• National existing home sales dropped 3% in September according to the National Association of Real­tors.  Conversely, housing starts jumped up 15% and beat estimates in the same month.  Yet another grab-bag of mixed indicators.  To strike a more intimate nerve with us Central Floridians, CoreLogic recently released analytics indicating that the total mortgage debt in Orlando is greater than the sum of the property values.

    You read it right: the City Beautiful is underwater.

    Know what?  I won’t sugar-coat it.  This isn’t good.  However, it is a reminder that we seem to consis­tently be at the most extreme points of market swings.  When it was good everywhere else it was REALLY good in Orlando.  Apparently the opposite is now true.

    Coincidentally, U.S. regulators released a statement saying they will be easing the terms of the Making Home Affordable Refinance Program by scrapping the 125% loan-to-value cap.  So, according to their logic, no matter how much you owe you can refinance to a lower rate.  

    News flash: Lenders weren’t allowing the refinances to go past 105% regardless of what Uncle Sam mandated.  If I had to guess, they will laugh this program right into obscurity before it has a chance to do anything useful.  

    And on the topic of large institutions flapping their gums about stuff that isn’t going to actually hap­pen, the Vatican came out today requesting a central world bank.  Because I know when I think finan­cial authority, I think of the pope.  The same guy that says how awesome heaven is while surrounding himself in bullet-proof glass. 

    The overall volatility coupled with government programs aimed at driving mortgage rates down sent the Freddie Mac average 30-year fixed rate below 4% earlier this month for the first time since the 1940’s.  So the whole “rates are still super-low” thing is going on.  That’s a bright spot.

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