Mortgage Rates Fall To Record Low Again

It’s another record. Rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage tumbled to an average of 3.13 percent his week, the lowest rate since Freddie Mac started tracking them in 1971, Freddie announced Thursday. “Mortgage rates have hit another record low due to declining inflationary pressures, putting many homebuyers in the buying mood,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “However, it will be difficult to sustain the momentum in demand as unsold inventory was at near record lows coming into the pandemic and it has only dropped since then.” Freddie’s weekly survey for the week ending June 18 found: 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.13 percent with an average 0.8 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.21 percent and last…

Report: Housing Recovery Led By Tech Hubs

The recovery in the housing market is continuing – and is being led by five high-tech hubs, according to the Weekly Housing Recovery Report released Thursday by realtor.com. For the week ending June 13, realtor.com found that local markets with strong tech job presences are bouncing back more quickly than others. Five of these communities – Denver, Boston, Seattle, San Francisco and San Diego – pushed past their January 2020 pace last week. “As the market heads into the summer, growth in online home searches and asking prices has surpassed pre-COVID levels, but movement in supply and time on market remains well below seasonal pace,” said Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com. “But locally the story is much…

Single-Family Permits Post Strong May Numbers

The housing market is gaining steam. Single-family permits issued in May were 11.9 percent above April levels in the United States, while all privately-owned housing unit permits were up for 14.4 percent, according to a report released Wednesday by the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development. Total housing starts also were up 4.3 percent for the month. “We expect this momentum to continue as economic activity recovers,” National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist Robert Dietz said. “In another promising sign, single-family permits are up almost 2 percent on a year-to-date basis and builders are bringing back thousands of workers laid off in March and April to meet renewed demand.” On a regional and year-to-date basis (January…

Mortgage Applications: Highest Level In 11 Years

Mortgage loan purchase applications reached their level since 2009 as the housing market continues to make a comeback from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mortgage Bankers Association announced Wednesday. Overall, mortgage applications increased 8 percent from a week earlier. Purchase applications increased 2 percent from a week earlier and was 21 percent higher than the same week a year ago. It is the ninth straight week purchase applications have increased. “The housing market continues to experience the release of unrealized pent-up demand from earlier this spring, as well as a gradual improvement in consumer confidence,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. Refinance applications increased 10 percent from the previous week and was 106 percent higher…

Freddie’s Forecast: “Highly Uncertain”

Low mortgage rates. Slower home sales. Slower price growth. That’s what Freddie Mac’s quarterly forecast released Tuesday is calling for, as markets have been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic – with home sales and price growth declining in the last few months. “While the housing market undoubtedly has felt the effects of COVID-19, we are encouraged by recent homebuyer demand as well as mortgage rates that should remain at record lows for the foreseeable future,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater said. “However, beyond the initial rebound in the housing market, the economic and housing outlook will be heavily impacted by the prospects for a vaccine, fiscal policy and the underlying organic recovery of the economy which, in combination, make…

New Home Mortgage Applications Jump In May

Mortgage applications for new home purchases increased 10.9 percent in May over a year ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s builder application survey released Tuesday. Applications also increased 26 percent over April, MBA said. “The solid increase in new home purchase applications in May is another indication of a recovery in the housing market,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “MBA estimates that new home sales rebounded 26 percent last month – a healthy turnaround after three months of declines.” MBA estimates new single-family home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 672,000 units in May 2020, based on data from the survey. The new home sales estimate is derived…

Builder Confidence Surges In June

Two months after things looked bleak, builder confidence surged in June as the nation takes additional steps to reopen after the economic shutdowns in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released Tuesday found builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes increased 21 points to 58. Anything about 50 reflects a positive view of the market. “Housing clearly shows signs of momentum as challenges and opportunities exist in the single-family market,” NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz said. “Builders report increasing demand for families seeking single-family homes in inner and outer suburbs that feature lower density neighborhoods. At the same time, elevated unemployment and the risk of new, local…

Scarce Home Inventory Drives Bidding Wars

Good news for home sellers: Bidding wars are making a comeback. A new report released Monday by Redfin found that 49.4 percent of Redfin offers faced competition in May – up 43.9 percent in April. The uptick is being fueled by a shortage of inventory, as there were 18.9 percent fewer houses on the market in May than a year earlier. “Bidding wars also jumped in May because homebuyers felt they were starting to get more clarity around where the economy was headed, with cities around the nation lifting stay-at-home orders. This gave house hunters more confidence to compete,” Redfin lead economist Taylor Marr said. “But with coronavirus cases back on the rise in many states, only time will tell whether…

Share Of GSE Loans In Forbearance Decreases

The percentage of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance decreased for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the weekly forbearance survey released Monday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The percentage of Fannie and Freddie mortgages in forbearance decreased from 6.4 percent to 6.38 percent. The share of all mortgages in the United States in forbearance increased slightly from 8.53 percent to 8.55 percent – or 4.3 million loans – as of June 7, the MBA said. “MBA’s survey results from the first week of June showed a slight uptick in the overall share of loans in forbearance, but this increase was primarily driven by a larger share of portfolio and PLS loans…

Housing Market Recovers In Face Of Pandemic, Unrest

In an attempt to measure housing’s comeback from the coronavirus pandemic, realtor.com created the Housing Recovery Index – with the initial report showing the U.S. housing market is recovering even in the face of COVID and civil unrest across the country. The report uses realtor.com search traffic, media list prices, new listings and median time on the market to compare it to a baseline of 100 – established based on January 2020 market trends. The higher a market’s index value, the bigger the recovery and vice versa. For the week ending June 6, the Housing Recovery Index was 88.8 nationwide, 11.2 points below the January baseline and up 1 point over the week before. The slight increase in this week’s overall…