January is such a good time to take a good hard look at your financial life, and if you're hoping to reduce your mortgage expenses without refinancing, Lynnley Browning of the New York Times offers a smart look at how to do it. She says that you can lower your monthly mortgage payment and save interest may without overwhelming fees that come with refinancing “recasting,” or “re-amortizating” your mortgage. Not all lenders and servicers, will do it, but it pays to check out the possibility.
Here's a link to her story: www.nytimes.com/2011/01/02/realestate/mortgages/02Mort.html
The latest word on foreclosures from CoreLogic: Foreclosure rates in the Twin Cities metro area have increased for the month of September is 1.99 percent for the month of September, an increase of 0.14 percentage points compared to September of 2009 when the rate was 1.85 percent. Foreclosure activity in Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington is lower than the national foreclosure rate which was 3.29 percent for September 2010, representing a 1.30 percentage point difference.
Also in Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, the mortgage delinquency rate has decreased. According to CoreLogic data for September 2010, 5.58 percent of mortgage loans were 90 days or more delinquent compared to 5.64 percent for the same period last year, representing a decrease of -0.06 percentage points.*
As of September 2010, 0.99 percent of homes with a mortgage in Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington were in REO (real estate owned) status, meaning after they were not sold at auction, they were returned to possession of the lender. This is an increase over one year prior when 0.80 percent of homes were in REO status.
Did you get in under the wire on the lowest mortgage rates on record? Hope so. This week, according to several national surveys, mortgage rates spiked, but are still at unbelievable lows. Check out an analysis of the current rate environment from mortgage broker, Alex Stenback, who explains why rates are rising and what it means in terms of payment increases for a typical borrower. Check out his blog post at www.behindthemortgage.com/
Home sales in the Twin Cities metro area continue to slide compared with last year, but they're holding their own compared with 2008. During September sales were down 33.5 percent compared with the same time last year, while the median sale price of these deals was down just 2.4 percent from last year, according to data released this morning by the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.
The decline in sales wasn't unexpected, nor was the drop in sale prices. Last year at this time home sales were buoyed by the home buyer's tax credit, which expired at the end of April and caused an unusual spike in sales activity. So far this year sales are down considerably compared with last year, but are down only 1.4 percent compared with the first nine months of 2008.
The median sale price, an aggregate of all deals that closed during September, fell for the second month in a row despite a healthy gain in the sale prices of traditional deals, meaning those that weren't bank-owned or shor sales. Those non-bank facilitated deals rose 7.6 percent to $215,250 largely on an increase in sales of upper-bracket houses, but sale prices on both foreclosures ($114,900) and short sales ($143,000) have continued to fall as banks worked to reduce the glut of unsold homes.
There was good news for buyers: The number of houses for sale during the month, including new listings was up 30 percent though the number of new listings was down 10.7 percent.