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News from the mortgage front

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Refinance transactions down Third quarter refinance transactions totaled around $69 billion, according to Freddie Mac’s quarterly refinance survey. Refinance activity fell from approximately $97 billion during the second quarter. Home equity loans and other cashout transactions of $60 billion were down nearly 25 percent from the prior period. Letter designed to help subprime victims Mortgagechronicle.com… Continue Reading News from the mortgage front

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Good news, for a change, for building industry

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Amid the daily reports about a continually sagging residential housing industry, commercial constructors say they have something to celebrate. The Associated General Contractors of America says Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show that during the past 12 months, employment in the three nonresidential categories – nonresidential building, specialty trades, plus heavy and civil engineering –… Continue Reading Good news, for a change, for building industry

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Residential building lags

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McGraw-Hill said this week that new construction starts fell 9 percent during September and 11 percent year-to-date for the first nine months of 2007 combined, compared to same period of 2006. The industry analyst broke new construction into three subcategories: nonbuilding, nonresidential and residential construction. Nonbuilding construction was up 6 percent year-to-date but was down… Continue Reading Residential building lags

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FHA-approved lenders offer subprime antidote

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Countrywide Financial Corp. announced its intention this week to help 82,000 subprime borrowers facing higher payments to stay in their homes. But, the company is not the only financial institution promoting FHA fixed-rate refinanced or restructured loans to borrowers overwhelmed by high-risk escalating adjustable rate mortgages. The HUD-sponsored program, launched Sept. 5 with the support… Continue Reading FHA-approved lenders offer subprime antidote

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Cumulative declines in single-family construction and building permit authorizations is approaching 50 percent, said David Seiders, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders. He also said annual rates for both starts and building permits fell below the million-unit market for the first time since 1995. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index dropped to… Continue Reading Single family home building declines approach 50%

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Colorado fares well on risky home value list

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PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. has released its list of the “riskiest” markets [1.2MB pdf] for home appreciation, and the news is generally good for Colorado’s homeowners. The ranking is based on data from the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight House Price Index. While Riverside-San Berandino-Ontario, Calif. tops the list, metropolitan areas such as Las… Continue Reading Colorado fares well on risky home value list

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2008 construction bills to be even bigger

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Material and labor cost increases for construction are expected to be larger in 2008 than in the past 12 months, The Associated General Contractors of America said. AGC, a trade group, made the announcement today in its fifth Construction Inflation Alert, warning owners, budget setters and contractors of the expected higher costs. “Nonresidential construction has… Continue Reading 2008 construction bills to be even bigger

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Mortgage industry employment down – way down

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Mortgage and subprime lenders have announced nearly 70,000 layoffs in the first three quarters of 2007, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., which tracks corporate job cut announcements. That’s a more than five-fold increase from the 12,874 announced job losses in mortgage lending tallied by Challenger in all of 2006. “The heaviest job cutting… Continue Reading Mortgage industry employment down – way down

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Pending home sales index at lowest level ever

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Pending sales of existing-homes will be dampened as mortgage disruptions continue to impact the housing market, says the National Association of Realtors. The NAR Pending Home Sales Index fell 6.5 percent to 85.5 from a revised 91.4 during July, based on contracts signed in August. It was 21.5 percent below the August 2006 index of… Continue Reading Pending home sales index at lowest level ever

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Mortgage sector to blame for job cuts

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About 37 percent of September job cuts were connected to the housing industry, which continues to slump, according to consulting firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas. Housing-related layoffs totaled 26,465 during September, while overall layoffs for the month totaled 71,739. The consulting firm considers mortgage lenders, construction companies and real estate firms the industries that make… Continue Reading Mortgage sector to blame for job cuts

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