If Congress shuts the government tomorrow (i.e., tonight at midnight), how will that affect mortgages? With Fannie and Freddie backing 90+ percent of them, and FHA loans being so popular, it’s an important question.
CNN has the answers, but here’s the gist:
Fannie and Freddie will continue to operate. They aren’t funded by the government; they make their money via fees.
However, FHA, VA, and USDA loan applications won’t be processed.
NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index (which measures contracts, but not closings) was up 5.8 percent in August from the year before, marking 28 months of annual increases. (It was down from July, but that’s typical — sales taper off after summer.)
NAR also expects total existing-home sales to be up about 11 percent in 2013 compared to 2012.
You can view and download the latest Virginia Home Sales Report right here on VAR's website.
Forbes has ranked Virginia the number-one state for business. We had been #2 since 2009.
This contrasts (or contradicts) the CNBC ranking from earlier this year that had us slip to #5.
Here’s part of what Forbes had to say:
Sales numbers can look bleak as the market begins to experience its seasonal decline, but the market it still looking strong in Virginia. Sales are holding steady compared to previous years. In fact, Virginia has seen more sales this summer than it has since 2007.
Now is a good time to sell. Sounds backwards, right? Aren’t we supposed to repeat the “good time to buy” mantra?
The sellers’ market we’re in will soon be coming to a close. The pendulum will begin swinging back. No, that doesn’t mean that prices will plummet and we’ll be back to 2008 — just that we’re about to see a leveling off.
Follow the bouncing ball:
A few of the recent rankings reports released had Virginia well represented, so I figured I’d share.
First, seven Virginia cities were added to the National Association of Home Builders’ Improving Market Index – it "tracks housing markets throughout the country that are showing signs of improving economic health."
Blacksburg, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, Lynchburg, Roanoke, and Virginia Beach are on for the first time; Richmond and Williamsburg were already on the list. The only cloud: Danville dropped off the list this month.
VAR editor, Andrew Kantor recently wrote a great Op/Ed on Virginia’s housing market which ran in the Virginian-Pilot out of Hampton Roads, VA. Check it out!
A coming change to the housing market is an opportunity to kick the economy back into high gear – but, if we don’t all work together, it could stagnate the housing market and maybe the rest of the economy as well.
Thousands of people who lost their homes to foreclosure are reaching the point where their credit has cleared enough for them to re-enter the market.
Unfortunately, just as these “boomerang buyers” are beginning to get on their financial feet, there aren’t enough homes for them to buy.
That’s fixable, but it still puts us at a crossroads of the economic recovery.
Don’t just read the Q2 Homes Sales Report. Experience it. Well, watch the video, anyway.
Check out our own Stacey Ricks’s overview of the numbers, including the big one: We passed a major milestone, and the market is now performing better even than it did than in the second quarter of 2010 when it got a boost from tax incentives.
In other words, this is the best the market has been with or without the added tax-incentive boost.
Every month, Trulia looks at asking prices for homes and asking rents for rentals. And they’ve been going up for a while now.
In its latest report, for example, Trulia found that asking prices were up 11.0 percent in August from a year before (and up 1.2 percent month to month).
But the company adds an important note: It found that the rate of those price jumps was slowing.
When it looked at the numbers in three-month chunks (e.g., May-June-July vs. June-July-August) numbers, it found that price rises were tapering off.
Feb-Mar-Apr: +4.0 percent
May-Jun-Jul: +3.2 percent
Jun-Jul-Aug: +3.0 percent
Fannie Mae is going to fix a small problem with its software. It turns out, the company’s computers don’t recognize short sales.
What that means is that short sales (which typically keep someone from buying a home for two years) had to be labeled as foreclosures (which typically keep someone from buying a home for seven years).
That’s a huge problem in states with high short-sale rates, such as Florida. And that’s why Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) took up the cause. Working with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Nelson got Fannie to agree to a fix.
By November 16, people who make short sales will have that properly labeled in Fannie’s system.