Bay State REALTOR® News and Features
|Fannie Mae Reverses Course on Declining Markets Policy|
|Fannie Mae recently announced that it is reversing a December 2007 decision that would require higher down payments in markets where home prices are declining. Had Fannie Mae not changed this policy, every county in Massachusetts, except Franklin County, would be considered a “declining market”.|
|Massachusetts Home Sales Experience Increase from March to April with Prices Remaining Stable|
|April home sales down compared to the same time last year.
The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) reported today that both single-family home sales and condominium sales experienced the third biggest March-to-April percentage increase in the past 10 years. While month-to-month sales were up, the number of single-family homes sold in April was down 15.8 percent with median sales prices down 8.7 percent compared to last year. The number of condominiums sold in April was down 26.6 percent, with median sales prices flat.
|Federal Reserve Reports Banks Tightening Lending Standards on Home Loans|
|Last week the Federal Reserve Bank released the results of its April 2008 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices. According to the report, the majority of domestic banks who responded to the survey reported they had tightened their lending standards on prime, nontraditional, and subprime residential mortgages over the past three months.|
|New State Law May Provide Distressed Homeowners Some Relief|
|On May 1, a key provision of the new Mass. state law passed back in November 2007, that is designed to provide financially distressed homeowners with foreclosure relief, will go into effect. Under the new law, Massachusetts homeowners facing foreclosure will now be entitled to a 90 day “right to cure” period.|
|Mass. Home Sales Continue to Decline in March and in First Quarter|
|The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) reported on Monday that both single-family home sales and condominium sales were down in March compared to the same time last year. However, on a month-to-month basis, there was a 26 percent increase in single family home sales and a 32 percent increase in condominium sales compared to February 2008. While the increase is significant, this type of jump is typical of the spring home buying market.
|FBI Reports ‘Surge’ in Mortgage Fraud|
|The Associated Press recently reported that the FBI has seen a “tremendous surge” in mortgage fraud investigations that according to FBI Director Robert Mueller is diverting agents from other cases and is expected to keep growing.|
|Good Time to Buy? Most Americans Think So|
|According to the results of a recent Reuters/Zogby poll, a majority of Americans think now is a good time to buy. However, few respondents believe the US will be able to escape a recession.|