Unlike Shakira’s Hips, Housing Data Can Lie

What difference does a mere $1,000 make on the housing market? Apparently, it makes all the difference in the world. Housing affordability has been a commonly touched subject for us recently. I have written about it several times because it concerns me. I find it to be a disconcerting topic. The housing affordability precipice has also caught the attention of other prominent information sources in the real estate world. Including, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). In a study released in August 2014, NAHB examines the effect of increases in the cost to obtain a mortgage and permit…continue reading →

After The Shutdown, What’s In Store For Mortgage Rates?

The government shutdown has come to an end, but how does the House's last minute deal and the post-shutdown environment impact mortgage rates? With the debt ceiling stalemate in Washington resolved at least until February 7, 2014, rates could dip in the short term. In fact mortgage backed securities (MBS) climbed 95 basis points last week. When MBS goes up in price, mortgage rates go down. The week saw another .125% improvement in rates and brought the average 30 year fixed rate closer to 4%. Home builders stalled by the government shutdown will…continue reading →

Fed, Lies and Mortgage Rates

There have been a string of striking turnabouts by Fed officials in recent months that have whipsawed mortgage backed securities (MBS) markets. Who Said What and the Impact on Mortgage Rates May 22, 2013 - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke answered Congress's questions about when the central bank might begin to slow down its monetary stimulus program,  “If we see continued improvement and we have confidence that that is going to be sustained, then we could in the next few meetings we could take a step down in our pace of purchases, he…continue reading →

Then and Now – An Amazing Yet True Comparison of Mortgage Payments

These figures are illustrations only. Prices are based on U.S median average sales prices, rates are reflective of a 30 year fixed rate loan for 1981 and early in 2013. Principal and Interest payments are based on an 80% loan to value, taxes are based on a factor of 1.5% of the sales price and insurance is based on a cost of 3$ per $1,000 of loan amount. Actual current rates, taxes, insurance, etc , can vary at any time. Amazingly, you can purchase a median priced home today for a payment that…continue reading →

7 Things You Need To Know About Qualified Mortgage (Ability To Repay Rule)

What is a Qualified Mortgage rule? Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule, also called Ability To Repay rule is part of implementing the Dodd-Frank act. QM rule implemented by Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), is the first ever attempt at defining and establishing a basic standard for qualifying borrowers for mortgage loans. Loans that qualify as “Qualified Mortgage will get a full legal shield from the CFPB mandating that judges rule in lenders favor if the borrowers contest foreclosures. I also talked about it in a post I wrote on Oct 24. 2012. On January…continue reading →

Why 30 Year Fixed Mortgage Rates Should Be At 2.75% And Why They Aren’t?

Ben Bernanke must be tearing his hair (whatever is left of it). He has increased Fed's balance sheet to an all time high of almost $3 trillion mostly through bond purchases. But the mortgage rates haven't declined as much he would have hoped. He is frustrated that the lower yield on mortgage backed securities are not being passed on to the borrowers in form of lower mortgage rates. In fact, he called the trend "unfortunate" and Federal Reserve Bank of New York held a workshop to examine the issue. Imagine 30 year fixed…continue reading →

Bank Settlements and Refinance Programs All Good News for Struggling Homeowners

Homeowners more deeply underwater on mortgages handled by five major U.S. banking firms are prime candidates for getting help from a $25-billion nationwide settlement over alleged foreclosure abuses. That's because the settlement gives the nation's largest mortgage servicers more incentives to help those who owe 40% to 75% more than the value of their homes, according to details of the settlement filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Washington. Even so, the settlement's effect on the housing market could be limited. Only customers of the five largest servicers are eligible for principal reductions,…continue reading →

The “Facebook IPO Effect” and the Silicon Valley Housing Market

As soon as Facebook announced its pending IPO, many Realtors and mortgage professionals in the Silicon Valley were anticipating the ripple effect into the local housing market. Potential home buyers are worried that perhaps home prices will rise with all this new found wealth flooding the market. The dilemma is that consistently low inventory available on the Peninsula is putting pressure on housing prices. The folks at Altos Research, a Mountain View real estate data analytics company, wrote a compelling, and stats filled post on the true reach of the "Facebook Effect" on…continue reading →

San Jose Housing Market Recovering As Spring Market Heats Up

Spring 2012 Housing market for San Jose and Santa Clara County appears to be off to a strong start according to real time market data and Realtors anecdotal reports. The median price for a single-family home in San Jose, CA is $477,000, up from $463,000 in February of 2009. The median home price for Santa Clara County in January was $648,238. Back in February 2007, the median price in San Jose was $715,000, according to historical statistical data from the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS. According to a recent Rismedia report, housing…continue reading →