From ALTA Advocacy Update by Michelle Korsmo, ALTA CEO (4/23/12)

Housing Policy & Data   The average rate on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.90 percent from  3.88 percent last week.  Rates on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to  3.13 percent from 3.11 percent, an all-time low.
Existing-home sales were  down in March but continue to outpace last year, while inventory tightened and  home prices are showing further signs of stabilizing, according to the monthly report released by the National Association  of Realtors. Total existing-home sales declined 2.6 percent to a seasonally  adjusted annual rate of 4.48 million in March, but are 5.2 percent above the  4.26 million-unit pace in March 2011.  Total housing inventory in March  declined 1.3 percent to 2.37 million existing homes available for sale and  listed inventory is 21.8 percent below a year ago and well below the record of  4.04 million in July 2007.  The national median existing-home price for  all housing types was $163,800 in March, up 2.5 percent from March 2011.
Last week, the Federal  Housing Finance Agency announced that it has directed both Fannie Mae and  Freddie Mac to develop a new approach to completing short sales in a timely manner.  Banks  routinely take longer to approve short sales because they are more complex than  regular home sales and often involve multiple parties.  Loan servicers  that collect payments for Fannie and Freddie will now be required to make a  decision within 30 days of receiving an offer for a purchase of a short  sale.  These new steps are designed to help make the process more  transparent and timely.


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Filed under Industry Press Releases, News Affecting the Real Property Industry

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