Source: Realtor.com –
Now that the U.S. government is once again up and running, it’s time to take stock of the government shutdown’s impact on the real estate market (especially the mortgage end of that market), and what happens immediately going forward.
One quick red flag comes from the National Association of Home Builders, which reports that newly-built single-family homes were down two points in October. The NAHB says the decline may be due, in part, to the shutdown; but now that Uncle Sam is back in the chips the decline should be reversed in the coming months.
“A spike in mortgage interest rates, along with the paralysis in Washington that led to the government shutdown and uncertainty regarding the nation’s debt limit, have caused builders and consumers to take pause,” NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe said on Wednesday, just as a deal was being reached in Congress. “However, interest rates remain near historic lows and we don’t expect the level of rates to have a major impact on sales and starts going forward. Once this government impasse is resolved we expect builder and consumer optimism will bounce back.”
Source: Los Angeles Times –
The Federal Housing Finance Agency is pushing Fannie and Freddie to chase down borrowers who can make home loan payments but choose not to.
Anyone thinking of skating on mortgages owned by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac may want to think again. As a result of new government reports, the two companies say they are going to do a better job of going after so-called strategic defaulters.
Fannie and Freddie can pursue judgments against borrowers who walk away from their loans even though they have the ability to make their payments. That’s called a strategic default, and many borrowers are taking that step — typically throwing in the towel because their homes are no longer worth as much as they owe.
Source: Inman News –
The fact that a house might be home to spooks is not enough in itself to deter most homebuyers, according to a realtor.com survey of 1,400 consumers that ran on the site from Sept. 25 to Oct. 1.
More than half (62 percent) of the survey’s respondents said they “would” or “might” consider purchasing a haunted house, but an overwhelming majority (88 percent) said they would need some sort of discount to shack up in a home they suspected was filled with ghosts.