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A recent housing report indicated that 1-family home prices are still declining across the country; the negative rate has slowed down with "extreme overvaluation of house prices is essentially non-existent."
The only states that had extreme overvaluation were Hawaii, Washington, Oregon and Utah. The U.S. housing prices are down 4.8%, falling in 152 of the 330 metro areas included in the study.
The most severe losses are in California, Florida and Michigan. Indeed, 43 of the 50 worst metropolitan areas are found in these three states.
Wall Street Journal Online
HARP Mortgage Refinance
CNN / Money Economic News
Freddie Mac said Friday it would not impose a fee increase scheduled to go into effect next month. The announcement followed a similar reversal by Fannie Mae Thursday night.
Freddie Mac, however, will raise fees next year for riskier loan products, including mortgages that allow interest-only payments for the first few years. Freddie also will require higher credit scores for "piggyback" loans that allow borrowers to make smaller down payments by taking out two mortgages.
Both companies had announced plans to hike a fee on all loans purchased by the companies to 0.5% next month from 0.25%. For a $200,000 loan, that's a savings of $500.
Fannie Mae Chief Executive Herb Allison said in a statement Thursday that the company is "evaluating all of our risk-management, underwriting guidelines, pricing and costs."
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A $700 billion bailout of the nation's credit markets became law today after passing by a vote of 263-171. Trade groups from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on down has been warning lawmakers that a choking of credit was threatening their business.
Congress changed the Bush administration's initial plan to include help for homeowners in trouble with their mortgages, tougher oversight of the Treasury's purchases and limits on executive pay for companies that take part.
It also added provisions to attempt to recoup any of the $700 billion that the Treasury does not make back once it sells the investments it buys. Many experts say the plan will cost far less than $700 billion, with a few predicting it will turn a profit.
"This probably comes a bit too late. If this had been done earlier, it probably would have had a much bigger impact in restoring confidence," said Anna Piretti, economist at BNP Paribas in New York.
Interest rates are subject to change on all home loans.