CFPB approves foreclosure protection
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Thursday that is has approved measures that will make it harder for mortgage lenders to foreclose on delinquent loans.
Currently, a mortgage servicer is only required to offer struggling homeowners certain protections against foreclosure once; the new rules will require them to do so more than once.
The regulator says this is to protect those who may make an agreement with their mortgage servicer and maintain payments but then suffer hardship later in the mortgage’s term.
There are also updated rules on how mortgage services must communicate with those that have applied for loss mitigation; how to deal with those in bankruptcy; and successors in interest.
More information can be found on the CFPB blog
These are the markets where more renters can afford to buy a home
Low supply and rising prices at a time of sluggish income rises has seen homeownership rates drop to a low not seen for decades. But there are some markets that make the move from renter to homeowner relatively affordable.
The National Association of Realtors has analyzed metros on the basis of employment growth, household income and qualifying income levels; to assess which of almost-100 metros are most affordable for renters to buy a home.
The metros with the highest percentage of renters who can afford to buy are: Toledo, Ohio (46 per cent); Little Rock, Arkansas (46 per cent); Dayton, Ohio (44 per cent); Lakeland, Florida (41 per cent); St. Louis, Missouri (41 per cent); Columbia, South Carolina (41 per cent); Atlanta (40 per cent); Columbus, Ohio (38 per cent); Tampa, Florida (38 per cent); and Ogden, Utah (38 per cent).
The Midwest and South dominate the list due to lower median prices and slower recovery from the housing crash, while hiring and income increases has surpassed the national average.
NAR chief economist Lawrence Yar commented: "With mortgage rates now at their all-time low, these identified markets are well-suited for the many renters financially capable and interested in taking advantage of the stability and wealth-building benefits owning a home can provide."
Mortgage rates continue lower
Mortgage rates eased to near their 2016 low in the past week according to data from Freddie Mac.
Its Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that the rate for a 30-year FRM averaged 3.43 per cent in the week ending Aug.4, down from 3.48 per cent in the previous week.
A 15-year FRM averaged 2.74 per cent, down from 2.78 per cent; and a 5-year ARM averaged 2.73 per cent, down from 2.78 per cent.
“Mortgage rates have been below 3.5 per cent every week since June 30. Borrowers are taking advantage of these low rates by refinancing. The latest Weekly Applications Survey results from the Mortgage Bankers Association show refinance activity up 55 percent since last year," said Sean Becketti, Freddie’s chief economist.