April Housing Data Show Robust Price Increase, Shorter Selling Time

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single–family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co–ops, declined 3.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million in April from an upwardly revised 5.21 million in March. Despite the monthly decline, sales have increased year–over–year for seven consecutive months and are still 6.1 percent above a year ago. The problem does not appear to be a sign of housing market weakness however. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says sales in April failed to keep pace with the robust gain seen in March. "April's…continue reading →

Mortgage Rates Jump Sharply – Reach Highest Level In 6 Weeks

Mortgage Rates climbed swiftly this week, reaching the highest point since March 17th, 2015. Mortgage rates are directly impacted by the trading of mortgage bonds on Wall Street. This week there has been rapid and deep movement to Bond Markets both in the US and Europe - like shaking a bottle of Coke before opening it. See the chart below for how mortgage bonds (Called Mortgage Backed Securities or MBS in short) have been doing for last week or so. A Red stick means MBS declined in price that day and a green…continue reading →

8 Blunders That Will Absolutely Spoil Your Mortgage Approval

  A lot of unhappy faces project through the conference call. Would-be homebuyers, real estate agents, title & escrow and a mortgage team - they all invested something. Whether it be time, money or both; watching a home purchase explode days before closing is painful. It’s also expensive for the potential homebuyer and can be a setback that pushes a potential home purchase into next home buying season or beyond. It can almost always be avoided too. Get PreApproved For a Home Purchase It all starts with a great team. Choose your mortgage…continue reading →

When is Your Credit Score Not Actually Your Credit Score?

How about when you get a mortgage lender to pull it? Maybe. Anytime it is important is more concise. It’s frustrating no doubt: Scrimping and saving for 6+ months to have that down payment you need to get a lower rate. Dutifully watching what you assume to be your credit scores flick and flutter throughout the months you are saving. Prospective homebuyers are often confused, chagrined or downright furious when they learn mortgage & auto lenders see a different score than they do. They should be. How is that fair? The reality is…continue reading →

How Does Falling Oil Price Impact Mortgage Rates?

Gas is cheap - pleasantly affordable even. Americans from coast to coast are saving money. I am saving money. How long will our good fortune last? It depends, how long will crude oil prices stay low? Low oil prices are offering a hidden gift to consumers that goes beyond the gas pump: They also indirectly support lower mortgage rates. Despite a fairly significant uptick in rates over the past week or so, rates on the 30 Yr fixed remained very close to historic lows. Freddie Mac, who has surveyed mortgage lenders since 1973…continue reading →

Employment, Oil and Fed – Triple Whammy Spikes Mortgage Rates

Usually good employment report in itself is bad enough for mortgage rates. Combine that with a rally in Oil and a statement from a regional Fed President and you have a perfect storm. Employment Report - US added 257,000 jobs last month (much higher than the predicted number of 237,000). The November and December numbers were also revised up sharply. If that isn't strong enough, the wages went up too - the average hourly wage of private sector workers rose 0.5% from December. This is the greatest 3 month job gain in 17…continue reading →

Are We Heading Into One Of The Strongest Buying Seasons?

Every month the National Association of Realtors (NAR®) tracks metrics key to the overall health of the housing market.  There are a number of important metrics you would want to pay attention to, if housing data analysis is in your wheelhouse, or if you are pondering your next housing move. One of the most  eagerly anticipated, and one of the most telling, metrics is “existing-home sales.”  The data set that is used to track this all-important metric is compiled nationally from Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data. The data used to determine existing home…continue reading →

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 →

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