Saturday, August 9, 2008

2nd Quarter NM Homes Sales
Statewide the number of homes sold is down nearly 28% from 2nd quarter 2007, however, both average and median prices are up from last year. Click here for complete 2nd quarter statistics.

Entry for August 7, 2008
How the New First-Time Buyer Tax Credit Works
Under the new housing bill, home buyers who have not owned a home in the last three years will be eligible for a tax credit. Find out if your buyers qualify. Read more >

Little-Known Loans for Buyers
Federally-sponsored mortgage programs can help borrowers with stable jobs, but no savings. Read more >

Fed Issues Rules to Prevent Abusive Lending
The Federal Reserve has adopted rules to prevent unfair or deceptive practices by lenders and to protect home buyers from the kind of loans that drove many into foreclosure. The new rules apply to all lenders and not just to banks supervised by the Fed. Some of the new rules require lenders to escrow money to pay taxes and insurance for risky borrowers, document borrower's income before a loan is issued, limit and-in some cases-ban prepayment penalties, prohibit lenders from making a loan without considering a borrower's ability to repay a home loan from sources other than the home's value, and require mortgage advertising to contain information about rates, monthly payments, and other features of the loan. Most of the rules are expected to take effect Oct.1, 2009. Escrow requirements won't go into effect until April 1, 2010. The rules do not apply to home equity lines of credit, construction loans, bridge loans, or reverse mortgage loans.

Entry for August 1, 2008
Great News!!
President Bush just signed into law the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. This is a major victory for REALTORS®, consumers, and our nation. Homebuyers will soon have access to more affordable financing, and first-time homebuyers (those who have not owned a home for three years) will receive a tax-credit to help them enter the market. For more details on all of the provisions in the new law, please use the link below.

Entry for July 29, 2008
Existing Home Sales Drop Nationally
NAR reports single-family, townhome and condo purchases fell 2.6 percent in June and are down more than 15 percent from the same period last year. Read more >

Foreclosure Activity Continues to Rise
According to RealtyTrac's Q2 2008 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, New Mexico ranked among the bottom half of the states for its second quarter filings. The report defines foreclosure filings as default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions. New Mexico ranked No. 37 among the 50 states, with 1,150 total filings, which is a 2.7 percent decrease from the previous quarter but a 60 percent increase over the second quarter 2007.

FHA Adds Enhancements to FHASecure Initiative
The Federal Housing Administration recently implemented NAR-backed enhancements to the FHASecure Initiative which will give FHA flexibility to insure mortgages for borrowers who were late on some payments or received a principal write-down from their lender. FHASecure gives home owners with non-FHA adjustable rate mortgages the ability to refinance into a FHA-insured mortgage. With the new FHASecure criteria, lenders may voluntarily write down the outstanding subprime mortgage principal balances to a 97 percent or 90 percent LTV ratio depending on the borrowers' circumstances. FHA will also encourage lenders to make other arrangements, such as subordinate financing, to fill the gap between the existing loan balances and the FHA-insurable loan amount. The refinanced loan amount backed by the FHA would be based upon a new appraisal, performed by an FHA-approved appraiser. In February, NAR had sent a letter to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development recommending many of these enhancements. Questions? Contact Jerome Nagy, 202-383-1233 Entry for July 29, 2008 FHA/GSE Legislation Passes On Monday, the U.S. Senate passed a final bill on FHA and GSE that NAR had long fought for, after deliberations and negotiations for the past few weeks. The House passed the identical bill on Wednesday, July 23. For more information, read the bill summary. The President has said he will sign the legislation into law. This bi-partisan legislation, NAR believes, will aid in calming mortgage markets, strengthen housing markets, and stabilizing our economy. The new loan limits are now set at $625,500 for the GSEs and FHA, as well as a $7,500 home ownership tax credit. The legislation also includes broad GSE Reform, FHA Reform, development of a National Affordable Housing Trust Fund, and creates a new FHA program to help homeowners at risk for foreclosure.
(c) 2008, REALTORS® Association of New Mexico. All rights reserved.2201 Brothers Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505 800-224-2282 Fax: 505-983-8809


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