The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage was nearly unchanged this week after rising sharply last week.
Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan edged down to 4.11 percent from 4.12 percent last week. The week before, it fell to 3.94 percent. That’s the lowest rate ever, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.
The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage ticked up to 3.38 percent from 3.37 percent. It hit a record-low of 3.26 percent two weeks ago.
Inflation slowed from its summertime blip in September, housing starts rebounded, and the Federal Reserve reported signs of modest economic growth, suggesting that fears of a double-dip U.S. recession may have been overblown.
Consumer prices rose 0.3 percent, driven by cost increases for food and energy, while builders broke ground on new homes at an annual pace of 658,000 houses and apartments, the U.S. government said in two separate reports. Each was better than economists’ forecasts. The Fed’s “beige book” survey of business conditions said companies reported tourism and auto sales are leading growth in much of the nation.
Properties repossessed through foreclosure may not peak until 2013, HousingWire reports, quoting several analysts and recent reports.
Foreclosure sales are expected to reach 1.48 million properties in 2013, according to analysts from Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
However, with the surge, “we do not expect to see anywhere near the downward pressure on home prices that we had back in 2008, since the expected percent changes in liquidation volumes are so much smaller,” the analysts said.
The increase in foreclosures is expected to mostly change from private banks’ portfolios – which nearly half are from now – to the government’s backlog of properties, with an increase in foreclosures forecasted from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s portfolios. Overall, they are expected to liquidate about 595,000 properties in 2013.
To handle the expected surge, the government continues to consider ideas, including proposals of turning some of the foreclosures into rentals, and a plan from the Federal Housing Finance Agency to refinance more underwater borrowers so they’ll be less likely to walk away from their property.
Bank of America earned $6.2 billion in the third quarter on accounting gains and the sale of a stake in a Chinese bank, which offset lower revenue and income in its credit card, real estate and investment banking businesses.
Bank of America is also no longer the largest bank in the nation by assets, which fell to $2.21 trillion in the quarter. The Charlotte, N.C. bank ceded the bragging rights to rival JPMorgan Chase & Co., which reported total assets of $2.28 trillion.
The slimming down reflects Bank of America’s strategy of cutting costs and selling off businesses that don’t fit into its simpler banking model.