Another major source of bank profits is on the rocks.
FORTUNE -- Have you called your mortgage broker in a while? If you haven't, you should. And you'll probably get her on the first ring. Being a mortgage broker has suddenly become a lot lonelier.
The number of people looking to refinance their home loan has plummeted recently. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the number of borrowers filing refinance applications fell MOREStephen Gandel, senior editor - Jun 7, 2013 6:00 AM ET
The government insurer, which may or may not be in need of a bailout, plans to generate $10 billion by locking middle class borrowers into high fees for decades.
FORTUNE -- This is what you call kicking 'em when they're down.
Consumers who don't have a lot of cash to put down when buying a house usually have to pay a higher rate than typical borrowers for the first few years of MOREStephen Gandel, senior editor - May 2, 2013 1:16 PM ET
A study by a Princeton University economics professor letting Wall Streeters off the hook for the financial crisis has a dubious premise.
FORTUNE -- If you believed poor mortgage lending and worthless securities were about to cause the biggest housing bust in American history, would you buy a house? I guess not.
That's the somewhat flimsy premise of a recent study by one Princeton economics professor and two others from the University MOREStephen Gandel, senior editor - Apr 1, 2013 1:22 PM ET
Mortgage applications were higher again in January. If individual buyers dominate home sales as opposed to investors, we might see a more sustainable housing recovery.
FORTUNE -- Investors armed with cash have largely driven the recovery of the U.S. housing market to date, but a few signs suggest that trend may be easing up. For the past five months, applications for new mortgages have risen, suggesting that regular buyers may be MORENin-Hai Tseng, Writer - Feb 8, 2013 10:34 AM ET
There's an upside to investing in property for the long haul. But beware the tax pitfalls.
By Janice Revell, contributor
FORTUNE -- With the housing market showing signs of stabilizing, investors are turning back to real estate. And an increasing number of affluent savers have been using their retirement accounts to purchase homes, rental apartments, and other properties. Done properly, such a strategy can generate good income with modest volatility. But MOREDec 18, 2012 5:00 AM ET
Why U.S. private equity firms are quietly snapping up buildings in Europe at bargain prices.
By Charles Wallace, contributor
FORUNE -- The Blackstone Group has raised a dedicated $4 billion European real estate fund; David Abrams, head of European real estate investment for Apollo Global Management, says his firm has made 30 investments this year in the U.K., Germany, Ireland, and Spain; the Carlyle Group is buying mainly in Northern Europe, MOREDec 17, 2012 5:00 AM ET
As Fortune predicted last year, a robust recovery in home prices is under way.
FORTUNE -- In spring 2011 this writer penned a controversial cover story titled "The Return of Real Estate" that predicted a strong rebound in housing. At the time, prices and sales were still tumbling, and the prevailing view among economists and pundits was that the slide would drag on and on. But Fortune's contrarian forecast proved right. MOREShawn Tully, senior editor-at-large - Oct 18, 2012 5:00 AM ET
Wall Street and consumer advocates, surprisingly, roll out the welcome mat.
FORTUNE --The Federal Reserve's recent decision to buy mortgage bonds until the economy recovers has made home lending more attractive than it has been in years. The spread between what it costs to fund a mortgage loan and what borrowers actually pay is nearly three times as large as usual. So it's perhaps no surprise that one of the first MOREStephen Gandel, senior editor - Oct 2, 2012 6:00 AM ET
The bank is trying to dump loans and claim it's helping borrowers at the same time.
FORTUNE -- Citigroup is getting into the rental business, at least it says it is.
On Wednesday, the bank launched a program to rent out 500 homes to homeowners who are having trouble paying their mortgage, rather than put the loans in foreclosure and kick the owners out. Homeowner advocacy groups and liberal economists have been MOREStephen Gandel, senior editor - Aug 10, 2012 5:00 AM ET
It wasn't that long ago when it seemed foreign buyers were propping up the U.S. housing market. Just as fast, they're leaving.
FORTUNE – During the past few years, the world's uber rich had helped drive what little bright spots there were across America's housing market. From Canada to Australia to China and elsewhere, foreign buyers saw worthwhile investments in U.S. homes as prices plummeted to record lows.
U.S. investors and policymakers MORENin-Hai Tseng, Writer - Jul 24, 2012 10:20 AM ET
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