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Freddie Mac announced today that, going forward, not every application for a purchase mortgage will necessarily trigger an appraisal.  A new automated alternative to traditional appraisals, which the company introduced for refinances in June, will soon be available for purchase mortgages. It may save borrowers in some instances as much as $500, and reduce their wait to close a loan by seven to ten days.

Freddie Mac's automated collateral evaluation (ACE) uses a proprietary model to assesses the need for an appraisal by using data from multiple listing services, public records, and information on historical home values to determine collateral risks. Lenders must submit loan data through Freddie Mac's Loan Product Advisor to determine if a property is eligible for ACE. ACE will be available for qualified home purchases beginning on Sept. 1, 2017.

"By leveraging big data and advanced analytics, as well as 40+ years of historical data, we're cutting costs and speeding up the closing process for borrowers," said David Lowman, executive vice president of Freddie Mac's Single-Family Business. "At the same time, we're providing immediate collateral representation and warranty relief to lenders. This is just one example of how we are reimagining the mortgage process to create a better experience for consumers and lenders."

If ACE determines that the estimated value of the home provided by the lender is acceptable, the lender may receive immediate representation and warranty relief related to the value, condition and marketability of the property upon delivery of the loan to Freddie Mac.

"When we launched Loan Advisor Suite in July 2016, we set out to give our customers certainty, usability, reliability and efficiency," said Andy Higginbotham, senior vice president of strategic delivery and operations for Freddie Mac's Single-Family Business. "ACE is our most recent capability to deliver on that vision."

by: Jann Swanson

Aug 18 2017, 10:30AM

Posted by Narbik Karamian on August 21st, 2017 12:57 PMLeave a Comment

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July 25th, 2017 4:18 PM

Here is the latest about today’s mortgage market.


Interest rates moved up this morning as the 10-year Treasury Yield rose to 2.32% from 2.25% yesterday.

After enjoying a nice rally of the lowest mortgage rates since July 10th, bond markets are taking the 2 days leading up to tomorrow's Fed announcement to book some profits and get back to neutral territory.  Unfortunately, getting back to neutral means "selling bonds" if the prevailing trend had been positive.

There are long and short positions.  Long positions mean "buying" in the hope that bond prices will rise and yields will fall. A falling yield (especially the 10-year Treasury yield) means a decrease in mortgage rates. A short position means selling in the hope that yields will rise. A rising yield means an increase in mortgage rates.

There are a few very important data to be released between today and Friday that will plan a big role in determining the direction mortgage rates will take in the next few weeks.

Tomorrow's Economic Calendar and Announcements






Tuesday, Jul 25


Monthly Home Price yy (%)




CaseShiller 20 yy (% )





Consumer confidence *





2-Yr Note Auction (bl)




Posted by Narbik Karamian on July 25th, 2017 4:18 PMLeave a Comment

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by: Jann Swanson

Foreign Homebuyers Surge into U.S. Market


Jul 18 2017, 11:09AM

Our neighbors to the north seem to think the grass is pretty green on this side of the fence.  The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) says that foreign investment in the U.S. residential market skyrocketed to a new high during the 12 months that ended in March. Those sales were fueled by a substantial increase from Canadian buyers. 

NAR released results from its 2017 survey of international residential buyers on Tuesday. It shows buyers from each of the top five home countries increased their activity from 2016, and that nearly half of all foreign sales were in Florida, California and Texas.

Between April 2016 and March 2017, foreign buyers and recent immigrants purchased $153.0 billion of residential property.  This is 49 percent more than was indicated in the 2016 survey ($102.6 billion) and surpasses 2015's total of $103.9 billion, setting a new survey high. There were 284,455 U.S. properties purchased by foreign buyers, a 32 percent increase, accounting for 10 percent of the dollar volume of existing-home sales compared to 7 percent in 2016.

NAR's chief economist Lawrence Yun said, "The political and economic uncertainty both here and abroad did not deter foreigners from exponentially ramping up their purchases of U.S. property over the past year.  While the strengthening of the U.S. dollar in relation to other currencies and steadfast home-price growth made buying a home more expensive in many areas, foreigners increasingly acted on their beliefs that the U.S. is a safe and secure place to live, work and invest."

China held on to the top spot in terms of the dollars spent for the fourth straight year, spending $31.7 billion compared to $27.3 billion in the previous period and replacing the $28.6 billion spent in 2015 as the new survey high.  For the third straight year they also purchased the most housing units, 40,572, up from 29,195 in 2016.

However, it was the massive hike in activity by buyers from Canada that stands out. Their purchasing had dipped from $11.2 billion in 2015 to $8.9 billion last year, but soared to $19.0 billion in the latest survey - a new high for that country's buyers.  

Yun says this increase is because Canadians are buying property in expensive U.S. markets that are still more affordable than what they can buy at home. While much of the U.S. is seeing fast price growth, the gains in many cities in Canada have been steeper, especially in Vancouver and Toronto.  

"Inventory shortages continue to drive up U.S. home values, but prices in five countries, including Canada, experienced even quicker appreciation," Yun said. "Some of the acceleration in foreign purchases over the past year appears to come from the combination of more affordable property choices in the U.S. and foreigners deciding to buy now knowing that any further weakening of their local currency against the dollar will make buying more expensive in the future."

The third greatest amount of spending was on the part of buyers from the United Kingdom, $9.5 billion, followed by those from Mexico, at $9.3 billion, and India, $7.8 billion. All three groups also increased their purchasing compared to 2016.

Foreign buyers paid a median of $302,290 for their American homes, a 9.0 percent increase from the median of $277,380 in the 2016 survey and substantially higher than the $235,792 median price for all existing homes sold during the same period.  Approximately10 percent homes sold to foreign buyers were priced over $1 million, and 44 percent of transactions were all-cash purchases.

Posted by Narbik Karamian on July 18th, 2017 9:17 AMLeave a Comment

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