Portal that has its sights set on Zillow acquires Title365 for $36 million

In another step in its quest  to build an end-to-end real estate marketplace that will outdo top real estate portals Zillow, Trulia and realtor.com, HomeSearch.com operator Solutionstar is set to acquire title insurance and settlement services provider Title365. The $36 …

‘First Look’ window for Fannie, Freddie REOs could stay open longer

Two prominent Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee are pushing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s regulator to prolong the time period during which first-time homebuyers and other owner-occupants get a “First Look” at purchasing homes repossessed by the mortgage giants …

FHA is back in the black, but don’t hold your breath for premium rollbacks

The Federal Housing Administration’s mutual mortgage insurance fund is unlikely to need another taxpayer bailout, but that doesn’t mean homebuyers looking to finance purchases with an FHA-backed home loan will get a break on their premiums anytime soon. To make …

Think the Fed is standing pat? Think again

Mortgage rates have been stable near 4 percent, held there by the 10-year T-note moving hardly at all in the last month, 2.31 percent-2.38 percent since Halloween. Such stability is most unusual, best understood as a market gathering tension for …

NAR’s candidates won big in the elections. That doesn’t mean Realtors will get their way.

With a little help from the National Association of Realtors, Republicans regained control of the Senate and increased their majority in the House of Representatives in last week’s elections. But Realtors attending the trade group’s annual convention were told not …

Regulators promise thaw in mortgage credit underway

Regulators who oversee Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration are telling mortgage lenders that they’re ready to cut them some slack, and mortgage lenders say they’re ready to run with the ball. Speaking at the Mortgage Bankers …

Mortgage lending startup gets $1.5M boost from investors

Mortgage lending startup Lenda has raised $1.54 million in seed funding the company says it will use to expand into new markets. The San Francisco-based firm launched a platform in July to allow borrowers to complete the home loan process online …

Big real estate brokerage rolls out its own mortgage app

Howard Hanna Real Estate Services’ mortgage division has rolled out a free consumer mobile app for Android and Apple smartphones that facilitates a connection between the real estate brokerage’s clients and its mortgage company’s loan officers. Consumers access the “Hanna Mortgage …

The real reason home sales have softened

The bulk of last year’s home price rise (except in strong local economies, like mine) was due to a rebound in overly discounted prices, and now we are reverting to nonrecovery. We might get a housing recovery going if we backed off Dodd-Frank and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau hysteria, but that’s not enough. …

Time to redesign our system of mortgage lending

Long-term rates have stabilized, mortgages just under 4.5 percent, but markets are rattled and it’s hard to tell exactly who or what is doing the shaking. The Fed has everybody uneasy, simultaneously saying it may raise the cost of money …