Posts Tagged ‘ lender processing services ’

Home Prices Continue to Climb as Year Winds Down

Home Prices Continue to Climb as Year Winds Down

BY: KRISTA FRANKS BROCK AND ASHLEY R. HARRIS

Despite the cooling temperatures, home prices continue to heat up across the country. The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA’s) recently released Home Price Index posted an increase over the third quarter, a trend that has continued over the past nine quarters. The index, which incorporates sales data from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, rose 2 percent over the third quarter and 8.4 percent over the year.

LPS reported similar findings. National home prices rose 0.2 percent over the month in September, reaching $232,000 for the month, according to Lender Processing Services’ Home Price Index, which was released Monday. Year-over-year prices rose 9 percent in September, according to LPS.

At their current level, prices are about 14 percent below their peak reached in June 2006.

“Overall, the housing market experienced another strong quarter, but price appreciation in the latter part of the quarter was relatively subdued,” said Andrew Leventis, principal economist at FHFA.

FHFA’s calculations are somewhat lower than those calculated by Case Shiller. Released Tuesday—the same day as the FHFA HPI—Case Shiller reported a 3.2 percent quarterly increase and an 11.2 percent annual increase for the third quarter.

FHFA also measured prices on a seasonally-adjusted basis over the month, detecting a 0.3 percent increase over the month of September.

While the yearly price increase stands at 8.4 percent, when accounting for inflation, prices rose about 7.2 percent over the year, according to FHFA.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia experienced rising prices over the year in September, according toFHFA.

Nevada posted the steepest price increase over the year in September, according to FHFA—a 25 percent rise.

California (23 percent), Arizona (15 percent), Florida (12 percent), and Washington (12 percent) followed.

At the other end of the spectrum, Mississippi posted the smallest increase at 1 percent.

Wyoming, New Mexico, Connecticut, and Delaware all followed with price gains hovering just above 2 percent.

Of the nine Census divisions, prices rose most over the year in the Pacific division—19.2 percent.

No price decreases were reported over the year, but the smallest gain took place in the Middle Atlantic division—2.9 percent.

Over the month of September, the East South Central division posted the greatest price increase—a 1.9 percent gain.

The Middle Atlantic and Mountain divisions both posted 0.1 percent declines—the only declines over the month.

Two divisions reported no price change—the New England and the West North Central divisions.

Nevada and Connecticut posted the greatest price changes over the month—though in opposite directions.

Home prices in Nevada jumped 0.8 percent over the month, while prices in Connecticut fell 0.9 percent.

Two Southern states followed Nevada, tying for the second-greatest price increases over the month according to LPS—Georgia and South Carolina. Both states posted price gains of 0.7 percent in September.

Illinois and Florida both experienced 0.5 percent price increases, and Washington D.C. and Wisconsin both experienced 0.4 percent gains.

Rounding out the top 10, Arizona, Texas, and Indiana all posted 0.3 percent increases in home prices over the month, according to LPS.

Several Northeaster states joined Connecticut on the list of top 10 price declines in September. New Hampshire (-0.6 percent), Massachusetts (-0.5 percent), Pennsylvania (-0.4 percent), Vermont (-0.3 percent), and New Jersey (-0.2 percent) all fell in the ranks.

Colorado (-0.4 percent), Alaska (-0.3 percent), and Iowa (-0.2 percent) were the exceptions.

 

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Home Price Growth Slower in July

Home Price Growth Slower in July

09/23/2013 BY: HUGH MOORE

On a month-by-month basis, home prices slowed their rebound in July according to a home values report released today by Lender Processing Services. LPS’s Home Pricing Index showed housing prices rose just 0.6 percent from June but were still up 8.7 percent from July of 2012.

“Though home price appreciation has slowed a bit at the national level, the rate of appreciation is still higher than at this point last year, and price gains continue to be broad-based across geographies,” said Raj Dosaj, Vice

President of Behavioral Models and HPI for LPS. “In addition, non-distressed sales have increased significantly from last year, reflecting an overall healthier real estate market. Moving forward, rising mortgage rates will have some downward pressure on prices and volumes but general economic improvement and pent up demand for housing may be strong enough to overcome those factors.”

All five of the largest state markets showed slower growth (California – 0.5 percent, Florida – 1.0 percent, New Jersy – 0.5 percent, New York – 0.8 percent, and Texas – 0.6 percent).

The largest metro area markets also slowed their home price appreciation (Chicago – 0.8 percent, Dallas – 0.6 percent, Los Angeles – 0.3 percent, New York – 0.8 percent and Washington, D.C. – 0.4 percent).

There were, however, encouraging signs of continued recovery in the report. Distressed properties fell significantly as an overall percentage of the market from this time last year.

 

Report Suggests Relaxing HARP Rules to Help More Borrowers

Report Suggests Relaxing HARP Rules to Help More Borrowers

07/15/2013 BY: ESTHER CHO

If two tweaks were made to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), refinancing activity could increase “substantially,” according to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Despite rising home prices, there are still millions of homeowners struggling with little to no equity, report authors Joshua Abel and Joseph Tracy explained.

Lender Processing Services’ most recent estimate found there are still 7.3 million loans that are underwater.

One “sensible response” to tackle the issue of negative equity is HARP, the report suggested. Since HARP’s 2009 inception, more than 2.5 million borrowers have been able to refinance under the program, and many of those borrowers were underwater.

For example, from January to April, 44 percent of homeowners who refinanced under the program had loan-to-value (LTV) ratios greater than 105 percent.

The researchers explained much of the program’s success is due to program changes in 2012, one of which included removing the 125 percent LTV ceiling. However, it might be time for even more program changes, the report stated.

One change would be to remove the cutoff date that limits eligibility to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans that were obtained by June 1, 2009. The second change would be to allow borrowers to refinance under the program more than once.

According to the New York Fed report, by eliminating the cutoff date entirely, the number of borrowers who would be “in-the-money” would increase substantially to more than 530,000, or by more than 30 percent. In-the-money borrowers are those who could recoup the costs of refinancing within three years based on the savings from HARP.

Under current guidelines, the authors estimate there are about 1.5 million borrowers who are eligible for HARP and in-the-money.

Additionally, by removing the rule that limits borrowers to just one HARP refinance, eligibility would increase by over 55 percent, the report found.

 

Administration Warns Delinquencies Remain High Despite Decreases

Administration Warns Delinquencies Remain High Despite Decreases

07/12/2013 BY: ESTHER CHO

Foreclosures and mortgage delinquencies may be declining, but that doesn’t mean the industry should let its guard down. In the Obama Administration’s latest housing scorecard, which provides an overview of the housing market based on private and public sector data, officials continued to warn of a “fragile” recovery despite improvements.

Recently, Lender Processing Services reported delinquencies have fallen 43 percent from their 2010 peak, while RealtyTrac found foreclosure starts decreased 45 percent year-over-year in June.

“Foreclosure starts and completions are down significantly from one year ago; and since January 2012, rising home values have lifted 2.4 million homeowners back above water. That said, we remain cautious because although mortgage delinquencies are trending down, they still remain quite high compared to historic norms,” said Kurt Usowski, assistant secretary for economic affairs at HUD.

To further prevent foreclosures, the administration is continuing foreclosure prevention efforts through its national programs. So far, the Making Home Affordable Program has provided more than 1.6 million homeowner assistance actions, of which 1.2 million were through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), according to the June scorecard, jointly released jointly by HUD and Treasury.

Homeowners who received a modification through HAMP had their monthly payments chopped down by $547, or 39 percent.

In addition, 69 percent of borrowers with non-GSE mortgages were able to receive a principal reduction with their HAMP modification in May.

“Homeowners who receive help from the Administration’sHAMP program continue to show success at avoiding foreclosure, which benefits families, communities and the economy,” said Tim Massad, assistant secretary for Treasury. “HAMP has also put into place important standards for the mortgage servicing industry that have improved outcomes for struggling families more broadly.”

Along with the scorecard, the administration also released the Making Home Affordable Program report, which included an overview of servicer performance when implementing HAMP.

After gathering data on largest servicers participating in the program, the report found 88 percent of HAMP trials started on or after June 1, 2010 were converted to permanent modifications, with an average trial length of 3.5 months.

When it came to resolving non-GSE escalations, servicers were able to resolve cases within the 30 calendar days provided in the second quarter of this year.

Administration Warns Delinquencies Remain High Despite Decreases

Administration Warns Delinquencies Remain High Despite Decreases

07/12/2013 BY: ESTHER CHO

Foreclosures and mortgage delinquencies may be declining, but that doesn’t mean the industry should let its guard down. In the Obama Administration’s latest housing scorecard, which provides an overview of the housing market based on private and public sector data, officials continued to warn of a “fragile” recovery despite improvements.

Recently, Lender Processing Services reported delinquencies have fallen 43 percent from their 2010 peak, while RealtyTrac found foreclosure starts decreased 45 percent year-over-year in June.

“Foreclosure starts and completions are down significantly from one year ago; and since January 2012, rising home values have lifted 2.4 million homeowners back above water. That said, we remain cautious because although mortgage delinquencies are trending down, they still remain quite high compared to historic norms,” said Kurt Usowski, assistant secretary for economic affairs at HUD.

To further prevent foreclosures, the administration is continuing foreclosure prevention efforts through its national programs. So far, the Making Home Affordable Program has provided more than 1.6 million homeowner assistance actions, of which 1.2 million were through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), according to the June scorecard, jointly released jointly by HUD and Treasury.

Homeowners who received a modification through HAMP had their monthly payments chopped down by $547, or 39 percent.

In addition, 69 percent of borrowers with non-GSE mortgages were able to receive a principal reduction with their HAMP modification in May.

“Homeowners who receive help from the Administration’s HAMP program continue to show success at avoiding foreclosure, which benefits families, communities and the economy,” said Tim Massad, assistant secretary for Treasury. “HAMP has also put into place important standards for the mortgage servicing industry that have improved outcomes for struggling families more broadly.”

Along with the scorecard, the administration also released the Making Home Affordable Program report, which included an overview of servicer performance when implementing HAMP.

After gathering data on largest servicers participating in the program, the report found 88 percent of HAMP trials started on or after June 1, 2010 were converted to permanent modifications, with an average trial length of 3.5 months.

When it came to resolving non-GSE escalations, servicers were able to resolve cases within the 30 calendar days provided in the second quarter of this year.

First-Time Buyers Have Smaller Budget, Interest in Foreclosures

First-Time Buyers Have Smaller Budget, Interest in Foreclosures

07/05/2013 BY: ESTHER CHO

First-time homebuyers tend to work with smaller budgets compared to repeat buyers, which increases the incentive to buy a foreclosure, according to blog from Doorsteps.com, a website that provides information to help potential homebuyers.

Citing a survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the website noted 65 percent of first-time buyers are open to the idea of purchasing a foreclosure despite all of the uncertainties surrounding distressed properties.

In addition, first-time buyers are also more likely to buy a foreclosure compared to a repeat buyer, according to the website.

Doorsteps.com provided three main reasons to explain this. For one, first-time buyers might have more of a reason to seek out discounted properties since they have a smaller budget. According to Doorsteps.com, first-time homebuyers spend an average of $154,100 on a home, which is $65,900 less that repeat buyers, who spend an average of $220,000.

According to the NAR, foreclosures sales offered an average discount of 15 percent compared to non-distressed sales in May.

First-time homebuyers might also have less of a reason to fear the unknown since it is likely they do not know as much about the buying process. In addition, with the abundance of foreclosures, first-time buyers might also view such properties as a “reasonable risk,” the website explained.

Data from Lender Processing Services showed there are a total of 4.56 million properties that are past due (includes delinquencies and foreclosure), of which 1.52 million are in foreclosure inventory as of May.

Foreclosure Sale Hike in Judicial States Sparks Inventory Decline

Foreclosure Sale Hike in Judicial States Sparks Inventory Decline

06/06/2013 BY: KRISTA FRANKS BROCK

National foreclosure inventory fell to 3.2 percent in April, its lowest level in four years, according to Lender Processing Services’ Mortgage Monitor report.

The report also revealed a hike in foreclosure sales in judicial states, which stimulated the decline in the national foreclosure inventory.

Foreclosure sales in judicial states jumped 17 percent over the month of April and reached their highest level since 2010 when foreclosure moratoria and process reviews brought the foreclosure process to a near halt across the nation, LPS stated.

However, “[t]he situation is far from resolved,” said Herb Belcher, SVP at LPS.

Despite the month’s increase, foreclosure inventories in judicial states remain seven times higher than levels occurring prior to the foreclosure crisis and are three times the levels seen in non-judicial states.

Belcher also warns, “recently announced moratoria will need to be monitored to determine the impact on timelines, as well as the rate of the improvement trend.”

Mortgage delinquencies nationwide declined 5.81 percent over the month of April. The national delinquency rate now stands at 6.21 percent.

LPS also calculated a 13.4 percent fall in delinquencies from January to April this year. The drop is the largest decline since 2004.

The highest non-current rates (includes delinquencies and foreclosures) are seen among judicial states. In fact, seven of the top 10 states for non-current loans occur in judicial states.

Florida tops the list with a 17.3 percent rate and is followed by New Jersey (15.3 percent), Mississippi (14.5 percent), Nevada (13 percent), New York (12.7 percent), Maine (12 percent).
Foreclosure timelines for judicial and non-judicial states continue to be disparate and are growing, according to LPS. By the time a loan reaches foreclosure sale, it has spent an average of 20.5 months in delinquency in non-judicial states and an average of 33.3 months in judicial states.

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