week’s economic news included a few developments connected with housing
and mortgage industries. While no economic reports were released on
Monday, the rest of the week provided good news for existing home sales,
home prices and mortgage rates.
The National Association of REALTORS® reported that existing home
sales in September exceeded expectations and the prior month’s reading
with a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.17 million sales.
Three of four U.S. regions posted higher sales of previously owned
homes with only the Midwest region reporting a decline in existing home
sales. Analysts said that consistent job growth and improved access to
mortgage loans are two keys to improving U.S. housing markets.
FHFA, the agency that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reported
that home prices for properties associated with Fannie Mae and Freddie
Mac mortgages rose by 0.50 percent in August.
In a separate development, FHFA Director Mel Watt said that the
agency is reviewing policies that could lessen lender concerns over
requests to repurchase Fannie and Freddie loans due to early defaults or
other deficiencies. This was seen as a possible solution to current
strict mortgage approval requirements that are limiting access to home
loans by first-time and moderate income buyers.
Mortgage Rates Fall, Weekly Jobless Claims Rise...Read More