Pace of Home Sales Picks Up, Unusual For Fall

Houses are going from listing to contract faster, at a time in the selling cycle when they are usually slowing down. According to Redfin’s newest Housing Market Update, one-third of homes that sold in the past four weeks went under contract within seven days of hitting the market. The time it takes for a home to go under contract has been dropping for the past six weeks, despite the fact that the market usually begins to slow in the fall. Thirty-three percent of homes sold had an accepted offer within one week of listing, a 30% increase year-over-year (YOY) and up 20% from 2019. Forty-five percent of homes sold had an accepted offer within two weeks, up 3% from the…

Refis Hit Down 26% YOY, Lowest Since January 2020

Mortgage loan application volume rose by just 0.3% last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) weekly survey reports. The Market Composite Index, which measures application volume, rose 0.3% on an adjusted basis. The Refinance Index fell 2% and was 26% lower than a year ago. It’s the Refinance Index’s lowest level since January 2020. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index rose 4%, while the unadjusted Purchase Index rose 3% compared to the week before, down 9% from the previous year. “Mortgage rates increased again last week, as the 30-year fixed rate reached 3.30% and the 15-year fixed rate rose to 2.59%- the highest for both in eight months. The increase in rates triggered the fifth straight decrease in refinance activity to…

Former Treasurer Summers: “Housing Inflation Is Almost Certain To Soar”

Lawrence H. Summers, who served as Bill Clinton’s Treasury Secretary and was one of Barack Obama’s chief economic advisors, says “housing inflation is almost certain to soar in coming months,” and he’s taking the current Treasury chief to task over her rosy view of inflation. Former Treasury Secretary Summers has been sounding the alarm over inflation for months, even as current Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has claimed the problem is “transitory” and not a significant threat to the economy. In response, Summers has criticized the Biden administration’s economic response to the pandemic, warning that rising inflation isn’t a temporary concern but a long-term problem the Fed will have trouble reining in. “We are printing money, we are creating government bonds,…

‘If You Haven’t Re-fi’d, Do So Now:’ Experts Predict Inflation, Fed Will Drive Up Rates

A new poll from Fox News shows 9 in 10 Americans are worried about inflation, and they aren’t alone. A growing consensus among housing and banking analysts is that, while the Federal Reserve gets most of the attention, the real force impacting mortgage rates in the coming months is inflation. And that’s a factor much harder for policymakers to impact than the Fed. “If you haven’t yet refinanced, do so now,” says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate. “The likelihood is that we see higher rates, not lower rates in the months ahead.” While an entire industry has grown up around ‘Fed watching’ — tracking every hint dropped by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and his counterparts — inflation…

Garland Announces DOJ Initiative To Combat “Modern-Day Redlining”

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a Department of Justice (DOJ) initiative to combat discriminatory redlining policies that make homebuying more difficult for borrowers of color. In remarks to staff, Garland said the DOJ initiative will target “modern-day redlining.” The DOJ will investigate and prosecute banks with the help of U.S. attorneys around the nation, as well as the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Treasury Department. “Lending discrimination runs counter to fundamental promises of our economic system,” he said. “When people are denied credit simply because of their race or national origin, their ability to share in our nation’s prosperity is all but eliminated.” Redlining is a practice of lenders denying loans based on the racial makeup of an…

The Eviction Moratorium Ended. Where Is the ‘Eviction Tsunami?’

As the end of the federal government’s eviction moratorium approached this summer, housing activists warned a “tsunami” of evictions and homelessness would follow. The country is on the cusp of a “tsunami of evictions,” John Parvensky of the nonprofit organization Colorado Coalition for the Homeless told NBC News. “We will likely see more people unable to pay rent and end up being evicted and turning to the streets.” But nearly two months after the Supreme Court ruled against the moratorium, the predicted avalanche of evictions has not materialized—leaving experts scrambling trying to explain why a factor of such certainty could have been so wrong. The moratorium’s legal status was always hazy: The ban on evictions was never issued through Congress…

Advocates Rally For “Robust” Housing Spending In Economic Plan

Housing stakeholders gathered at the nation’s capitol to call for the budget reconciliation package being negotiated in Congress to substantially support housing. The group included National Association of Realtors (NAR) CEO Bob Goldberg, members of the National Housing Conference (NHC), Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Habitat for Humanity, National Association of Homebuilders, and others. Representative Sherrod Brown (D-OH), chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, and Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, also attended. “Housing is fundamental to an economy that works for all. Democrats and President Biden understand this,” Chairman Brown said in his speech. “Robust housing investments support families and kids, improve health outcomes, and address climate change – while creating…

Applications Drop, Refis Lowest Since July

Mortgage loan application volume fell 6.3% last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) weekly survey reported. The Market Composite Index, which measures application volume, fell 6.3% on an adjusted basis. The Refinance Index fell 7% and was 22% lower than a year ago. It’s the Refinance Index’s lowest level since July 2021. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index fell 5%, while the unadjusted Purchase Index dropped 5% compared to the week before, down 12% from the previous year. “Refinance applications declined for the fourth week as rates increased, bringing the refinance index to its lowest level since July 2021. The 30-year fixed rate has increased 20 basis points over the past month and reached 3.23% last week – the highest since…

Red States Are Beating Blue States in White-Hot Housing Market. Why?

The housing market in red states is white-hot compared to their blue counterparts, a new analysis finds. As U.S. housing prices remain high and experts predict the trend will continue, states led by Republican legislatures and governors are disproportionately represented among the hottest housing markets in the country, with experts offering a variety of explanations as to why that might be. Data analyst firm CoreLogic noted this month that “home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased year over year by 18.1% in August 2021 compared with August 2020, marking the largest annual gain in home prices in the 45-year history of the CoreLogic Home Price Index.” That price spike was driven by a sharply constricted housing supply that saw homebuyers scrambling to…

Fannie Mae: Home Prices, Mortgage Rates Will Rise In 2022

Economists from Fannie Mae’s Economic and Strategic Research (ESR) group anticipate that mortgage rates and home prices will increase in 2022, according to the group’s October 2021 Forecast commentary. The group cites inflation, tightening monetary policy, and continuing home stock shortages as drivers of higher prices in 2022.  Fannie Mae’s October economic forecast predicts the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage will average 3.3% in 2022. It raised its prediction of 3.1% last month in anticipation of the Federal Reserve tapering its purchase of mortgage-backed securities, which is expected to start by the end of this year. “While we still view the supply chain disruptions and, to a lesser extent, labor market tightness as largely transitory, we now expect both to last even…