TWiRP – September 26, 2015

This week in rental property, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell to 3.86 percent from last week’s 3.91 percent. New mortgage forms will be mandated from October 3rd. The New York Times talks in details about the new disclosure rules and the Washington Post provides professionals’ thoughts on what the new mortgage closing process means for consumers. The talk around the rental housing market this week was the merger of two real estate giants – U.S. landlords Colony American Homes and Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust – trying to become a bigger force in the young house-rental industry. According to Zillow’s latest report, 1 in 4 U.S. homes have lost value since last year.


Mortgage rates retreat after Federal Reserve holds off on rate hike

The 30-year fixed-rate average sank to 3.86 percent with an average 0.7 point. (Points are fees paid to a lender equal to 1 percent of the loan amount.) It was 3.91 percent a week ago and 4.2 percent a year ago. The 30-year fixed rate has remained below 4 percent for more than two months. The 15-year fixed-rate average dropped to 3.08 percent with an average 0.6 point. It was 3.11 percent a week ago and 3.36 percent a year ago:

New Disclosure Rules for Mortgages

Home loan offers should be easier to decipher come Oct. 3, when mortgage lenders must begin using new consumer disclosure forms that explicitly break down the costs and terms associated with a loan.

Instead of receiving four different disclosures in various formats, as currently required under the Truth in Lending and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Acts, borrowers will receive just two. Intended to make the loan process more transparent, the new forms, created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, look similar and are much easier to understand:

What the new mortgage closing process means for consumers

Change is scary. It takes us out of our comfort zone and entrenched habits. It forces us to work in new and different ways. But with change comes the opportunity to reexamine processes. It’s a chance to do things better and more efficiently. One impending change roiling the mortgage world is aimed at bringing clear language and design to make it easier for consumers to locate key information, such as interest rate, monthly payments and costs associated with closing the loan:

Big Landlords to Merge, Betting on Rising Rents

Two big owners of single-family rental homes said Monday they have agreed to merge, a bet that rents will keep rising and homes will remain difficult for many Americans to buy. Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust, a publicly traded real-estate investment trust run by Barry Sternlicht, the longtime real-estate investor who is Starwood Capital Group’s chief executive, will combine with closely held Colony American Homes Inc. in a deal that values Colony at about $1.5 billion based on Starwood Waypoint’s closing share price Friday:

Why Barrack, Sternlicht Joined Forces in U.S. Home-Rental Merger

The combination of U.S. landlords Colony American Homes and Starwood Waypoint Residential Trust brings together two real estate moguls whose companies are trying to become a bigger force in the young house-rental industry. Starwood Waypoint is backed by Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital Group, a $44 billion real estate investment firm, while Colony American Homes is affiliated with billionaire Tom Barrack’s Colony Capital Inc., whose assets range from distressed mortgages to Michael Jackson’s Neverland estate. The executives will serve as co-chairmen of the combined rental company, which will own more than 30,000 houses across the country:

1 in 4 U.S. homes worth less than a year ago

One in four U.S. homes have lost value in the past year, with markets in the northeast such as Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia slammed especially hard with declines hitting more than 40 percent of the residences in their areas. It wasn’t much better in metro areas in the Midwest, with Pittsburgh, Chicago, Cincinnati and Cleveland all seeing declines affecting more than 30 percent of the homes in those markets: