Multiple data points over recent months have suggested a housing market that’s recovering. Earnings from government-controlled mortgage heavyweight Fannie Mae on Tuesday offered the latest support for that observation; Fannie turned a profit of $17.2 billion for 2012, vs. a net loss of $16.9 billion for 2011. Its 2012 profit marks its biggest ever gain and the first in six years. Fannie said it was able to pay $11.6 billion in dividends to the U.S. Treasury Department last year and that it expects to remain profitable "for the foreseeable future."
Historically low mortgage rates have been attracting buyers and, particularly, refinancers in recent years. So far in 2013, the 30-year rate is up 0.23 -- at 3.57% last week, from 3.34% in the first reading of the year. It’s stayed above 3.5% since January. For perspective, even at 3.57% it’s still down from 3.99% a year earlier.
The Mortgage Bankers Association, which updated its forecast in lateRead More »from MBA Forecast: Housing to Recover, Refinancing to Fade