Thursday, September 26, 2013

Members enjoy complimentary tickets to the Southern Home and Garden Show

HBA members, the Southern Home and Garden Show presented by EZ Home Search is this weekend at the TD Convention Center. Each member of record and affiliate member for each member company receives two complimentary tickets to the Southern Home and Garden Show.  Your complimentary tickets are waiting for you at the Will Call Booth beside Exhibitor Registration.  Thank you for your membership in the HBA of Greenville.

FHFA House Price Index Up 1.0 Percent in July

U.S. house price appreciation continued in July 2013, rising 1.0 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous month, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) monthly House Price Index (HPI). The July HPI change marks the eighteenth consecutive monthly price increase in the purchase-only, seasonally adjusted index. The previously reported 0.7 percent increase in June remained unchanged.

The HPI is calculated using home sales price information from mortgages either sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Compared to July 2012, house prices were up 8.8 percent in July. The U.S. index is 9.6 percent below its April 2007 peak and is roughly the same as the March 2005 index level.

For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly price changes from June to July ranged from -0.7 percent in the East South Central division to +2.2 percent in the Pacific division, while the 12-month changes ranged from +3.8 percent in the East South Central division to +20.8 percent in the Pacific division.

Click here for complete historical data.
Click here for Home Price Index Frequently Asked Questions.
Release dates for 2013 and 2014 are available by clicking here.

FHFA Index Shows Mortgage Interest Rates Continue to Rise in August

National data show interest rates on mortgages continued their upward trend. Contract mortgage interest rates increased 0.25 percent from July to August, according to an index of new mortgage contracts.

According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the National Average Contract Mortgage Rate for the Purchase of Previously Occupied Homes by Combined Lenders index was 4.26 percent for loans closed in late August. The index is calculated using FHFA’s Monthly Interest Rate Survey. The contract rate on the composite of all mortgage loans was 4.25 percent, up 25 basis points from 4.00 in July.

Interest rates are typically locked in 30-45 days before a loan is closed. Consequently, August data reflect market rates from mid-to-late July. The effective interest rate was 4.40 percent, up 28 basis points from 4.12 percent in July. The effective interest rate accounts for the addition of initial fees and charges over the life of the mortgage.

FHFA’s interest rate survey shows the average interest rate on conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages of $417,000 or less was 4.49 in August, an increase of 22 basis points. The average loan amount for all loans was $274,500 in August down $3,700 from $278,200 in July.

FHFA will release September index values October 29, 2013.

Monday, September 23, 2013

FHFA Launches National Education Campaign

Campaign Aims to Reach Homeowners Eligible for Mortgage Refinance under HARP

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today launched a nationwide campaign to inform homeowners about the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). The campaign is designed to encourage homeowners who have been making their mortgage payments, but who owe more than their home is worth, to contact their current lender or any other mortgage lender offering HARP refinances to review their refinancing options. With mortgage rates still historically low and HARP eligibility requirements expanded, qualifying homeowners could reduce their monthly mortgage payments or increase their equity faster with a shorter term mortgage.

As part of this campaign, FHFA has launched a new website,, and is working with mortgage companies across the U.S. and HGTV personality and star of Power Broker Mike Aubrey to help reach homeowners who may qualify.

“To date, more than 2.8 million homeowners have refinanced through HARP,” said FHFA Acting Director Edward J. DeMarco. “With the launch of this campaign we look forward to reaching those homeowners who may not know about the program or understand the eligibility criteria to take advantage of today’s low interest rates by refinancing through HARP.”

“HARP is an absolute no brainer for eligible homeowners. This program allows underwater homeowners the option to refinance at a lower rate and in my book that is a great deal,” said Aubrey. “I spend my time on TV and as a realtor trying to get great deals for my clients. FHFA has already done the legwork to create an amazing deal. It’s as simple as finding out if you qualify, getting the refinance done and watching the savings add up. “

To be eligible for a HARP refinance, homeowners must meet the following criteria:
  • The loan must be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
  • The mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009.
  • The current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio must be greater than 80 percent.
  • The borrower must be current on their mortgage payments with no late payments in the last six months and no more than one late payment in the last 12 months.
The FHFA and the U.S. Department of the Treasury introduced HARP in early 2009 as part of the Making Home Affordable program. HARP is one of the only refinance programs that enables borrowers with little to no equity in their homes to take advantage of low interest rates and other refinancing benefits. Since its inception, more than 2.8 million homeowners have refinanced through HARP and significant enhancements have allowed more borrowers to take advantage of the program.
To find out if a mortgage is owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, borrowers can confirm their mortgage by visiting or