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  • Wed, Jun 2 2010
  • 3:16 PM » BofA: Mortgage Walkaways Have Huge Incentive
    Published Wed, Jun 02 2010 3:16 PM by CNBC
    This morning executives at Bank of America rolled out their new "Principal Reduction Enhancement" program, which is an earned principal forgiveness plan for borrowers behind on their mortgages and whose loans are at least 20 percent underwater in value.
  • 3:16 PM » Senate-Passed Supplemental Includes NCSHA-Supported Extension of Rural Home Loan Guarantee Program
    Published Wed, Jun 02 2010 3:16 PM by National Council of State Housing Agencies
    On May 27, the Senate passed its
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: National Council of State Housing Agencies
  • 10:36 AM » How Much Economic Growth Is “Artificial”?
    Published Wed, Jun 02 2010 10:36 AM by The Big Picture
    <Click on table for larger image> • Congressional Budget Office (CBO) – The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) contains a variety of provisions intended to boost economic activity and employment in the United States. Section 1512(e) of the law requires the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to comment on the reports filed by certain recipients of funding under ARRA that detail how many jobs were created or retained through funded activities. This CBO report fulfills that requirement. It also provides CBO’s estimates of ARRA’s overall impact on employment and economic output in the first quarter of calendar year 2010. Those estimates—which CBO considers more comprehensive than the recipients’ reports—are based on evidence from similar policies enacted in the past and on the results of various economic models. Comment The table below shows actual GDP statistics over the last six years. Combining it with the table above, some interesting facts are revealed: • Q3 2009 Final GDP real growth was 2.2%. The CBO estimates that 1.3% to 2.7% was due to government stimulus. So excluding stimulus it is possible Q3 2009 was still negative. • Q4 2009 Final GDP real growth was 5.6%. The CBO estimates that 1.1% to 3.6% was due to government stimulus. So excluding stimulus it is possible Q4 2009 was as low as 2.0%. • Q1 2010 Preliminary GDP real growth was 3.0%. The CBO estimates that 1.7% to 4.2% was due to government stimulus. So excluding stimulus it is possible Q1 2010 was still negative. Add it up and only one quarter of the last seven (Q4 2009) has been able to show real growth in excess of government stimulus. Let’s be clear … real growth means standards of living are advancing. Real growth means that economies are being more productive and real useful jobs are being created. Government stimulus is an attempt to manipulate growth statistics via inefficient and wasteful government spending. Stimulus does not advance standards of living. While we agree that...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Big Picture
  • 10:36 AM » Ex-Moody's Workers Testify on Meltdown
    Published Wed, Jun 02 2010 10:36 AM by WSJ
    A former Moody's lawyer will tell a congressional panel that the company "gave up its analytical distinctiveness," partly by intimidating analysts who were too tough or angered influential investment bankers. Warren Buffett will also testify at the hearing.
  • 10:36 AM » Real Estate News: For CMBS, ‘Worst Is Yet to Come’
    Published Wed, Jun 02 2010 10:36 AM by Google News
    Here is a look at real-estate news in today's WSJ:
  • 10:36 AM » Job cuts close to unchanged in May vs April
    Published Wed, Jun 02 2010 10:36 AM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - The number of planned layoffs at U.S. companies in May was almost unchanged from April, when they touched a four-year low, suggesting employers are more upbeat about the economic outlook, a report on Wednesday showed.
  • 10:36 AM » Goldman Seeks to Resolve Fraud Charge
    Published Wed, Jun 02 2010 10:36 AM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: On May 28, the Wall Street Journal stated that Goldman Sachs Group Inc. () intends to avoid fraud charges in any settlement that it reaches with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). On April 16, 2010, the SEC had filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in New York against the company accusing it for misleading investors by misrepresenting facts in its mortgage-backed securities of over $1 billion. The SEC's complaint accuses the investment bank for creating a collateralized debt obligation (CDO), which was made up of mortgage-backed securities.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 10:36 AM » Moody's CEO: Investors Shouldn't Rely on Ratings
    Published Wed, Jun 02 2010 10:36 AM by CNBC
    Moody's CEO: Investors Shouldn't Rely on Ratings
  • 10:36 AM » HUD AWARDS SIX HOUSING AUTHORITIES $113.6 MILLION TO REVITALIZE PUBLIC HOUSING, TRANSFORM SURROUNDING NEIGHBORHOOD
    Published Wed, Jun 02 2010 10:36 AM by HUD
    WASHINGTON - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan announced today that six public housing authorities will receive $113.6 million to transform distressed public housing developments in their cities into mixed-income communities. Housing authorities in Charlotte, NC, Covington, KY, Dallas, TX, Jersey City and Trenton, NJ, and Memphis, TN were each able to develop highly successful revitalization plans, including effectively incorporating early childhood education programs- a priority for the Obama Administration.
  • 10:36 AM » 18% of MLOs Hold More Than One License
    Published Wed, Jun 02 2010 10:36 AM by nmlssafeact.wordpress.com
    While most MLOs hold a single state license, over 13,000 of the MLOs in NMLS hold licenses in more than one state. For SAFE compliance, this means checking with in each state to be sure that state testing and, in some cases, state-specific education is completed. The average ratio is 1.6 state licenses per MLO. Filed under: ,
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: nmlssafeact.wordpress.com
  • 8:35 AM » Fannie Mae: Serious Delinquencies decline in March
    Published Wed, Jun 02 2010 8:35 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Breaking a trend ... Click on graph for larger image in new window. Fannie Mae today that the rate of serious delinquencies - at least 90 days behind - for conventional loans in its single-family guarantee business decreased to 5.47% in March, down from 5.59% in February - and up from 3.13% in March 2009. "Includes seriously delinquent conventional single-family loans as a percent of the total number of conventional single-family loans." This is the first decline since early 2006 and could be because Fannie (and Freddie and the FHA) are moving ahead with foreclosures. As noted last month, the combined REO (Real Estate Owned) inventory for Fannie, Freddie and the FHA increased by 22% in Q1 2010 from Q4 2009. The REO inventory (foreclosed homes) increased 59% compared to Q1 2009 (year-over-year comparison). This graph shows the REO inventory for Fannie, Freddie and FHA through Q1 2010. Even with all the delays in foreclosure, the REO inventory has increased sharply over the last three quarters, from 135,868 at the end of Q2 2009, to 153,007 in Q3 2009, 172,357 at the end of Q4 2009 and now 209,500 at the end of Q4 2010. These are new records for all three agencies.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 8:34 AM » Judge Says Moody’s and S.&P. Are Not Underwriters
    Published Wed, Jun 02 2010 8:34 AM by NY Times
    A class-action suit charged that the rating agencies and some banks had misled clients about the safety of certain mortgage-backed securities.
  • 8:33 AM » Square Feet: Mezzanine Loans, Big in the Boom, Make a Comeback
    Published Wed, Jun 02 2010 8:33 AM by NY Times
    Mezzanine loans, popular during the real estate boom, are now “something people want to do again.”
  • 8:32 AM » Half a Dozen States Are Delaying Tax Refund Checks
    Published Wed, Jun 02 2010 8:32 AM by NY Times
    Some states are cash poor, and others also lack the ability to process tax returns on time.
  • 8:32 AM » The Best Places to Store Your Down Payment Money
    Published Wed, Jun 02 2010 8:32 AM by NY Times
    With interest rates so low, finding a place to store your down payment savings can be challenging.
  • 8:32 AM » Yen Weakens as Hatoyama Quits; China Shares Reach 13-Month Low
    Published Wed, Jun 02 2010 8:32 AM by Business Week
    The yen weakened after Japan’s Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said he would step down less than two months before elections. China’s stocks fell to a 13-month low amid concern fund-raising by banks will dilute shareholder value.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Business Week
  • 8:01 AM » Distressed House Sales: Movin' on up!
    Published Wed, Jun 02 2010 8:01 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From Carolyn Said at the San Francisco Chronicle: Foreclosures are going upscale across the Bay Area. ... Even more striking is the growth of mortgage defaults - the first step in the foreclosure process - in affluent ZIP codes. While the high-end numbers are far shy of the massive wave of lower-priced foreclosures, the growth reflects a significant shift in the foreclosure landscape ... Mortgage distress has moved upstream in part because of economic conditions ... Also in play [are] option ARM (adjustable rate mortgage) that's just beginning to cause problems. Option ARMs were very popular in the mid-to-high end bubble areas. Previous Chronicle analyses have found that option ARMs were heavily used in the Bay Area, accounting for 20 percent of all homes bought or refinanced here from 2004 to 2008. They were used for homes averaging about $823,000 in value. Although many of these loans already recast - or were refinanced - there are still quite a few that will recast over the next couple of years. Since Option ARMs were frequently used as "affordability products", many homeowners will not be able to afford the higher payments when the loans recast. Carolyn Said also notes that banks prefer short sales to foreclosures in the mid-to-high end areas. So just tracking foreclosures doesn't tell the entire story. I'm seeing more and more high end homes listed as short sales ... and this means there are more distressed sales coming in certain mid-to-high end bubble areas and also more price declines.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • Tue, Jun 1 2010
  • 11:25 AM » U.S. to Push Europe Stress Tests
    Published Tue, Jun 01 2010 11:25 AM by WSJ
    The U.S. intends to press its case for Europe to disclose publicly the results of bank stress tests as a way to calm jitters over the health of the Continent's financial system.
  • 11:25 AM » ECB Sees Deep Loan Losses for Banks
    Published Tue, Jun 01 2010 11:25 AM by WSJ
    Banks in the euro zone will suffer "considerable" loan losses this year and next, which could amount to an additional €195 billion ($239 billion) in write-downs and weigh on banks' profitability, the ECB said.
  • 11:25 AM » 1,000 Brokers Can't Be Wrong: Housing Market Headed for Stagnation
    Published Tue, Jun 01 2010 11:25 AM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: We’ve stated it before and we’ll say it again: we are firm believers in Edward Leamer’s thesis that ““. It continues to be the prism through which we view the economic cycle. It colors every investment idea we evaluate and how we position the . In short, the significance of the US housing market for the global economy cannot be overstated. Despite its importance to the economy, we still think there is a dearth of quality information about real-time trends in the housing market. The monthly data series on new and existing home sales provide investors with a reasonable snapshot of the US housing market overall.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 11:10 AM » Real Estate News: No More Mortgage Payments, How to Best Other Buyers
    Published Tue, Jun 01 2010 11:10 AM by Google News
    Here's a look at this morning and past weekend's real-estate news:
  • 11:10 AM » ISM Manufacturing Index Shows Expansion in May
    Published Tue, Jun 01 2010 11:10 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    PMI at 59.7% in May, down from 60.4% in April. From the Institute for Supply Management: Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in May for the 10th consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 13th consecutive month, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®. The report was issued today by Norbert J. Ore, CPSM, C.P.M., chair of the Institute for Supply Management™ Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. "The manufacturing sector grew for the 10th consecutive month during May. The rate of growth as indicated by the PMI is driven by continued strength in new orders and production. Employment continues to grow as manufacturers have added to payrolls for six consecutive months. The recovery continues to broaden as 16 of 18 industries report growth. There are a number of reports, particularly in the tech sector, of shortages of components; this is the result of excessive inventory de-stocking during the downturn." ... ISM's Employment Index registered 59.8 percent in May, which is 1.3 percentage points higher than the 58.5 percent reported in April . This is the sixth consecutive month of growth in manufacturing employment. An Employment Index above 49.8 percent, over time, is generally consistent with an increase in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data on manufacturing employment. emphasis added This was close to expectations of 59.5% and suggests continued growth in the manufacturing sector.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 11:09 AM » ECB reports on financial stability, warns of "contagion"
    Published Tue, Jun 01 2010 11:09 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    The ECB released the twice yearly report today. Here are couple of articles about the report: From the Financial Times: The eurozone’s financial sector and economy are facing “hazardous contagion” effects from the region’s debt crisis, according to the European Central Bank ... Taking into account writedowns already reported and loan loss provisions, some €90bn of writedowns have yet to feed through, it said. For 2011, it expected banks would have to make additional loan-loss provisions of about €105. except with permission There is also a video discussion with Martin Wolf and Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations. From the NY Times: ... the E.C.B. expressed particular concern about banks’ need to refinance some €800 billion, or $980 billion, in long-term debt by the end of 2012. Borrowing costs could rise as the banks compete with governments in the bond market “making it challenging to roll over a sizeable amount of maturing bonds by the end of 2012,” the report said.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 7:17 AM » Let The Feeding Frenzy Begin: Parkmerced In Default
    Published Tue, Jun 01 2010 7:17 AM by Google News
    Multifamily investors have been and continue to run around like addicts looking for their next fix. So surely there will be a frenzy to get a chomp at the bit of Parkmerced, the 116-acre San Francisco apartment community which has apparently gone to special servicing. Parkmerced is essentially the StuyTown of San Francisco. [via SF Chronicle]
  • 7:01 AM » For Some Homeowners in Foreclosure, a Rent-Free Approach
    Published Tue, Jun 01 2010 7:01 AM by NY Times
    Some overextended borrowers stop paying the mortgage and capitalize on the time that it takes to be evicted.
  • 7:01 AM » Chicago: Shadow Condo Inventory
    Published Tue, Jun 01 2010 7:01 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Just continuing a theme ... From Eddie Baeb at Crain's Chicago Business: The 35-story Lexington Park, near Michigan Avenue and Cermak Road, was surrendered last week by its Irish developer through a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. The private-equity venture that now owns the property acquired Corus Bank’s the distressed condo loans after the Chicago-based lender failed last fall. Just three buyers have closed on Lexington Park’s 333 units, according to property records. The tower, 2138 S. Indiana Ave., was supposed to be ready for occupancy in 2008. Hey, they closed on 1% percent of the units! Note that the developer just "walked away" (deed-in-lieu) and the original lender was Corus, the "Condo King". Unless listed for sale, these units are not included in the new or existing home inventory reports - real shadow inventory!
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 7:01 AM » S&P: EU House Prices May Dip
    Published Tue, Jun 01 2010 7:01 AM by WSJ
    European house prices are still too high, despite declines since the bursting of the bubble in 2007, and may fall again later this year or in 2011.
  • 7:01 AM » Fed Officials Upbeat On U.S. Recovery
    Published Tue, Jun 01 2010 7:01 AM by WSJ
    Two senior Federal Reserve officials were upbeat Monday about the U.S. economic recovery despite the worsening debt crisis in Europe, but gave no indication the Fed is anywhere near raising interest rates.
  • 7:01 AM » Do you ever need a credit score monitor?
    Published Tue, Jun 01 2010 7:01 AM by CNN
    The pitch: The FTC is cracking down on sites that mislead people into thinking they're getting a free credit report when they're really signing up for a monitoring service. (One offender: freecreditreport.com.) But don't expect ads for these services to end: All three credit bureaus still offer to watch your credit for $15 a month. They claim to protect you from fraud. But are they worth it?
  • 7:01 AM » MBS Ratings and the Mortgage Credit Boom.
    Published Tue, Jun 01 2010 7:01 AM by NY Fed
    Adam B. Ashcraft, Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham, and James Vickery. MBS Ratings and the Mortgage Credit Boom. Federal Reserve Bank of New York Staff Reports Staff Report Number 449, May 2010.
  • 7:01 AM » Shadow Inventory Remains The Big Question
    Published Tue, Jun 01 2010 7:01 AM by Google News
    What is the shadow inventory and why should we be concerned about it? The term "shadow inventory" has had various meanings and has been defined in different ways over the years. The point here is not to determine which is the "correct" or "original" meaning, but to make clear how the term is commonly used, to show the implications of defining it in different ways, and to demonstrate that a knowledge of shadow inventory is an important component of our ability to understand the realities of the real estate market in any given area.
  • Mon, May 31 2010
  • 10:06 AM » Should We End the 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage?
    Published Mon, May 31 2010 10:06 AM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: The United States is one of the only countries in the world with 30-year fixed rates for mortgages, and suggests that this is "an artifact of government intervention, and that without it we would have a simpler, safer mortgage finance system." For example, Canadian mortgages carry a fixed interest rate for a maximum of five years, and rates are then re-negotiated for the next five years, similar to a five-year adjustable rate. That type of five-year mortgage is much more typical around the world than the U.S. system of fixed-rates for 30 years. The reason the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has to be a creation of government intervention, and not the market , is that it is a one-sided loan arrangement that bestows huge benefits on the borrower, but with almost no compensating benefits for the lender/bank/thrift, i.e. it's "pro-borrower and anti-lender."
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 10:05 AM » NY Fed: Ratings Agencies Rubber-Stamped Mortgage Backed Securities
    Published Mon, May 31 2010 10:05 AM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is out with a report which shows the credit ratings agencies did in fact rubber stamp “shitty” mortgage backed securities (MBS). This report is going to hurt firms like Moody’s (NYSE: ) which are . S&P (NYSE: ) and Fitch will be shaking too. If you’re not interested in academic reading on this nice holiday weekend, here is your Cheat Sheet to the NY Feds findings:
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 10:04 AM » House Prices Down, Property Taxes . . .Up?
    Published Mon, May 31 2010 10:04 AM by Google News
    One of the worries as house prices began their now three-year plunge back in 2007 was the affect of falling values would have on budgets of cities and other local governments, which rely heavily on property taxes. Well it turns out, property tax revenue is far more resilient than people thought. The strength of the [...]
  • 10:03 AM » Why we shouldn’t subsidize construction
    Published Mon, May 31 2010 10:03 AM by Reuters
    I’ve received some great feedback on my on subsidizing construction loans, especially from , who points out that if you want a short-term jobs boost which doesn’t increase U.S. imports very much, then construction is a great area to subsidize. Lindmark cites in support of his argument, which is always a good sign, but it’s worth noting that Mike kicks off his post by noting that he’s “never been a big fan of home construction as a driver of economic growth”. It’s a cheap high, and the hangover is always brutal. Meanwhile, commenter points me to from today’s Raleigh News Observer. He does so because Brad Miller specifically singled out Raleigh as a city where new construction was needed. The first line says it all: Hue, the multicolor building that is the largest condo project ever attempted in downtown Raleigh, closed its sales office without ever selling a unit. Of course, one 208-unit condo is not necessarily representative of the new-construction market more generally. But its fate does help explain why lenders might be reluctant to throw good money after bad when it comes to construction loans. Miller, too, emailed with some good points: Subprime lending was not driven by home ownership; home ownership was the political excuse for it… Only about ten percent of subprime loans were for the purchase of first homes. More than 70 percent, as I recall, were refinances… and the vast majority of homeowners who got subprime mortgages qualified for prime mortgages… Oversupply undoubtedly was a result of the bubble in many markets. Of course home builders built like crazy when they could sell houses for much more than houses cost to build. But I suspect that an oversupply of houses is less of a factor in the collapse than is widely assumed… When we come out of this we’re going to have to reinvent our housing market, by the way. Have you thought much about that? This is all true; the peak level of home ownership in this country predates the subprime bubble, and the bursting...
  • 10:03 AM » Is Mortgage Mediation the Answer?
    Published Mon, May 31 2010 10:03 AM by CNBC
    Obviously, given the sheer number of troubled borrowers (approximately 6 million currently delinquent nationwide) there are ample opportunities for mistakes to be made.
  • 10:03 AM » HUD Releases Choice Neighborhoods FY 2010 NOFA Pre-Notice
    Published Mon, May 31 2010 10:03 AM by National Council of State Housing Agencies
    HUD posted its to give potential applicant
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: National Council of State Housing Agencies
  • 9:48 AM » The Failure of Market Forces in the Non-Agency MBS Market
    Published Mon, May 31 2010 9:48 AM by www.fixedincomecolor.com
    This article originally appeared in the June 2010 issue of Asset Securitization Report (www. structuredfinancenews.com) Any examination of the causes of the financial crisis is exceedingly complex, with a variety of causes that include bad lending, monetary policy mistakes, a bubble in real estate prices, bank capitalization, etc. In this light, the recent congressional hearings on Goldman Sachs should not be dismissed as mere theatrics, as they highlighted the industry’s willingness and ability to unload defective transactions into the market. A candid assessment of the causes of the crisis and the future of securitized lending forces us to address why the “market forces” that had protected investors in prior years failed to prevent the market from being flooded with flawed securities. It is imperative that we understand and identify market functions, determine why they broke down and devise both market- and regulation- based remedies.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.fixedincomecolor.com
  • 9:48 AM » Whither Fannie and Freddie? A Proposal for Reforming the Housing GSEs
    Published Mon, May 31 2010 9:48 AM by www.fixedincomecolor.com
    by Donald Marron and Phillip Swagel We propose a specific reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) that securitize and guarantee conforming mortgages. Our plan protects taxpayers and the overall economy from the systemic risk posed by the former GSE model, while ensuring that financing remains available for housing even in periods of credit market strains. Under this proposal the two firms would become private companies that buy conforming mortgages and bundle them into securities that are eligible for government backing. The reformed firms would not have the investment portfolios that were the main source of risk under their previous structure. The federal government would offer a guarantee on mortgage-backed securities composed of conforming loans. This guarantee would be explicit, backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. To compensate taxpayers for taking on housing risk, Fannie and Freddie would pay an actuarially fair fee to the government in return for the guarantee, and the shareholders of the firms would take losses before the government guarantee kicks in.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.fixedincomecolor.com
  • 9:48 AM » Condo Shadow Inventory
    Published Mon, May 31 2010 9:48 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Here is the earlier post: (it will be a busy week). From Buck Wargo at the Las Vegas Sun: Through the end of April, MGM Mirage and Dubai World, the owners of the project, have closed on 78 of 1,543 units at the Vdara condo-hotel, according to SalesTraq. ... Houston-based Metrostudy reported that Las Vegas has more than 8,200 condominium units that are sitting empty, including those still vacant in CityCenter. This is a reminder that unless these condos are listed, they do not show up as either existing or new home inventory (the new home report doesn't include high rise condos). There are some areas - like Las Vegas and Miami - that have a huge number of vacant high rise condos. But there are also many smaller buildings that are mostly vacant in a number of cities (like in , and ). This is part of the shadow inventory ...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
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More From MND

Mortgage Rates:
  • 30 Yr FRM 4.20%
  • |
  • 15 Yr FRM 3.33%
  • |
  • Jumbo 30 Year Fixed 4.04%
MBS Prices:
  • 30YR FNMA 4.5 107-28 (-0-00)
  • |
  • 30YR FNMA 5.0 110-09 (0-01)
  • |
  • 30YR FNMA 5.5 110-27 (-0-01)
Recent Housing Data:
  • Mortgage Apps 2.43%
  • |
  • Refinance Index 4.14%
  • |
  • FHFA Home Price Index 0.67%