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The Homebuilder Index Hits 9-Year High

The National Association of Home Builders/Housing Market Index [HMI] for September 2014 improved for the fourth month in a row, and hit a nine-year high reaching back to 2005.

The HMI gauges builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes.

Reasons for improving conditions:
+ A firming job market
+ Pent-up demand for new homes
+ A gradual, upward trend in builder confidence

Mortgage Apps Jump Almost 8%

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly report for the number of mortgage applications for the week ending September 12 climbed by nearly 8 percent. It appears that there is a statistical see-saw battle going on by the divergences of weekly reports as the prior week’s numbers showed a drop of 7.2 percent for the week ending September 5.

A look at the numbers over a two week span shows:
+ Refinance applications are down overall by 1.4 percent
+ Purchase applications are up 2.1 percent
+ On a comparative basis from last year, purchase volume continues to lag almost 10 percent

Hurricane Preparation Checklist Pt 1

As a professional in any industry these tips are a great resource for the upcoming 2014 Hurricane Season.

The following should be removed from your office and taken home or otherwise safeguarded:
+ Safeguard all your bank checks and un-deposited checks!
+ Safeguard any original documents you don't want to lose!
+ Safeguard all files that you are working on and that are currently in your pipeline!
+ Download and print your most recent bank statements for all accounts!
+ Print a copy of your homeowners insurance policy!

Free Microsoft Business Books

Even if you don't have a Kindle, you can have a Kindle app on your computer, laptop, phone or tablet. It allows you to download books and read them on your device.

I ran across these FREE books on Amazon, (I don't know how much longer they will remain FREE), but you can download them now.

Free Books on Kindle
STOP BEING LAZY! How To Master The Art Of Getting Things Done and Overcome Procrastination To Finally Achieve More (Free Bonus Audio Included) [Kindle Edition]

How to Use Microsoft Excel 2013

New Jersey Continues with High Foreclosures

RealtyTrac reported that New Jersey's foreclosure-filing rate rose significantly in August, by 115 percent comparatively with the same month in 2013.

Among the counties hit the hardest hit were Atlantic County, then Cumberland, Sussex, Salem and Camden counties. Nationwide, August's filing rate - one in every 1,126 housing units - was down 9 percent from the same month a year ago, according to the RealtyTrac report.

Ralph Aponte
Counsellors Title Agency

We Remember Them

Today marks the 13th anniversary of September 11th. Throughout the nation, people will stop, pray and remember those who died in the attacks of that day, and others who died or suffered as a result of their recovery efforts.

Throughout the state, there will be dozens of events in commemoration of the historic day taking place in Essex, Hudson, Monmouth, East Newark, Guttenberg, Hoboken, Jersey City, North Bergen and many other locations. Here is a link to other events:

We at Counsellors Title honor them.

Ralph Aponte
Counsellors Title Agency

Trend Report Sees Loan Production Improvement

The Trend Report for Independent Mortgage Bankers [IMB] saw a 50 percent improvement in loan production among independent mortgage bankers in the second quarter of 2014 over the previous quarter. The report is compiled by Richey May & Co.

Important Stats
+ Purchase volume improved 62 percent over the first quarter 2014
+ Refinance volume gained 20 percent over the first quarter 2014
+ Unfunded lock pipelines increased 38 percent over the first quarter 2014

The summary of the report indicates that "the improved market conditions will continue through the coming months." Acquires Point2 U.S. Listing Syndication Service

Creates Massive Listing Portal with ListHub for a Single Data Platform

The acquisition of by, which is owned by, is a game-changer.
It increases the number of listings distributed its own syndication to cover nearly 85 percent of all listings nationwide including those of Zillow and Trulia.

The deal also includes all 112 multiple listing services of Point2.

This creates a massive portal of over 534 MLS listing feeds.

According to the announcement, it will also remove duplicate listings as is now the case.

Getting a Mortgage With FICO Scores Under 620

According to Mel Watt, the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency,"[The FHFA is] getting lenders to reduce some of the credit overlays."

The average FICOs have been going down steadily since 2006 as a direct result of the combination of factors such as: the financial meltdown, the general recession, the slow growth of higher-paying jobs and record unemployment.

Here are some pointers for those with FICO scores below 620:

1. Prepare to pay more (at least initially)

Stats to Start the Week

Considering the fact that it was the week before Labor Day, mortgage applications maintained the current level from the prior week. That is a good sign, at least for the short-term.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s Survey for the week ending August 29, 2014 reported that mortgage applications sustained their current levels from the prior week, posting a slight 0.2 percent increase.

Other Stats
+ The Refinance Index increased 1 percent from the previous week
+ The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 57 percent of total applications from 56 percent