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Categories: Mortgage Rates

Warning: Expiring mortgage-rate lock-ins

Posted by: Peter Coy on June 10

Just heard from a friend whose friend is losing what she thought was a sure-thing cheap rate on a mortgage. The lender got so busy that the 45-day lock-in is...

In Oakland, Las Vegas, and elsewhere, the monthly cost of homeownership has plummeted

Posted by: Peter Coy on April 14

Imagine this: In Oakland, Calif., the cost of homeownership relative to income has fallen 67% from its July 2007 peak. The ratio has fallen 59% in Sacramento and Las Vegas,...

LowerMyBills lowers its bills (on advertising)

Posted by: Peter Coy on October 29

Guest blog from BusinessWeek's Mara Der Hovanesian: The latest sign that the exuberance has ended: the Web’s dancing cowboys have all but disappeared. In the housing boom’s go-go days,,...

Don't Sell Those Ginnie Maes

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on August 29

If you haven’t already discovered it HSH Associates runs a great Web site with lots of free data for checking the latest mortgage rates. One of the things I keep...

The Jumbo Problem

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on April 09

Mortgage bankers lobbied hard to get the loan limits on Fannie Mac and Freddie Mac insured loans increased. In high-cost California the limit was raised to $729,000. The changes were...

A housing economist who doesn't want the Fed to cut

Posted by: Peter Coy on March 25

Econ 101 says lower interest rates are good for the housing market. But the chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, Lawrence Yun, worries there could be too...

The Fed's Big Move

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on March 18

The Federal Reserve takes a huge gulp and slashes its key interest rate 3/4s of a percent. The stock market cheers. But on Realtor oriented Web sites such as...

Ben the Bold

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on January 22

Maybe it was the big profile of him in the New York Times Magazine section yesterday that accused him of bumbling through his first two years on the job. But...

Do We Have a Credit Crunch? Or Not?

Posted by: Peter Coy on August 06

My colleague Roben Farzad was traveling recently and heard complaints from people that it's suddenly getting much harder to land a prime mortgage. Undoubtedly true. It's harder now than it...

Ouch! Higher Mortgage Rates Exacerbate Housing Slump

Posted by: Peter Coy on June 16

Freddie Mac says that the average rate for 30-year fixed mortgages was 6.74% on June 14. That's up from 6.15% on May 10. Fred's chief economist, Frank Nothaft, said (in...

The Feds Miss An Opportunity to Explain Teaser Rates

Posted by: Peter Coy on May 31

Teaser rates on exotic mortgages have gotten lots of borrowers into deep financial trouble. Fooled by the low initial rate, homebuyers took on more debt than they could afford, as...

How to Comparison Shop for Mortgages

Posted by: Peter Coy on April 09

Wouldn't it be nice if somebody came up with a simple way to compare various types of mortgages side by side--not only their starting payments, but what they'll cost you,...

Pimco's Take On Rates

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on September 21

Pimco the big bond fund manager is very focused on interest rates. They mean all the difference in the bond world. Lately the firm has also been watching the housing...

Blacks and Hispanics Pay Higher Mortgage Rates

Posted by: Peter Coy on September 11

Not so long ago, the biggest problem for minority borrowers was "redlining"--banks' pernicious practice of refusing to lend money to people living in certain supposedly undesirable neighborhoods. These days, it's...

A Complaint About E-Loan, And A Response

Posted by: Peter Coy on July 25

Here's an interesting complaint about E-Loan from "VelocityDC," followed by a reasonable response to the complaint that I solicited from the company. Hot Property doesn't make a practice of investigating...

An Inside Look at What Affects Your Mortgage Rate

Posted by: Peter Coy on July 06

Everybody knows that people with low credit scores, high loan-to-value ratios, and no documentation pay more for mortgages. But wouldn't it be nice to know exactly how much more? Hot...

SUB 500 Mortgage Inc.

Posted by: Peter Coy on January 05

Thanks to for pointing out a company specializing in mortgage loans for people with abysmally bad credit--FICO scores below 500. The San Diego-based company, SUB 500 Mortgage Inc., illustrates...

Making Sense of Average Mortgage Rates

Posted by: Peter Coy on November 18

It seems like a simple question: What's the national average rate these days for a fixed-rate, 30-year mortgage? But the answers are all over the lot. Here are three that...

A Less Curvaceous Yield Curve

Posted by: Peter Coy on November 01

What could kill the housing boom? David Rosenberg, the chief North American economist for Merrill Lynch, argues that the trigger could be a flattening of the yield curve. Here's what...

Subprime Lenders Bear Scrutiny

Posted by: Peter Coy on September 14

The Federal Reserve is out with a study that finds blacks and Hispanics are considerably more likely than non-Hispanic whites to get subprime mortgage loans. It said the difference couldn't...

Sharp rise in home equity rates?

Posted by: Dean Foust on August 29

Had lunch today with David Hale, the preeminent international economist who was in Atlanta to give a speech. Hale was just back from the Federal Reserve conference in Jackson Hole...

Why Option ARMs Are Scary

Posted by: Peter Coy on August 04

Option ARMs are scary because monthly payments can stay low for a long time and then suddenly go kerflooey. (Did I spell kerflooey right?) Standard & Poor's is out today...

Impact of higher mortgage rates?

Posted by: Amey Stone on July 22

This week Greenspan indicated that the Federal Reserve is likely to keep raising rates for the foreseeable future (or at least two or three more times) this year. That news...

David Miles Speaks!

Posted by: Peter Coy on July 20

I got David Miles on the phone today and he sent me a picture. Here is the real David Miles, chief U.K. economist of Morgan Stanley. As you can see,...

An ARM Warning From Across the Pond

Posted by: Peter Coy on July 18

Because people who get socked in the ARM by rising interest rates are going to be madder than that guy in the picture.

Fannie Mae Sees Mortgage Risks

Posted by: Peter Coy on July 13

Thanks to economist David Kotok of New Jersey money manager Cumberland Advisors for pointing out a fascinating economic commentary by David Berson, the chief economist of mortgage giant Fannie Mae...

Be Careful About Cash-Out Refis

Posted by: Peter Coy on July 06

Taking out some cash when you refinance a fixed-rate mortgage seems like the closest thing there is to picking up free money. But there's a big, hidden cost in the...

Neg Am Mortgages

Posted by: Peter Coy on June 30

Yale economist Robert "Irrational Exuberance" Shiller thinks the U.S. housing market is forming a giant, soapy bubble that's going to pop. It might seem strange, then, that Shiller said nice...


BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.

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