Sat, July 31, 2010
This past May, sales of new homes plunged to the lowest levels seen since such data began to be recorded in 1963. June and July sales have been tepid. Are home sales likely to remain in a funk for a few years? Some demographers think it’s likely. Read the full article
Fri, October 23, 2009
Today the House Financial Services Committee approved a bill establishing the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA). Read the full article
Wed, September 30, 2009
Last week, the NPR show This American Life marked the anniversary of the housing-credit crisis by updating its entertaining report on the events that led to the collapse of the credit markets last year. Read the full article
Thu, September 17, 2009
Home mortgage interest has been a tax-deductible expense on Federal tax returns since 1913. But in a report issued recently, the General Accounting Office (GAO) has recommended that the IRS do a better job of enforcing the rules that apply to the mortgage interest deduction. Read the full article
Mon, July 27, 2009
Boston College’s Center for Retirement Research recently released a brief that examines whether people nearing retirement should pay down their mortgages.
Read the full article
Wed, June 03, 2009
With the economy still in the doldrums, doing a home renovation could be an excellent idea. It’s a bit counter-intuitive, but hear me out. Read the full article
Thu, May 28, 2009
A couple of items at the Calculated Risk blog caught my eye today; both suggest that mortgage rates might well be headed higher. Read the full article
Tue, March 10, 2009
For buyers in the most expensive housing markets, the rules concerning “conforming” mortgages have been confusing over the last year or so. Conforming mortgages are eligible to be purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-run companies that together own or guarantee most home mortgages. One benefit of a conforming mortgage is the all-important interest rate: mortgages whose values exceed a specified amount are not conforming and typically carry interest rates that are ¾% or more higher than conforming mortgage rates. Read the full article
Wed, October 01, 2008
Congress voted down the Troubled Assets Relief Program ("TARP") legislation, much to the chagrin of the financial markets. At the moment, the markets continue to be in distress, despite a "dead cat bounce" in stocks today. What should you be doing in terms of your household finances? Read the full article
Thu, September 11, 2008
The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston recently issued an interesting analysis of the nature of the subprime mortgage crisis in Massachusetts. Using data on mortgages, home equity loans, and deeds recorded between January 1987 and March 2008, the researchers were able to examine in detail the nature of the loans that ended in foreclosure. Some of their conclusions are surprising, while most fall in line with what one might have guessed. Read the full article
Thu, September 11, 2008
As the graph below from BlogPulse.com shows, the announcement of the Fannie-Freddie takeover generated a burst of activity in the blogosphere.
In perusing some of the posts on the topic, it looks as though a lot of people are upset at what appears to them to be a bailout. In fact, it is a bailout, but at this point in the game, I think the U.S. Treasury really had very little choice. Read the full article
Mon, September 08, 2008
The Treasury Department's much-anticipated plan to prop up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has finally been (mostly) revealed. The move should help a bit to keep mortgage markets afloat, but if you're not sure what all the fuss is about, this short primer should help.
Read the full article
Tue, July 08, 2008
It wasn't that long ago that mortgage lenders were eager to extend credit lines to anyone with a pulse and a property title. Alas, the industry's mood has turned with the swooning of housing prices: frugal caution has displaced wild abandon. Many homeowners, unaware that their lines of credit could be curtailed summarily, have been unpleasantly surprised. Read the full article
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