Rates Shrink Slightly

Mortgage rates shrunk slightly last week, giving borrowers a little breathing room as they inch towards 7%, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. Freddie’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey found that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.66%, down from 6.70% just last week. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 2.99%. “Mortgage rates decreased slightly this week due to ongoing economic uncertainty,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist.  “However, rates remain quite high compared to just one year ago, meaning housing continues to be more expensive for potential homebuyers.” Mortgage loan application volume tumbled last week, falling to its slowest pace since 1997 as the looming 7% interest rate scared buyers off the market. A recent survey found that…

Record-High Down Payments See Moderation

Buyers are paying record-high down payments thanks to the combination of soaring prices and high competition, but they may see a reprieve soon, according to new data from Redfin. The typical U.S. mortgage borrower in July put down $62,500, up 13.6% YOY and nearly twice the growth in home sales prices. It’s also nearly double the median $32,917 down payment from July 2019, before the pandemic. Down payments have fallen slightly since peaking at $66,000 in May and June, due in part to the cooling market. Just under 59% of buyers who used a mortgage had a 10%-plus down payment, up from 57.5% a year ago but down from a peak of 60.5% in May. “Homebuyers don’t need to make…

Homeownership “Unattainable”: 1 In 4 Americans Putting Off Buying A Home Indefinitely

Housing affordability is a bigger deal to Americans than the possibility of a recession, according to a new survey by Personal Capital. The survey found that 1 in 4 people have decided to put off buying a home “indefinitely.” Rising mortgage interest rates were the number one concern of respondents, despite the fact that more than 75% said they expect a recession within two years. Gen Z was the generation most likely to say homebuying isn’t currently an option for them, and nearly a quarter called homeownership “unattainable.” Gen Zers overwhelmingly want to own their own homes, with 59% identifying homeownership as a sign of success. But many are worried they may never be able to afford a home if prices continue…

Loan Apps Tumble By 14%

Mortgage loan application volume tumbled last week, falling to its slowest pace since 1997 as rates hit 6.75%, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey. Interest rates are now at their highest point since 2006. The adjusted Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, dropped by 14.2%. The adjusted purchase index fell 13%, while the unadjusted purchase index decreased 13% and was 37% lower YOY. The refinance index dropped by 18% and was 86% lower than the same time last year. Refis made up 29% of total applications. “The current rate has more than doubled over the past year and has increased 130 basis points in the past seven weeks alone. The steep increase in rates…

Gig Workers Have More Borrowing Options Thanks To Loosening GSE Standards

Loosening lending standards are making it easier than ever for gig workers to finance homes. These workers often make enough money to qualify for a loan, but often have a difficult time proving that to lenders. “It is a phenomenon with this gig economy where people can drop in and have an Amazon play, and they’re pulling in $10,000 a month from it. So, these are not traditional type borrowers,” Eric Morgenson, VP of business development at Angel Oak, said on a panel discussing loans for gig workers. Self-employed borrowers are typically asked for contract work 1099s, copies of the last 12 to 24 months of business and personal bank statements, and year-to-date profit-and-loss statements that report revenue, expenses, and…

Home Prices See Largest Monthly Drop Since 2009

Home prices fell for a second consecutive month in August, with prices seeing the sharpest contractions in more than 13 years. Black Knight’s latest Mortgage Monitor Report showed huge price drops month-over-month and stalling inventory levels. Its Home Price Index saw prices decline 0.98%, with the median home price now 2% off its June peak. July’s 10.5% dip and August’s 0.98% are the largest one-month price drops since the Great Recession and are in the top eight largest dips ever recorded. “Either one of them would have been the largest single-month price decline since January 2009 – together they represent two straight months of significant pullbacks after more than two years of record-breaking growth,” Black Knight Data & Analytics President…

Rates Shoot Up To Nearly 7%

Mortgage rates skyrocketed again this week, nearing 7% as the affordability crisis escalates, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. Freddie’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey found that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.70%, up from 6.29% just last week. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.01%. “The uncertainty and volatility in financial markets is heavily impacting mortgage rates. Our survey indicates that the range of weekly rate quotes for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has more than doubled over the last year. This means that for the typical mortgage amount, a borrower who locked in at the higher end of the range would pay several hundred dollars more than a borrower who locked in at the lower end of the…

Pending Home Sales Down For Third Month

Pending home sales fell for a third consecutive month in August, with three of the four regions seeing month-over-month declines, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Pending Home Sales Index dropped by 2% between July and August. Year-over-year it tanked by 24.2%. All four regions saw pending sales drop year-over-year. The West, however, experienced a small uptick month-over-month, up by 1.4%. The Northeast PHSI fell by 3.4% from July, while the South fell 0.9% and the Midwest dipped by 5.2%. “The direction of mortgage rates – upward or downward – is the prime mover for home buying, and decade-high rates have deeply cut into contract signings,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “If mortgage rates moderate and the…

Most Markets Still Favor Sellers, Especially Where Home Prices Are Lowest

Most housing markets still favor sellers despite increasing buyer-friendliness, especially in more affordable markets in the South and Midwest. Knock’s Buyer-Seller Market Index found that 71 of America’s 100 largest housing markets still remain seller’s markets. “Although the general consensus is the housing market is undergoing a much-needed reset, which is welcome news to many home shoppers who will have more choices and less competition for the foreseeable future, not all markets are seeing the same trends,” said Knock Co-Founder and CEO Sean Black.  “In reality, there’s a great housing divide taking place in the U.S., especially in the East and South, where despite a slowdown in sales and slower home price growth, many markets continue to favor sellers.” Fayetteville,…

Loan Apps Turn Down Again As Rates Breach 6.5%

Mortgage loan application volume returned to its downward trajectory, wiping out gains from last week as mortgage rates breached 6.5% for the first time since mid-2008, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey. The adjusted Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, dropped by 3.7%, effectively negating a 3.8% rise last week. The adjusted purchase index fell 0.4%, while the unadjusted purchase index decreased 1% and was 29% lower YOY. The refinance index dropped by 11% and was 84% lower than the same time last year. Refis made up 30.2% of total applications. “Applications for both purchase and refinances declined last week as mortgage rates continued to increase to multi-year highs following more aggressive policy measures…