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Jumbo Mortgage Rates Competitive with Conforming Loans

Jumbo Mortgage Rates

Rates and terms on jumbo mortgages have relaxed in the last six to 12 months, to the point that interest rates on 30-year fixed jumbos are now comparable to rates on conventional loans, and borrowers with credit scores of 700 or below now have a better shot at obtaining one, bankrate.com’s Polyana da Costa reports.

Jumbo lending by Wells Fargo Home Mortgage was up 15 percent from a year ago during the second quarter of 2013, and has continued to grow, to the highest level since 2007. The nation’s biggest jumbo lenders by loan volume are Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Quicken Loans and Citibank, da Costa reports, citing a LendingPatterns.com database.

One reason lenders are more eager to underwrite jumbo loans is that they’re more confident about home prices, Tom Wind, executive vice president of residential and consumer lending for EverBank, tells da Costa.

Jumbo loans — those that are too big for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy, or for the Federal Housing Administration to insure — are typically costlier than loans that conform to the mortgage giants’ standards, because lenders generally have to keep them on their books instead of packaging them into mortgage-backed securities that can be sold to investors. The secondary market for mortgages not backed by Fannie, Freddie or FHA collapsed in 2007. Although lenders have been able to securitize a few small batches of jumbo loans since then, those loans were originated using conservative underwriting standards. Source: newsday.com.

Copyright 2013 Inman News

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Finns Fret that Wealthy Russians Turning too Many Homes into Summer Cabins

Homes into Summer Cabins

Countries like Portugal and Spain may be luring wealthy foreign buyers with special ‘golden visa’ residency permits that allow them to travel throughout Europe, but some Finns would like to curb wealthy Russians’ appetite for vacation homes in border areas.

When Russians turn homes into summer cabins, they don’t pay municipal taxes, raising the burden for permanent residents, critics say. More than half of Finland’s parliament has signed a bill that would prohibit anyone living outside of the European Economic Area from buying a home unless they’ve lived in the country for five years.

One member of parliament who’s collected signatures for the bill says a third of all real estate sales in her hometown were to Russians, although Russians did only about 430 deals in the entire country in 2012, the Helsinki Times reports. The legislation is also an attempt to address the fact that since 2011, Finns and other foreigners have been prohibited from buying property on the Russian frontier.

Finland declared independence from Russia in 1917, and fought both the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany in World War II. After the war, Finland maintained a neutral stance, and joined the European Union in 1995. Source: helsinkitimes.fi.

Copyright 2013 Inman News

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Fidelity Sets Exchange Ratio for Thursday’s $2.9B LPS Acquisition

Fidelity Sets Exchange

Title insurer Fidelity National Financial Inc. will issue 25.9 million shares of common stock to shareholders of Lender Processing Services Inc. as the stock component of a $2.9 billion acquisition scheduled to close Thursday, Jan. 2.

In announcing the exchange ratio today, Fidelity said the total consideration for a share of LPS common stock will consist of $28.10 in cash and $9.04 in Fidelity common stock.

Last week the Federal Trade Commission — which had charged that the deal was likely to “substantially lessen competition” — announced that Fidelity had agreed to resolve those claims by “selling a copy” of LPS title plants in six Oregon counties and an ownership interest equivalent to LPS? share of a jointly owned title plant in the metro Portland area. Source: prnewswire.com.

Copyright 2013 Inman News