President Barack Obama is making it clear in his housing-focused economic speech today in Phoenix that he envisions the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to be the centerpiece of any reformed mortgage system.

“Homeownership remains the primary way that most middle-income working families build long-term wealth and provides a foundation for widely shared e

...

Loyalty to cell-phone carriers may be waning as more smartphone users say they’ll consider trade-in programs the next time they decide to upgrade their phones, according to the NPD Group.

In an NPD survey of 1,000 smartphone users in July, only 13 percent said they had traded in their last mobile device. However, 55 percent said they would

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The national mortgage delinquency rate fell nearly 26 percent in the second quarter compared to the same period last year, according to TransUnion. Every state and the District of Columbia saw an improvement in the mortgage delinquency rate year-over-year.

“This marks the third quarter in a row where we have posted all-time highs in terms of

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The slowdown in new construction orders last quarter and in July can be mostly attributed to rising mortgage rates, The Wall Street Journal reported. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has gone from a 3.59 percent average in mid-May to 4.39 percent this week. 

“Several builders, notably those that cater at least partly to first-time buyers, saw a s

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Nearly 90 percent of U.S. housing markets are expected to see price appreciation in the next year, according to a survey by valuation services firm Veros Real Estate Solutions covering 324 metro areas.

In some housing markets, such as San Francisco, homes reportedly go under contract within days. Housing inventory in San Francisco is down 80

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Rising mortgage rates aren't the only problem house hunters are facing. Closing costs for loan origination and other fees have increased 6 percent in the past year, according to a survey by Bankrate.com.

Borrowers with stellar credit who are making a 20 percent down payment are still forking over an average of $2,402 in closing costs on a

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Since January, five home builders have debuted on the stock market, raising nearly $1.46 billion cumulatively on IPOs, The Wall Street Journal reports. That increased presence on the stock market has the potential to reorder the rankings on who’s the “biggest”—changing up the bragging rights among builders, according to analysts. 

Taylor

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Houston-based real estate consulting firm Metrostudy uses "drive-bys" to help it gauge the health of the residential market in different U.S. metro areas.  Employees drive through newly built—or still under construction—housing developments from Texas to Florida and begin observing. 

If there are toys on a house's front lawn, for example,

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According to a report by Morgan Stanley, the buy-to-rent market is only a fraction of where it could be, and the market is ready for major growth in the coming years. 

Morgan Stanley analysts predict that the buy-to-rent market will grow from $17 billion today to more than $100 billion in the next several years. They called it a “sustainable

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A real estate brokerage has launched a new service called the “price whisperer” that allows home owners to get feedback on a price for their home before actually listing it for sale. Redfin’s new “price whisperer” tool allows potential sellers to gauge the pricing of their home from potential buyers while giving buyers a “sneak peek” at home

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After a judge refused to accept a plea of “no contest,” a homeless man in York, Pa., will now face trial on charges of kidnapping and robbing a real estate agent in May, during which time he allegedly forced her to take money out of an ATM. 

If convicted, Gregory S. Knaub, 37, could face a sentence of 12 to 26 years in state prison,

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Illinois is considering a plan to make fire sprinklers mandatory in all new single-family and two-family homes built in the state. If approved, Illinois would become the third state in the nation with a sprinkler mandate in residential housing (California and Maryland adopted mandates in January 2011).

The proposal by the Office of Illinois State

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By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR(R) Magazine

No detail is too small for a home buyer. And while you’re making sure the kitchen counters are decluttered and sparkling clean, you might want to take a closer look in the fridge too, particularly if it’s staying with the house. The buyer likely will be. And what will they see when they open the doors?

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Google is launching its own smartphone, the Moto X, after seeing lackluster profits in selling devices by other companies that feature Google hardware.

Last year, Google purchased Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, and Moto X will be the company's first major device since the acquisition. 

“Google knows it has to move into making d

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Mortgage rates ticked up this week but still remain “relatively low in helping to support the ongoing housing recovery, which is providing a positive contribution to the overall economy,” Freddie Mac says in its weekly mortgage market report. 

Mortgage rates pushed up slightly this week before the Federal Reserve made its announcement that

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While it may be easier for people over 40 to buy a house because they're more established in their careers, they have different financial considerations that must be addressed. 

Before making a purchase, they must think about the financial hurdles they will face over the rest of their lives and how they would be impacted by homeownership and

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The real estate industry is taking steps to prevent scraping — or data piracy — of online real estate listings.

Realtor.com said earlier this year that it is making efforts to block automated bots from trying to scrape listing data from its more than 1 million pages per day. 

“Scraping happens every day, and it’s something that’s surprisingly inexp

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The real estate industry is taking steps to prevent scraping — or data piracy — of online real estate listings.

Realtor.com said earlier this year that it is making efforts to block automated bots from trying to scrape listing data from its more than 1 million pages per day. 

“Scraping happens every day, and it’s something that’s surprisingly inexp

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The Commerce Department reports that spending on U.S. construction projects decreased in June by 0.6 percent — the largest amount since a 2.3 percent dip in January. 

Nonresidential work fell 0.9 percent for the month, reflecting weakness in the construction of office buildings, retail centers, and hotels.  It was the first decline in this

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After a 10.2 percent rise in home prices in the first quarter of 2013, expect price appreciation to decelerate in 2014, according to economists with CoreLogic. 

CoreLogic predicts that rising home prices and mortgage interest rates, as well as a more balanced inventory of homes for-sale, will cause home prices to even out more next year. 

Howe

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Want your online listing description to get more attention? Try something like this: "You are humbled, like what happens when we stare out to sea & feel small. ... Wait a minute! Is that a family room off the kitchen? Toss me a Pop-Tart Mom!!!!"

That eloquent — if not enigmatic — description is an example of the work of Washington, D.C.,

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"Smart homes" that have systems connected to the Internet may be at risk of being hacked, which could allow criminals to control everything from a garage door to the home’s locks, The Wall Street Journal reports. 

Home owners are increasingly wiring their homes so they can control its functions, from heaters to toilets, via a computer,

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The IRS says it’s cracking down on the use of the label "independent contractors" so companies can't skirt employment taxes. In a new report, the IRS says that many employers are misidentifying millions of workers as independent contractors instead of employees. 

"This problem adversely affects employees because the employer's share of taxes

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