Mortgage Market News

The foreclosure arena got a little brighter today as RealtyTrac reported that 2015 foreclosure filings fell to their lowest level since 2006. RealtryTrac said that there were nearly 1.1 million properties with foreclosure filings in 2015, the lowest since 2006 with 717,522. In addition, the 103,373 filings in December were down 30% from December 2014. β€œIn 2015 we saw a return to normal, healthy foreclosure activity in many markets even as banks continued to clean up some of the last vestiges of distress left over from the last housing crisis,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.
Banking giant JPMorgan Chase reported solid earnings for the latest quarter, but CEO Jamie Dimon warned that the U.S. economy is likely to worsen after years of growth. Mr. Dimon isn't about to call for a recession and says that the economy "still looks okay," but cites concerns surrounding China's economy and the steep drop in commodity prices. The bank reported earnings-per-share of $1.32, above the $1.25 expected, but this was mainly derived from lower expenses as revenues fell 2% for the year.
Fitch Ratings reported that U.S. home prices are expected to rise by 4.5% this year, though there are some trouble spots, with some regional markets being called overvalued. Fitch went on to say that California and Texas may soften a bit, but "large downturns are unlikely." β€œU.S. mortgage rates are expected to rise 25 basis points to 50 basis points by year end, which should not affect existing borrower performance in a mostly fixed-rate market but it will encourage lenders to broaden loan eligibility requirements as refinance volumes dry up,” Fitch added
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