BankNews Feb. 2015

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Rockland Trust Partners with Embrace Home Loans to Expand Mortgage Services

February 4 -Embrace Home Loans has announced that Rockland, Mass.-based Rockland Trust, a $6.4 billion asset institution with nearly 80 branches across Massachusetts, has partnered with the mortgage lender to expand its lending operations. Embrace Home Loans is a prominent leader in the mortgage industry and a direct lender for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, approved by FHA and VA, and an issuer for Ginnie Mae.

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Huntington Bank-Financed Affordable Housing Projects Receive Grants from Federal Home Loan Bank

February 4 – More than 800 affordable housing units will be created or remodeled in Ohio and Michigan thanks in part to financial support from Huntington Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati.

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Half of Homebuyers Do Not Shop for Mortgages, Says CFPB

January 23 – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a report finding that almost half of consumers do not shop around for a mortgage when purchasing a home. The report also found that informed consumers are more likely to shop, especially if they are familiar with available mortgage rates. As part of its Know Before You Owe mortgage initiative, the CFPB is releasing “Owning a Home,” an interactive, online toolkit designed to help consumers as they shop for a mortgage. The suite of tools gives consumers the information and confidence they need to get the best deal.  Continue reading “Half of Homebuyers Do Not Shop for Mortgages, Says CFPB” »

Home Values Forecasted to Rise up to 5 Percent in 2015

December 16 – For the first time since December 2013, U.S. home prices have declined by 0.09 percent on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, but they are still up just over 5 percent year-to-date, according to the latest Case-Shiller’s national index. U.S. home prices are likely to finish the year up about 5 percent, which is in line with an estimate in early 2014 from New Oak Insights. This brings overall home prices within a 10 percent range of their peak level in 2006, reports New Oak.

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Homeownership Remains Elusive for Majority of Renters

December 8 – The majority of U.S. renters are struggling financially and plan to remain renters for the next three years, according to recent Freddie Mac survey data. However, the recent financial crisis did not tarnish renters’ dreams of homeownership with 91 percent of them viewing homeownership as something of which to be proud.

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Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle Names 2015 Affordable Housing Advisory Council Members

December 3 – The Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle (Seattle Bank) has announced the appointments of Michelle Griffith of Ketchum, Idaho, and Andrea Davis of Missoula, Montana, to the Seattle Bank’s Affordable Housing Advisory Council (Advisory Council). The bank also reappointed Roy Katsuda of Maui, Hawaii, as the Advisory Council representative from Hawaii. Ms. Griffith, Ms. Davis, and Mr. Katsuda will serve three-year terms beginning January 1, 2015, and ending December 31, 2017.

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Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle Honors HomeStreet Bank with 2014 Community Spirit Award

October 28 – The Federal Home Loan Bank of Seattle (Seattle Bank) has presented its 2014 Community Spirit Award to HomeStreet Bank, headquartered in Seattle, Wash. This prestigious annual award recognizes a financial institution member of the Seattle Bank cooperative for its use of the bank’s community investment programs in meeting affordable housing and economic development needs in the communities it serves.

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Ellie Mae: Home Refis Jumped in September

October 23 – Refinancings as a percentage of overall mortgage volume jumped 3 percent from August to account for 36 percent of closed loans in September, according to the latest Origination Insight Report released by Ellie Mae, a leading provider of innovative on-demand software solutions and services for the residential mortgage industry. The September 2014 report also found the closing rate on mortgage refinancings fell nearly 6 percent to 48.3 percent in September, the lowest since February.

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Grants from First Community Bank and Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas Help Two Community Projects Move Forward

October 20 – Main Street Batesville Inc. and Habitat for Humanity of Independence County (HFHIC) are one step closer to seeing their respective projects come to fruition thanks in part to generous grants from First Community Bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas). A check presentation was held recently at First Community Bank’s Harrison Street location. 

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83 Percent of Homes Now Appreciating, Say Analysts

October 9 – Veros Real Estate Solutions, an award-winning industry leader in enterprise risk management, collateral valuation services and predictive analytics, says that the percentage of markets expected to increase in value has grown to 83 percent from last quarter’s 80 percent, with an accompanying decrease in last quarter’s depreciating markets from 20 percent to 17 percent. The national forecast is for +2.4 percent annual appreciation, a slight dip from the previous VeroFORECAST rate of +2.5 percent for the country overall. It is the ninth consecutive quarter in which the index has shown forecast appreciation, but the pace has continued to slow down. This insight comes from the company’s most recent VeroFORECAST, a national real estate market forecast for the 12-month period ending Sep. 1, 2015, updated quarterly and covering1,026 counties, 352 metro areas, and 13,904 ZIP codes.

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