Paramount Mortgage - Lender's Blog

Borrowers in a Rush for Low Rates, Fees

Nationwide 30-year fixed mortgage rates have climbed to their highest level of the last five weeks according to last week’s rate survey conducted by Bankrate.com.

This has spurred concern from many home refinancers and potential homebuyers who “worry the low rates won't last much longer as they try to beat the clock on rising mortgage fees and policy changes on low down payment loans,” reports Polyana da Costa, Bankrate.com.

Home Prices Show Strongest Growth in 7 Years

The median home price nationwide saw its biggest jump in seven years last quarter as for-sale inventory hit its lowest level in 12 years, according to the latest quarterly report from the National Association of Realtors.

Of 152 metro areas, 133 (87.5 percent) saw their median sales prices rise year over year in fourth-quarter 2012 compared with 120 in the third quarter and only 29 in fourth-quarter 2011.

Mortgage Burden Grows, but Federal Role Is Shrinking

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has played a major role supporting housing markets in the last few years, but Nick Timiraos, Wall Street Journal correspondent reports, “there are signs that the agency is beginning to cede market share back to the private sector.”

Mortgage Insurance is Tax Deductible through 2013

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which was passed by Congress on January 1, 2013 and enacted on January 2, 2013, allows borrower-paid mortgage insurance (MI) premiums to be tax deductible for 2012 and 2013.

Lenders and investors typically require mortgage insurance for loans with down payments less than 20%. The newly enacted provision will help homeowners reduce their taxes through 2013 when they pay MI on their home loans.

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