Freddie Mac: Mortgage Rates Rise To 3.14%

Mortgage rates rose again over the past week, reaching 3.14%, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. Freddie’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) found that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.14%, up from last week’s 3.09%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 2.81% “The yield on the 10-year Treasury note has been trending up due to the decline in new COVID cases, increasing consumer optimism, as well as broadening inflation and persistent shortages,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “Mortgage rates are also rising, but purchase demand remains firm, showing that latent purchase demand exists among consumers.” Industry experts have noted minor decreases in home prices and other factors that would point to a cool-down, but the market remains hot. The…

Mortgage Fraud Rose To Pre-Pandemic Levels In Q2

Mortgage fraud rose 37.2% year-over-year (YOY) through Q2, reaching pre-pandemic levels, according to CoreLogic’s latest Mortgage Fraud Report.  The increases are artificially high given the significant drop in fraud during 2020, which was driven by jumps in traditionally low-risk refinances. The current level mimics mid-2019. “Refinance opportunities that surged lending volumes during the pandemic may be winding down. The outlook is for fewer low-risk refinances compared to purchases and cash-out refinances, which translates to a higher-risk environment for fraud,” said Ann Regan, executive, product management at CoreLogic. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, increasing interest rates have hampered refinance activity, with applications spiraling to their lowest point since January 2020. Purchase applications have picked up slightly. About 0.83% of all…

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…

Home Prices Up 18.5% Over Last Year

House prices rose 1% in August and are now 18.5% higher than a year ago, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s House Price Index (FHFA HPI). “Annual house price gains remained extremely high in August but the pace of month-over-month gains continues to decelerate,” said Dr. Lynn Fisher, FHFA’s Deputy Director of the Division of Research and Statistics.  “This does not mean house prices are at risk of declining—far from it, they continue to climb at a double-digit pace in all regions—but it does suggest we may have seen the peak in annual gains for the time being.” At the same time, First American released its Real House Price Index (RHPI), which showed similar results: Real house prices rose…

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…

MBA: 25% of Forbearances Now New Requests, Re-Admissions

Forbearances continued to drop last week, though not as dramatically as the week before. The total number of loans in forbearance dropped to 2.21% of servicers’ portfolio volume, down from 2.28% the week before, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) latest survey. The estimated number of homeowners in forbearance plans remains around 1.1 million. This week’s drop of seven basis points is a significant cooling compared to the prior week’s drop of 34 basis points. Black Knight reported that forbearances have entered a mid-month slowdown which they said to be unremarkable, mimicking “the same mid-month lull in removal activity that we’ve been reporting on for many months now.” MBA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni acknowledged the…

September Delinquencies Dropped 41% YOY, Lowest Level In 18 Months

The national delinquency rate dropped below 4% for the first time in 18 months in September, according to Black Knight’s September 2021 “first look” report. It is a 2.3% drop from August and 41.3% lower year-over-year. And those numbers might have been even better if not for the impact on delinquencies a result of hurricanes in Louisiana, many in FEMA-declared disaster areas. Mississippi, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Alabama ranked just below Louisiana for the highest percentages of non-current loans. Foreclosure starts also fell in September, coming down 45% from August. August saw spikes in foreclosure starts in the days following the Supreme Court’s decision to end the national moratorium. However, those increases were from historic lows, meaning the raw numbers…

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…

Forbearance Exits Hit Mid-Month ‘Lull’

The number of loans in active forbearance fell 0.6% since last Tuesday, entering an expected, mid-month period of “lull,” according to Black Knight’s blog, Vision. Only 7,300 homeowners exited forbearance plans this week. The slowdown is significant compared to the two weeks prior, during which forbearance rates were dropping at break-neck speed. Forbearance rates have been improving at the fastest pace since the pandemic began, with 432,000 homeowners exiting their plans in the first weeks of October alone. But Black Knight noted that the dip is unremarkable, mimicking “the same mid-month lull in removal activity that we’ve been reporting on for many months now.” Portfolio and PSLs plans rose by 6,000, lowering the average set by declines of 10,500 for…

ATTOM: Some Markets Still Vulnerable To Covid-19 Economic Pressures

Despite the pandemic receding and a housing market cooldown, some housing markets at the county level are still susceptible to damage from the pandemic, according to a new report from ATTOM. The Q3 2021 Special Coronavirus Report showed that New Jersey, Illinois, and Delaware had the highest concentrations of at-risk markets, totaling 26 of the 50 counties whose housing markets might be most impacted by Covid-19. To determine risk to the market, the report looked at the percentage of homes facing possible foreclosure, the portion with mortgage balances exceeding property values, and the percentage of average local wages required to pay for homeownership expenses on median-priced houses or condos. Included on the list are eight counties in the Chicago metro…