more people are saying they might be open to buying a home this year. And home construction picked up in the final quarter of last year.

The median sales price rose 2.3 percent to $164,500 in December.

What Happened to Rates Last Week?

Mortgage backed securities (MBS) lost -91 basis points from last Friday to the prior Friday which moved mortgage rates upward.
The biggest economic surprise was the large decrease in the weekly Initial Jobless Claims data which is certainly positive for the economy, but negative for bonds.
But the real catalyst was a change in market sentiment that Greece’s bond holders were close to accepting the new terms of a “voluntary” hair cut of 60% to 70% on what they are owed. This removed some of the “fear factor” premium in bonds that have kept mortgage rates artificically low for the past 8 weeks.

What to Watch Out For This Week:

The following are the major economic reports that will hit the market this week. They each have the ability to affect the pricing of Mortgage Backed Securities and therefore, interest rates for Government and Conventional mortgages. I will be watching these reports closely for you and let you know if there are any big surprises:

Courtesy of

Stephanie Halpin

Fairway Mortgage

Updates from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Changes coming to help borrower’s refinance

Yesterday, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced a series of changes in an effort to attract more eligible borrowers who will benefit from refinancing their home mortgage. I wanted to make a list of some bullet points highlighting the details.


–          Removing current 125% loan to value ceiling for fixed-rate mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. This means there is no ceiling for how underwater a borrower is on their mortgage.

–          Waiving certain representations and warranties that lenders commit to in making loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie or Freddie. (This refers to title insurance.)

–          Eliminating the need for an appraisal where there is an automated valuation model (technology driven report that deciphers estimated value in seconds).



–          Existing mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before 5/31/2009

–          Homeowner must be current on their mortgage payment with no late payments in the past 6 months and no more than 1 late payment in the past 12 months

–          You can find out if your loan is securitized by Fannie or Freddie by going to http://www.FannieMae.com/loanlookup/ or https://ww3.FreddieMac.com/corporate/

These changes go into effect on November 15th of this year. If you, or folks you know have a mortgage and they don’t have 20% equity or are even underwater and not sure they can refinance please forward this email along. Congress estimates there are about 4 million homeowners in the country who can benefit from these changes.

Thanks and have a wonderful day.

Coutesy of

Timothy P. O’Brien

Zipfel Mortgage Group| Mortgage Planner

3440 Edwards Avenue

Cincinnati, OH 45208


Email: tim@zipfelmortgage.com

Website: http://www.zipfelmortgage.com/

Mortgage Rates: Update

Critical Week for interest rates and we will keep you up to minute informed!

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Bill Calls for Extending Loan Limits

Courtesy of Realtor Magazine

Bill Calls for Extending Loan Limits

Daily Real Estate News | Monday, July 18, 2011

A bill introduced late last week calls for extending the current conforming loan limits on government-backed mortgages at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for another two years.

The bill, introduced by Rep. John Campbell, R-Calif., and Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y., would allow the government-sponsored enterprises and the Federal Housing Administration to guarantee or buy mortgages worth up to $729,750 in many neighborhoods.

The current loan limits are set to expire Oct. 1. If an extension isn’t granted, the maximum mortgage amount in high-cost areas will drop from $729,750 to $625,500 (however, that limit will vary throughout the country).

“With the economy remaining fragile and the housing sector still struggling to recover, now is not the time to make the cost of mortgages more expensive,” Ackerman said.

The National Association of Home Builders has said it fears more than 17 million homes nationwide will become ineligible for more affordable federal funding if the loan limit expires. However, last week, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke saidhe was confident that the private market, including investors and insurers, would fill the void if the conforming loan limits expired — although likely at a higher cost to borrowers.

Source:“Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Extend Conforming Loan Limits,” HousingWire (July 15, 2011)

Read more:

Mortgage Caps Are Just Part of the Problem

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Breaking News- Financial Markets

Financial Market Update

Breaking News! The Treasury Department just announced they will begin selling some of their massive holdings of Mortgage Backed Securities to the tune of $10 Billion per month depending on market conditions. They say this is due to the stabilizing economy and market conditions that are ripe for selling. The Treasury acquired $142 Billion in debt during the financial crisis. News of this unloading process has immediately pushed Bond prices significantly lower as Traders try to get their own positions sold. It’s like musical chairs…no one wants to be the last one standing with a mitt full of Mortgage Backed Securities.

What is happening to the Mortgage Rates? (Feb 2010)

Many purchasers have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for home prices to hit bottom. They want to guarantee that they are purchasing at the best possible price. Like them, we also believe that prices still have some room to fall in most markets. However, we disagree that waiting is a good financial decision. The buyer should not be concerned about housing prices. They should be concerned about cost.

The cost of a house is made up of the price AND THE INTEREST RATE they will be paying. Two different pieces of news released yesterday highlight this point.


The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their 4th quarter housing research report [4]. In the release, they reported that home sales rose 15.4% in the 4th quarter over the 3rd quarter. They also showed that prices remained stable during the year:

The national median existing single-family price was $170,600 in the fourth quarter, up 0.2 percent from $170,300 in the fourth quarter of 2009.

A buyer who delayed a purchase might find solace in the fact that prices have not increased. However, the other news released yesterday paints a different picture.


The Primary Mortgage Market Survey [5] was released by Freddie Mac which showed that the 30 year fixed rate mortgage was at 5.05%. Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac said:

“Long-term bond yields jumped on positive economic data reports, which placed upward pressure on mortgage rates this week…As a result, interest rates on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to the highest level since the last week in April 2010.”

So prices have remained stable but interest rates have risen dramatically in the last 90 days. What does that mean to a buyer looking to purchase a home this year?

The price is the same. It just costs more.

Let’s show you what the news means:

By sitting on the sidelines for the last 90 days a purchaser lost:

  • $89.44 a month
  • $1,073.28 a year
  • $32,198.40 over the thirty year life of the mortgage

If you buy a $340,000 home, double all these numbers.

Bottom Line

Even if prices fall another 10% this year, the cost of a home will increase if interest rates go up more than 1%. Buyers should not worry where prices are going. They should be concerned where costs will be later in the year.

Creating leverage in the current Real Estate market (Jan 2011)

If you havent noticed through our media outlets, Cooper Consulting Group and The Home Finder Network have been slammed with Real Estate business recently. Clients by the dozens, of all kinds in all areas have been phoning and emailing us with requests for help. To paint a picture of why, is what we are here to examine and explain.

Historically the December market place is slow for many, for us it was a very busy time. We experienced 3 closings, 4 contract terms on our listings delivered, negotiated and slotted to close in the early 1st quarter of 2011. Over a half-dozen new buyers have jumped the over the fence, entered the shopping market and are prepared to deliver purchase terms within the month. All of this at once can be pointed to several market conditions.

Leverage for Sellers:

The position for sellers right now is the lack of inventory in our market place, especially through the months of December and January. Most sellers remove their properties from he market place during the Holiday season, leaving only distressed bank owned properties and highly motivated sellers. For those sellers that kept their homes active the low inventory helped a tremendous amount, lowing the buyers choices of homes. Turning our focus to the buyers side during this time-table, historically most buyers are not active during the Holiday or winter months either, however this season, the interest rates have creeped up, according to Ohiorealtors.org  the rate have raised over 5% nearly a full point since November 2010. Buyers are listening to their financial and Real Estate professionals, now is finally the time for the best interest rate.

On Dec 31st, our local MLS experienced 1,136 expired listing, all in one day! Many of which were bank owned or distressed property inventory but not all. Sellers have called me wanting to plan for the spring time to list, ask yourself how many other home owners are waiting until spring? By March 2011, our inventory will grow, by April it will be close to a an annual high for 2011. What are you really waiting for? more buyers to be shopping, or more homes to be on the market? fortunately for sellers, it doesn’t take more buyers to draft terms on your house, it take 1 good ready willing and able buyer. Start planning now, invite us or your real estate professional to visit your home NOW! and do not wait until spring! List now, price it right, and hire the best marketing and negotiating expert you can hire! Highest price and shortest time starts now, your timing counts on it!

The lastest Fannie Mae fallout- FIRST HAND!

Last last week several large financial institutions put on delay on up coming foreclosure actions, the details for reason can be viewed here in an article from the Washington Post. The article states “To be certain affidavits have followed the correct procedures, Bank of America will delay the process in order to amend all affidavits in foreclosure cases that have not yet gone to judgment,” spokesman Dan Frahm said in a statement. However I found out first hand this is affecting MORE then just foreclosures that have not yet gone to judgement.

3 weeks ago a client of mine drafted an offer to Fannie “JP Morgan Chase” a bank that also put on this hold, and had it acceptedwith a closing date of next Thursday October 14th. The filing of foreclosure on the property took place in March of 2010 and was filed at the Hamilton County auditors office around the 20th of that same month. The foreclosure had already gone to judgement, then on Tuesday I receive an email from the sellers Fannie May via JP Moran Chase’s representatives that the close was on hold and needed to be extended until March 2011! My client, who was financing the purchase had locked in to an amazing interest rates and was beside themselves at what to do. The seller offered a full refund of the 5% down fee that collected on the contract agreement day and was in full understanding if the buyer wanted to walk away.

At this point I started to get down to business, not to focus on the problem but to uncover the solution!! I started by calling the County to make certain the title had been file, and recorded property and it was. I then called the title company assigned by the seller Fannie Mae via JP Morgan Chase. The closing coordinator assigned to our case was at a complete gasp, she had also be notified a the hold late in the day on Monday. She explain 45 pending closing on her desk had been put on hold, I respond “shew only 45 that sounds like a lot”, she then said “NO not only 45, 4500!” I couldn’t believe it, the title company is exclusive to cases in Ohio for Fannie Mae and all there foreclosed upon PENDING sale contract cases had been put on hold. My next call was to the listing agent, a well-known REO agent in our area who specializes in this type of transaction. He himself is difficult to get a hold of and not 10 mins after I left a message he called me direct, in a frantic vibration. He described to me the issue, all his business was on HOLD, he explain I can’t close a thing, he said “most will close within 60 days that are already pending, but some it will be upwards of 6 months”. He told me this all came down between start of business Monday Oct 5th and mid day Oct 6th. Talk about losing your income for half a year.

I stayed positive and my final call went to my beloved title attorney here in Cincinnati. The man who has the right thing to say about any situation related to real estate. Like always when I call him, I explained my situation in detail, I explained what my research had uncovered. He described to me the directions he had been given about the situation “We were told it only affects future foreclosure, this is new to me”, keep in mind this is a real estate TITLE attorney who owns his own title agency. This news was fresh and still his, but what really caught me off guard what the advice he gave me to solve the problem “Kris, I apologize but you are helpless, there is no solution”.

And so we wait…..

FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums UPDATE


assigned on or after 10/4/10

NOW is the time to contact your potential FHA buyers & clients (especially
those possible FHA streamline refinances) and get word out. If they want a
choice of options, they need to get a purchase contract and/or a loan
application in NOW. The new MIP has merits in that it will be a lesser loan
amount financed and therefore less loan to pay off when people sell their
house. However, it causes a HIGHER PITI payment that may not be appealing
to people.

Current upfront mortgage insurance premium – 2.25 bps ~ On or after
10/4/2010 – 1.00 bps ~ LOWER!

Current monthly MIP – .55 bps ~ On or after 10/4/10 – .90 on LTV’s > 95%

Take a look at the attached analysis here: FHA_Premium_Changes_Analysis[1] to see the significant difference this
change will make on a $150,000 purchase price. You will notice the lower
UMIP will mean an $1800 lower loan amount. But, the much higher monthly MIP
would increase the monthly payment $32! This is going to have an impact on
borrowers and their financing options. Call or email me with questions! We
are closing FHA loans in 30 days!

Courtesy of Kathy Lamb Union Saving Bank

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