Rental Housing Gains As Homeownership Dips: Freddie Mac

The rental market is one bright spot in an otherwise dismal housing industry with U.S. homeownership falling about 1.5 percent over the past year, according to a new study from Freddie Mac. Over the year ending mid-2011, the Census Bureau reported a net increase of 1.4 million households that moved into rental housing, a 4 percent rise in the number of tenant households in just one year.

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Fixed Mortgage Rates Enter 7th Month Below 5%; New Lows for ARMs

Long-term mortgage rates remained flat this week, but entered a 7th consecutive month below 5 percent – while short-term adjustable rates continued to set new lows, according to Freddie Mac. The most popular mortgage, the 30-year fixed-rate, averaged 4.24 percent this week, up slightly from last week when it averaged 4.23 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.98 percent.

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Taxpayer Tab on Fannie, Freddie Could Hit $363 Billion: Regulator

The two mortgage financing giants under U.S. government control – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – could require a total of $363 billion in bailout funds by the end of 2013, a 145 percent jump from the current bailout tab. Fannie and Freddie have already siphoned a total of $148 billion from the U.S. Treasury’s open credit line to cover quarterly shortfalls since the height of the financial crisis and housing market collapse.

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Foreclosure Filings Up 4%; Bank Repos Hit New High in August

Bank repossessions – normally the final phase of a foreclosure – hit a record high in August for the third time in the last five months, according to RealtyTrac’s latest report on U.S. foreclosure activity. Lenders foreclosed on 95,364 U.S. properties in August, the highest monthly total in the five-year history of the site’s closely-watched report

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Mortgage Rates Slip Again to New Lows; Refinancing Surges

Mortgage rates reached new lows yet again this week with the 30-year fixed at 4.42 percent, down from last week’s 4.44 percent – and the historic dive in rates appears to have revived the refinancing sector. The index by the Mortgage Bankers Association that gauged loan refinancing activity for last week registered a 17.1 percent jump from the previous week.

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