Median Existing Home Prices, Sales Set Record Highs


CNBC financial reporter Diana Olick reported on Wednesday that the median existing home price in the United States set a record high in June.

According to Olick, the average home sold for $236,400 last month, up 6 percent from a year ago. That is the highest number ever on record.

Existing home sales were also up, soaring 3.2 percent month-over-month, with 5.49 million (seasonally adjusted) units sold, marking the highest sales volume we’ve seen in eight years.

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America’s Most and Least Affordable Beach Town Revealed 

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With the enjoyment of summer comes the lure of investing in a beach-side property for many Americans.

As such, has just released a list of the most and least affordable beach towns nationwide.

According to the site, the most affordable waterfront homes are located in Florida, Mississippi and New Jersey with Port Richey, Fla., taking the top spot. The least affordable locales, meanwhile, are in Northern and Southern California and New York, as Malibu, Calif., requires the largest pocketbook.

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Black Knight to Benefit Heavily from Move to Electronic Mortgage Filing


A new banking ruling set to go in effect in October has Black Knight Financial Services Inc. ready to benefit greatly from the proposed switch to electronic mortgage filing.

Black Knight is the country’s largest mortgage software firm and has already started gaining steam as other lenders prepare to move away from faxing documents and in-person singings and toward electronic automation.

“Mortgage staffers right now are like travel agents before we found out that technology makes travel cheaper,” said Scott Sambucci, vice president at Blend Labs Inc. “New regulations have forced lenders to throw away their fax machines and put larger investments into real technology.”

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Wells Fargo Lawsuit Dismissed in Predatory Lending Case

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U.S. District Judge Otis Wright ruled on Friday to dismiss a lawsuit filed against Wells Fargo that accused the mortgage lender of violating the federal Fair Lending Act by engaging in predatory lending practices.

According to Wright, there we enough “undisputed facts” to show that Wells Fargo did not violate any FHA rules.

Back in 2013, the city of Los Angeles accused Wells Fargo of luring minority borrowers into high-cost loans they couldn’t afford since at least 2004.

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Housing Supply on the Decline in Phoenix


CNBC reporter Diana Olick revealed on Thursday that the housing supply in Phoenix is shrinking – and that’s a good thing.

Just a few years ago, Phoenix was looked upon as the “poster child for the housing crash,” but these days the market is heating up and homes are not sitting for long.

“The market is moving very fast, especially under $250,000,” said Erik Jensen, a real estate agent with the Caniglia Group. “Homes are lasting one or two days on the market.”

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Two Banking Giants Battling for No. 2 Spot Behind Quicken Loans in Customer Service Index Rating


When J.D. Power released the results of its customer satisfaction study for mortgage originations on Wednesday, there was a clear winner in Quicken Loans, which received 835 points on a 1,000-point scale.

But when it came to second place, the numbers were so close that both Bank of America and Chase claimed to have notched runner up honors.

As it turns out, however, the actual second place finisher was BoA with 807 points, followed closely by Chase with 805. And for what it’s worth, U.S. Bank was right on their heels with 802 points, good for a No. 4 ranking.

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Americans Saving on Gas, Spending on Fun and Food

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As Americans continue to enjoy a 23 percent drop in gas prices from this time a year ago, a new study conducted by Bloomberg Business has revealed that many consumers are using the extra cash on a range of other categories – most notably fun and food.

According to Bloomberg, sporting and book stores are enjoying the largest jump in sales, with spending there representing 1.67 percent of the total pie, as opposed to the 0.65 percent we saw in June 2014.

With that said, however, consumer spending is still weaker overall than what many economists had hoped to see, accounting for just about 70 percent of the total economy.

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Pro Tip: Check Pros and Cons Before Paying Off Mortgage Early


The financial pros over at CNBC released a new set of tips on Monday, urging homeowners to carefully weigh all of the pros and cons before paying off a mortgage early.

“If a client thinks they’ll be in a house for 10 years after the mortgage payoff, I encourage them to do it,” said Kristi C. Sullivan, CFP and owner of Sullivan Financial Planning. “But if they want to move soon after they are able to pay off the mortgage, I don’t.”

Meanwhile, David Mendels of Creative Financial Concepts urges borrows to keep mortgage rates in mind.

“Far too many clients focus on paying off their mortgage in retirement, only to end up ‘land poor,’” he said. “Especially at today’s low rates. I urge them to think less in terms of the added payment than of the added safety net of the extra cash.”

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4 Tips for Finding Cheap Car Insurance Online

Earlier this week, NerdWallet put together a handy new guide to help consumers find the cheapest car insurance rates online.

According to the site, a little bit of Internet research can pay off big time, especially when you take into account the relatively small amount of time it takes to look around.

But before you embark on your search, take a few minutes to prepare. Gather all of your information, decide the type and amount of coverage you’d like, gets lots of quotes and then – if necessary – talk to an expert to help you make sure you’re making the right decision for you and your family.

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Turmoil in Chinese Stock Market: Will It Affect U.S. Housing?


As you’re likely aware, the stock market in China is currently experiencing a bit of turmoil.

And with so much Chinese money tied up in U.S. real estate investments, many experts are led to wonder what sort of effect this will have on our country’s housing market.

“My conclusion on China is that those who are buying U.S. real estate are doing it with a very long-term view – to diversify their assets, provide a safe haven in case something happens at home,” said John Burns of California-based John Burns Real Estate Consulting. “I don’t think a 30 percent stock correction after a relatively recent 150 percent boom changes much of that. If you told me the economy was going negative, their shadow banking system was exploding, or the government clamped down on foreign investment, then I would be concerned.”

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