May 19, 2007

Mortgage Rates Edge up onFed Inflation Jitters

McLean, VA – "Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.21 percent with an average 0.4 point for the week ending May 17, 2007, up from last week when it averaged 6.15 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.60 percent.

The 15-year FRM this week averaged 5.92 percent with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 5.87 percent. A year ago, the 15-year FRM averaged 6.20 percent.

Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 5.92 percent this week, with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 5.89 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 6.23 percent.

One-year Treasury-indexed ARMs averaged 5.48 percent this week with an average 0.7 point, unchanged from last week when it averaged 5.48 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 5.62 percent. "

Freddie Mac

Real Estate Weekly

"The spring home-buying season doesn't look like it is going to be the savior of the housing market. Yes, housing starts turned up a bit in April, but building permits -- a better indication of future activity -- hit a 10-year low. And home-builder confidence ebbed again as well.
And this week we got a look at quarterly existing-home sales numbers from the National Association of Realtors, which held just a glimmer of hope. Total state-by-state existing-home sales, including single-family and condo, were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.41 million units in the first quarter, down 6.6% from a 6.86 million-unit pace in the first quarter of 2006 but 2.4% higher than the fourth quarter 2006 level of 6.26 million -- not that the fourth quarter is a hot time for home sales to start with"


Selling a House? Commissions Are Now More Negotiable
By Aleksandra Todorova From

"Commissions are becoming more negotiable than used to be the case," Mr. White says. He chalks it up to several factors, including more competition from discount and a-la-carte brokers, who offer less comprehensive services than full-service brokers, but charge discounted sales commissions or offer buyers rebates upon closing. And then there's more consumer awareness of the market. Thanks to Web sites like, anyone with an Internet connection can find out what homes are for sale or recently sold in a given area."

The 6% Illusion

"In theory, of course, broker commissions are always negotiable. Setting up fixed commission rates has, in fact, been considered illegal since a 1950s Supreme Court ruling. But real-estate brokers certainly don't want you to know that. "The owners of the large firms want everyone to think the broker fee is 6%," says Jay Michael, a Realtor and founder of Estate Property Group, a boutique real-estate firm in Chicago. That firm, while a full-service brokerage, negotiates its fees with its clients, typically charging 4.5% to 5.5%."

Real Estate Journal

Redfin fined $50,000, forced to alter blog

"The Northwest Multiple Listing Service has fined Redfin $50,000 and asked the company to stop publishing a popular blog in which the online real estate brokerage posted reviews of Seattle-area homes.
Jeff Coop, legal affairs manager at the NWMLS, said that it received at least nine complaints from real estate broker members who believed that Redfin's blog violated rule 190. That rule, which is frequently enforced, prohibits brokers from advertising another member's listing without permission. Coop said it is important that listing agents maintain control over how a property is marketed, noting that there have been instances of brokers placing inaccurate information about homes on sites like Craigslist."

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