Tempests in teacups — wailing over new QM rules

So the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new Ability to Repay and Qualified Mortgage rules took effect January 10. Cue the panic. “Storm Brewing Over New Mortgage Rules?” asks the National Association of Realtors. Despite the hand wringing, the reality is pretty simple: The new rules say that lenders must take into account some specific factors… Read More »

Mortgages — more or less?

“The end of the mortgage party? Home lending plummets at Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan Chase” writes the Wall Street Journal. But… “Mortgage applications surge on lower rates,” CNBC — and the Mortgage Bankers Association — reports. So who’s right? The Journal is only talking about Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase, so perhaps things are… Read More »

Lower credit ratings, fewer refinancings, more ARMs

Lots of interesting info in a report from Ellie Mae (which produces mortgage-loan software). The company’s Origination Insight Report for December 2013 looked at the who and why of getting mortgage loans. Some interesting facts: The average FICO score for approved mortgages fell to from 748 (in December 2012) to 727 — this despite worries… Read More »

Upper Chevy Chase (DC) named a “hottest neighborhood” by Redfin

With a median sales price of $873,000 and a 430 percent increase in page views on the its website, online brokerage Redfin named Washington, D.C.’s Upper Chevy Chase neighborhood number four on its list of hottest neighborhoods of 2014. According to Redfin’s Philip Gvinter: Upper Chevy Chase has become a popular destination for buyers looking… Read More »