30-Year Mortgage Rates Fall To 2.77%

Mortgage rates decreased slightly this week, remaining firmly below 3 percent – where they have remained since late July, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey released Thursday. The survey found: The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.77 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last week’s 2.79 percent and last year’s 3.60 percent.The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.21 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week’s 2.23 percent and last year’s 3.04 percent.The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 2.80 percent with an average 0.4 point, down from last week’s 3.12 percent and last year’s 3.28 percent. “Mortgage rates have hovered near historic lows for almost a year, fueling purchase and refinance activity amid a…

Builder Confidence Drops As Covid Cases Rise

Builder confidence slid in January as the nation faced climbing Covid-19 caseloads and homebuilders confronted surging lumber prices, the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index released Wednesday showed. Builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes slipped three points to 83 this month. “Despite robust housing demand and low mortgage rates, buyers are facing a dearth of new homes on the market, which is exacerbating affordability problems,” NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke said. “Builders are grappling with supply-side constraints related to lumber and other material costs, a lack of affordable lots and labor shortages that delay delivery times and put upward pressure on home prices. They are also concerned about a changing regulatory environment.” The HMI…

Mortgage Applications Dip Amid Higher Rates

Mortgage applications decreased slightly last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey released Wednesday. Applications decreased 1.9 percent for the week. Refinances decreased by 5 percent from the previous week but were 87 percent higher than the same week a year ago. Purchase applications increased 9 percent over the previous week and was 15 percent higher than last year. The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 72.3 percent of total applications from 74.8 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity increased to 2.1 percent of total applications. “Purchase applications remained strong based on current housing demand, rising over the week and up a noteworthy 15 percent from last year,” said Joel Kan,…

What to Expect During Your Home Appraisal

By Jennifer A. Chiongbian The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced last month that it is soliciting public comment on ways to modernize the home appraisal process and make it go more smoothly for everyone involved. In the meantime, there are steps homeowners and buyers can take to make appraisals as painless as possible. What is an appraisal? First off, a home appraisal inspection is not the same as a home inspection. The appraiser works for the bank and the home inspector works for you.  The appraiser provides a valuation for the home. The home inspector inspects for structural anomalies, such as electrical, foundational, roofing or window repair issues.  A homeowner looking to sell their house in the near future would…

Mortgage Rates Climb But Remain Low

Mortgage rates climbed to their highest levels since mid-November, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaging 2.79 percent for the week, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey released Thursday. The survey found: The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.79 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from last week’s 2.65 percent and down from last year’s 3.65 percent.The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.23 percent with an average 0.7 point, up from last week’s 2.16 percent and down from last year’s 3.09 percent.The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.12 percent with an average 0.4 point, up from last week’s 2.75 percent and down from last year’s 3.39 percent. “As Treasury yields have risen, it is putting pressure on mortgage…

Mortgage Applications Surge To Start New Year

Mortgage applications jumped 16.7 percent during the first week of 2021 to their highest levels since March, according to the latest report released Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The report found that the Refinance Index increased from 20 percent from the previous week and was 93 percent higher than the same week in 2020. The unadjusted Purchase Index was 60 percent higher last week and 10 percent higher than a year ago. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 74.8 percent of total applications from 73.5 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity decreased to 1.6 percent of total applications.   “Booming refinance activity in the first full week of 2021 caused mortgage applications to surge…

Mortgage Credit Tightens Slightly In December

Mortgage credit availability remained largely steady in December, with credit tightening by just a fraction of a percentage point, according to a report released Tuesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The Mortgage Credit Availability Index decreased 0.1 percent to 122.1 last month, with the Conventional MCAI decreasing 2.8 percent and the Government MCAI increasing 2.1 percent. “The decline in conventional credit availability was the first in three months and was driven by fewer ARM offerings,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “ARM loans have increasingly seen a smaller share of the market, given the historically low rates for fixed-rate mortgages. Availability for government loans and jumbo loans have increased for four months and three…

Stay-At-Home Workers Ready To Move

Would you move somewhere else if you were allowed to work remotely on a permanent basis? A survey released Tuesday by Redfin found that two-thirds of US homebuyers and sellers would consider moving (or already have) to a new city if they could work at home on a full-time basis. The survey of 1,400 people who bought or sold a home within the last year or plan to buy or sell a home in the next year found: 34 percent of buyers/sellers have already moved to a different city or area.33 percent would like to move to a different city or area.30 percent of respondents said they have already moved less than 50 miles away from their former home.23 percent…

Home Construction Jobs Withstand Pandemic

Home building employment withstood the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the National Association of Home Builders reported Monday. From May through December, 472,500 residential construction jobs were created – more than offsetting the 456,800 such jobs that were lost in March and April due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Residential construction jobs surged by 22,700 in December. Comparatively, non-residential construction recovered just 61 percent of the jobs that were lost in March and April. Residential construction employment now stands at 3.0 million in December, including 848,000 builders and 2.1 million residential specialty trade contractors, NAHB reported.  The six-month moving average of job gains for residential construction was 27,000 a month. Over the last 12 months, home builders and remodelers added 57,200 jobs on a…

Mortgages In Forbearance Dip Slightly In New Year

The share of US mortgages in forbearance edged down slightly last week, though 2.7 million homeowners are still pausing their mortgage payments, according to the weekly report released Monday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The weekly survey found: Total loans in forbearance as of January 3 decreased from 5.53 percent to 5.46 percent.The share of Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance decreased from 7.92 percent to 7.85 percent.The share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance decreased from 3.24 percent to 3.19 percent.The share of independent mortgage banks in forbearance dropped from 6.01 percent to 5.92 percent.Bank-managed mortgages dropped from 5.44 percent to 5.39 percent. “The share of loans in forbearance slightly declined for each investor category entering the…