The rate of U.S. mortgages that are delinquent or in foreclosure fell to a four-year low as job growth helped some borrowers catch up on payments and rising demand for homes made it easier for others to sell.
Sales of U.S.-backed mortgage bonds soared to a three-year high as steps by the Federal Reserve and Obama administration to make home ownership more affordable propelled a 34 percent jump in refinancing.
A record share of U.S. mortgages were in the foreclosure process at the end of 2010, matching the all-time high, as lenders and servicers delayed home seizures to investigate charges of improper documentation.
A real estate agent near California’s Silicon Valley seeks sellers by combing property records for people who’ve owned their houses for at least 40 years. A Denver-area broker offers half his commission for a listing, while a counterpart in South Florida hosts happy hour gatherings at bars to loosen up homeowners reluctant to sell.