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  • Tue, Mar 4 2014
  • 8:35 PM » Bernanke enjoys 'fruits of free market' with first post-Fed speech
    Published Tue, Mar 04 2014 8:35 PM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - Ben Bernanke earned more in 40 minutes on Tuesday than he made all of last year as head of the U.S. Federal Reserve. Bernanke was paid at least $250,000 for his first public speaking engagement, in Abu Dhabi, since stepping down in January, according to sources familiar with the matter. That compares to his 2013 paycheck of $199,700, and the appearance was only the first of three around the world this week.
  • 8:35 PM » Chinese Investors Aren't Snatching Up Detroit Property, Yet
    Published Tue, Mar 04 2014 8:35 PM by www.npr.org
    While Chinese investors have been eyeing cheap real estate in Detroit since the city's bankruptcy filing last year, they're not in a tremendous rush to buy.
  • 8:35 PM » NAHB Applauds House Passage of Flood Insurance Bill
    Published Tue, Mar 04 2014 8:35 PM by NAHB
    Press Release
  • 5:09 PM » White House says housing agency won't need Treasury aid
    Published Tue, Mar 04 2014 5:09 PM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON, March 4 (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Housing Administration, which turned to the Treasury for aid in 2013, will avoid that fate this year because of efforts to shore up its finances, the White House predicted in its budget proposal on Tuesday. Last year, White House budget writers said the FHA, which is a [...]
  • 5:09 PM » Builder Financing May Be Troublesome
    Published Tue, Mar 04 2014 5:09 PM by The Huffington Post
    "I purchased a home from builder XYZ for $320,000, and have a $10,666 Realtor rebate coming back to me. (2/3 of 5% of $320,000). The builder had me sign a paper that says the Realtor rebate can only be used to pay settlement costs. In addition, if I use XYZ's lender, the lender will pay $5,000 toward my settlement costs. I can't imagine that my settlement costs will add to the $15,666 credit that I have. What happens to the excess? Will the builder take it off the purchase price?" Rebate of the Realtor's Commission The rebate of the Realtor's commission can only be used as a credit against closing costs. If the rebate is not fully needed for that purpose, the Realtor will keep it - it will not be taken off the purchase price. Why is the builder willing to charge you $320K and pay $10K of your costs, but is not willing to reduce the price to $310K? While they cost the builder the same amount on your transaction, they have different implications for other transactions. By defining the price reduction as a rebate, the builder retains flexibility to adjust prices on a case-by-case basis, as circumstances dictate. These circumstances include differences between individual buyers - some must be persuaded to buy, while others don't. It also includes possible changes in the market over time. If demand picks up and sales increase, the rebate may no longer be necessary to stimulate sales. If the lender reduced your price to $310K rather than offering the rebate, he would lose this flexibility. All the houses in the same price bracket of his sub-division would have to be reduced to $310K. In part, this is because potential buyers would become aware that units were being sold for $310K. In addition, if your house was sold for $310K, appraisals of houses in the same price bracket probably will come back no higher than $310K. Appraised values are based on the most recent prices of comparable properties, and in a sub-division the comparable properties...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Huffington Post
  • 3:39 PM » Having Children Major Driver of Spending Patterns in U.S.
    Published Tue, Mar 04 2014 3:39 PM by www.gallup.com
    Americans with children younger than 18 report spending more money per day, on average, than those without children and those with children who are now adults. Further, spending rises in households that have more underage children.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.gallup.com
  • 3:38 PM » Income Distribution Like You Have Never Seen It
    Published Tue, Mar 04 2014 3:38 PM by The Big Picture
    click for larger chart Source: Visualizing Economics   When it comes to the top 0.01 percent of earners, it is extremely challenging to describe the differences in terms of income. Words often fail to convey the massive range. Fortunately for us, Catherine Mulbrandon of Visualizing Economics has put together a simple chart that shows just... Read More
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Big Picture
  • 2:37 PM » Dearest Seller: Your Home Is Like a Red, Red Rose - Bloomberg
    Published Tue, Mar 04 2014 2:37 PM by Bloomberg
    Dearest Seller: Your Home Is Like a Red, Red Rose Bloomberg Joel Goyette and Margaret Cooley walked into the open house for a two-bedroom 1920s Craftsman in Berkeley, California, and knew they'd found their dream house. So did 10 other couples. Having lost out in two bidding wars, the couple decided to try to  ...
  • 12:50 PM » White House wants $1 billion put in affordable housing fund
    Published Tue, Mar 04 2014 12:50 PM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The independent regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should force the government-run companies to finance a federal affordable housing trust fund established by Congress six year ago, the Obama administration said on Tuesday. U.S. President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2015 budget proposal again calls for a $1 billion appropriation to capitalize the [...]
  • 12:47 PM » Credit reporting remains a CFPB top priority
    Published Tue, Mar 04 2014 12:47 PM by www.cfpbmonitor.com
    Kim Phan Credit reporting was the first industry targeted by the CFPB using its "larger participant" supervisory authority. As demonstrated by the CFPB’s actions last week, credit reporting continues to be a high CFPB priority and is likely to remain as such for the foreseeable future. On February 27, CFPB Director Richard Cordray delivered remarks before a... More >
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.cfpbmonitor.com
  • 12:24 PM » Austin homeowners cash in big during crowded SXSW
    Published Tue, Mar 04 2014 12:24 PM by CNBC
    Homeowners are cashing in on the overwhelming demand for hotel rooms during SXSW by renting out their homes for a premium during the conference.
  • 11:27 AM » SIFMA: Holes in the Volcker Rule
    Published Tue, Mar 04 2014 11:27 AM by SIFMA
    SIFMA: Holes in the Volcker Rule<br/>http://www.sifma.org/holes-in-the-volcker-rule/
  • 10:40 AM » Economic Confidence Unchanged in February
    Published Tue, Mar 04 2014 10:40 AM by www.gallup.com
    Gallup's Economic Confidence Index reading of -16 for February marked the end of a three-month recovery since the federal government shutdown in October that drove confidence down to -35.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.gallup.com
  • 10:40 AM » Beware the ‘Walking Closet': Mistakes in Home Listings Bother Buyers
    Published Tue, Mar 04 2014 10:40 AM by blog.redfin.com
    In honor of National Grammar Day, Redfin and Grammarly examined whether grammar and spelling matter to people shopping for a home online. Read More The post Beware the ‘Walking Closet’: Mistakes in Home Listings Bother Buyers appeared first on Redfin Real Estate Blog .
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: blog.redfin.com
  • 10:39 AM » Can Listing Be Used to Predict Home Prices?
    Published Tue, Mar 04 2014 10:39 AM by WSJ
    Economists in both the public and private sector are striving to produce real-time price indices like the ones available for more liquid assets like stocks.
  • 10:35 AM » Gross Says Central Banks Must Sway Investors for Assets to Rise - Bloomberg
    Published Tue, Mar 04 2014 10:35 AM by Bloomberg
    Gross Says Central Banks Must Sway Investors for Assets to Rise Bloomberg Pacific Investment Management Co.'s Bill Gross said if global central banks can convince investors that their policies can reproduce the "old" normal economy, then risk assets will have higher future returns. "Presumably the trickle-down wealth effect of  ... and more »
  • 10:12 AM » US stocks rise at the start as Ukraine fears ease
    Published Tue, Mar 04 2014 10:12 AM by CNBC
    U.S. stocks jumped on Tuesday, with the Dow and S&P 500 bouncing back after their worst hit in a month, as concern over the Ukraine ebbed.
  • 9:24 AM » Bernanke: Fed could have done more
    Published Tue, Mar 04 2014 9:24 AM by CNBC
    Ben Bernanke said the Fed could have done more to fight the financial crisis and that he struggled to find the right way to communicate with markets.
  • 8:40 AM » Wall Street Has Found Its Latest Dangerous Financial Product, Activists Warn
    Published Tue, Mar 04 2014 8:40 AM by The Huffington Post
    Housing and consumer activists warn that Wall Street is about to crash the housing market -- again. The activists said they are particularly concerned about the growing number of companies looking to issue bonds backed by rental properties -- bonds that a coalition of groups described as "eerily like" those mortgage-backed securities that helped fuel the last housing bubble. "We are poised to experience another crisis if federal regulators fail to recognize and take corrective action to address red flags that are all too familiar," more than 75 housing and consumer groups wrote in a letter Tuesday to federal bank and housing regulators. The 2008 housing crisis happened because banks were willing to give even risky borrowers a mortgage, driving home prices to unsustainable peaks. Those mortgages got sold into bonds that defaulted once homebuyers stopped making their monthly payments. This time, gun-shy bankers are hard-pressed to give anyone but the most stellar borrowers a mortgage, said the groups, which include California Reinvestment Coalition and the National Consumer Law Center. Yet, home prices are rising again. That's because Wall Street investors with deep pockets and the ability to pay cash for homes are muscling out ordinary buyers in places hard-hit by the housing crisis, like Phoenix and Atlanta. Once these wealthy investors have bought the homes, they flip them into rentals -- often covering up large issues like plumbing and mold with cosmetic fixes. The letter demands "immediate federal intervention" to rebalance the housing market in favor of qualified borrowers who currently can't get affordable mortgage loans, and away from Wall Street and other cash investors who in some markets are buying nearly half of all available houses. The activists cited a previous HuffPost report that described how large investment companies sometimes prove to be lousy landlords . The letter warns a housing market dominated by all-cash...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Huffington Post
  • 8:38 AM » David Weidner's Writing on the Wall: Uncle Sam buying mortgages? Who knew?
    Published Tue, Mar 04 2014 8:38 AM by Market Watch
    Hedge-fund manager Bruce Berkowitz is surprised to find the government owns the majority of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and are doing a terrible job. Oh, and he wants to buy them.
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