Friday

Mortgage defaults rose in July

The mortgage insurers reported that mortgage defaults rose 1.4% in July 2008. The Mortgage Insurance Companies of America are reporting that last month its lenders reported 68,831 defaults. Mortgage defaults were falling for the previous two straight months before rising again in July. Total primary insurance in-force is almost $802 billion. Information is based on the numbers from American International Group Inc. (AIG), Genworth Financial Inc. (GNW), Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp. (MTG), PMI Group Inc. (PMI) and Old Republic International Corp. (ORI) which are the largest mortgage insurers in the country.

Tuesday

The Reserve Bank of Australia To Cut Rates

Australia's central bank may soon cut interest rates for the first time in seven years to avoid an economic slowdown. HSBC Bank Australia has already cut its fixed home loan mortgage rates by between 35 and 130 basis points. Three year fixed rates for new customers have been cut to 7.99 per cent from 9.29 per cent.

Monday

Reverse Mortgage Rules Change

A reverse mortgage is a loan against your home if you are a senior citizen that doesn't have to be paid back as long as you live in that house. using home equity to finance retirement years is growing in popularity. Under the new US law, the amount a senior can borrow through a reverse mortgage has been increased to $417,000 that can increase to as much as $625,500 in high-cost areas. The new law also reduces fees on reverse mortgage loan. The origination fees lenders can charge are currently capped at 2 percent of your home's value or the county lending limit, whichever is lower. The housing bill recently reduced the maximum fee to 2 percent on the initial $200,000 of the home's value and 1 percent on the balance thereafter, with a cap of $6,000. Reverse mortgage lenders are prohibited from requiring borrowers to purchase insurance, annuities or other similar products as a condition of getting a loan.

Saturday

Halifax mortgage rates down

Halifax, one of Britain’s biggest mortgage lenders, has cut its mortgage rates for the second time this week. Several of its most popular fixed or tracker-rate deals are being cut by an average of 0.25%, for borrowers who can put down a deposit of at least 25%. In the past week, other lenders, such as the Newcastle building society, Yorkshire building society and the nationalised Northern Rock, have also reduced the cost of some of their deals. Coventry, and also the Britannia building society, now offer their best deals to customers who can put down a deposit of at least 50% of a property's value. For borrowers wanting to remortgage, competitive trackers currently include Abbey’s two year at 5.54 per cent with a £1,999 fee and Woolwich's lifetime tracker at 0.69 per cent above base rate, up to a maximum value of 60 per cent.

Indian mortgage market tightens

Rising mortgage payments, soaring inflation and fuel prices are beginning to put the squeeze on the spending spree Indians had taken for granted for the past four years. The past four years have brought India economic growth of seemingly unstoppable momentum, often 9 percent a year, helped along by big inflows of foreign investment. Rising incomes and low interest rates enabled many middle-class Indians to realize the dream of owning a home, even while still in their 30s. Tight supply of funds in the mortgage market will put some negative pressure on the Indian Mortgage market.

Canadians do not like new rules

Canadians do not agree with the federal government's mortgage lending crackdown. A new survey reveals that 23% of Canadians do not agree with the recent federal changes to mortgage lending rules, stating that the new measures reduce options for people looking to buy a home. In an effort to avoid a U.S.-style housing market meltdown Canadian Govt. last month tightened up the rules governing mortgage lending practices in Canada. Support for the federal government's recent crackdown on mortgage lending rules is much higher in the Western provinces than in the East, according to a survey.

Closing Cost Survey

New York, Texas and Florida are the most expensive states in which to get a residential mortgage, according to Bankrate's annual survey of closing costs. North Carolina is the least expensive state for mortgage closing costs. Fees in New York City were highest, averaging $4,016. Houston came in second, with fees averaging $3,975. After that came Buffalo, N.Y., with fees averaging $3,845, and then Miami, at $3,683. Mortgage closing costs -- which can include lawyers' fees, title insurance and various taxes -- averaged $3,118 nationwide. Bankrate obtained quotes on closing costs to borrow $200,000 for 30 years at a fixed rate with a 20 percent down payment. The survey assumed the buyer had good credit and was buying a single-family house.

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