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FHA Set to Reduce Mortgage Insurance Premiums by 0.5%

“This action will make homeownership more affordable for over two million Americans in the next three years.” Spurred by the dwindling number of first-time homebuyers entering the housing market, President Barack Obama laid out plans to slash mortgage insurance premiums for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans yesterday. The reduction - from 1.35% to 0.85% - represents a continued focus on housing health by the Obama administration. It’s also damn fine news for would be spring home-shoppers who will reap the rewards of a significantly lower housing payment. CoreLogic estimates the change will benefit…continue reading →

5 Things That Will Change For Mortgage Lending In 2015

Mortgage industry had a torrid time in 2014.  The year was marked with huge decline in production volume, mass lay offs and several multi-million (or billion) penalty/lawsuits. According to Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), total loan production for 2014 was $1.1 trillion, down almost 40% from 2013 where it was $1.8 trillion. Purchase business surprisingly went down, but most of the decline came from refinance, where the production slipped almost 60% compared to 2013. As we look ahead, I believe there are 5 things that will change for mortgage lending in 2015. 1. Higher…continue reading →

Millennials Shaping the Housing Market…as Renters?

Collectively, Millennials represent a hugely important demographic for the Housing Market. Representing 95 million people ages 18-34 that have, historically, driven the first time-buyer landscape. However, in the first quarter of 2014, homeownership for the Millennial demographic declined to 36.2 percent, down from 36.8 percent in 2013 and the lowest on record since the Housing Vacancy Survey began tracking homeownership by age in 1982. This data is important for another huge housing demographic - the real estate investor. So what’s behind the drop? What does this mean for the greater housing market and…continue reading →

Fed to Stop Buying Mortgage Bonds – What’s Next For Rates?

In a momentous decision Federal Reserve (called Fed in short) decided to stop buying mortgage and treasury bonds. After 6 years of doing so, Fed finally decided its time to put a stop on it. So, how does it impact mortgage rates? But, before that - lets get a little bit of History - shall we? In October 2008, Fed decided to do something it had never done before. They announced that they would go into the market and buy a ton of bonds. They wanted to drive the mortgage rates down, which would…continue reading →

Mortgage Rates Drop To A 16 Month Low – But For How Long?

Growing concerns about weak economic growth and Fed's indication of delaying rate hikes, plummeted the mortgage rates to the lowest levels in 16 months. Mortgage Banker's Association (MBA) reported the decline in rates across the board in its latest weekly mortgage applications survey released today. See the results below. The rates this morning are actually much lower than below quoted rates. For most well qualified borrowers with 10%-20% equity in the house, 30 Year Fixed mortgage rates on Conforming loan balances is under 4%. Get a Live Rate Quote The average contract interest…continue reading →

Bay Area Real Estate Will Remain Red Hot – Here’s Why

Lured by high paying and, dare I say, glamorous tech jobs, Millennials are flocking to California’s Central Coast (San Jose, the Bay Area and Silicon Valley) in droves. In many cases, for many young demographics, Silicon Valley is bigger, better and more glamorous than Hollywood could ever be. As we have discussed many times before, today’s mobile generation goes where the jobs are instead of waiting for the jobs to come to them. This is a good trend. People should not remain in what corner of the world just because they were placed there at birth.…continue reading →

Mortgage Rates Jump To A Four Month High

Mortgage Rates made the biggest one week jump this year and is now at the highest level in over 4 months. As part of Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), Freddie Mac reported that the 30 Year Fixed rate is now at the highest levels since May 1, 2014. Based on the survey, below are the average mortgage rates for last week: 30 Year Fixed rate mortgage FRM) averaged 4.23% with 0.5 points. One year ago the 30 Year FRM averaged 4.5%. 15 Year FRM averaged 3.37% with 0.5 points. A year ago at this…continue reading →

Does Investing In Real Estate Make Sense Any More?

The talking heads on TV seem to think an overvalued stock market is racing towards an imminent pullback. It’s a logical assessment. With equities appearing overbought, gold dropping in value and bonds yielding little to no return, you might be wondering just where the hell to stick your money. Should real estate be on the table? Investors seem to think so. When you look at the data a few things jump out: Clearly one sector is lagging the economic recovery - housing. Have American demographics shifted and we’re simply seeing the new “norm” for housing? Is the lag…continue reading →

Are Sellers Too Confident In A Not-So-Hot Market?

Public sentiment generally lags reality on almost everything, especially the housing market. 2009 - 2012 will likely be remembered as the Great Recession by historians. Many homebuyers will recall it more fondly; they will remember it as the time they ignored the media cynicism, seized the opportunity and bought a home - A home that was a steal of a deal and paired with once in a lifetime mortgage rates to boot. Most of the intrepid adventurers who braved the skeptics and bought real estate at the bottom stand to profit a pretty penny on the choice. Warren…continue reading →

Is the American Dream of Home-ownership, Just a Dream?

The “renter’s nation” is increasingly being used by pundits to describe the US housing market. If you go to the source, middle-class Americans, you’ll get a different story. Despite what you may hear, the myth that we are quickly becoming a “renter’s nation” is just that – a myth. According to Gallup, the numbers clearly suggest quite the opposite. When polled, only slightly over 1/10th of the population completely spurn the idea of home-ownership altogether. Household income is the primary predicator when it comes to opinions on the importance of owning a home. It seems obvious…continue reading →