Mortgage Rates Unchanged, Near Record Lows

Mortgage rates didn’t budge this week – and that’s good news for borrowers. Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey released Thursday showed: The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.73 percent with an average 0.7 point, unchanged from last week and down from 3.45 percent last year at this time. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.21 percent with an average 0.6 point, up from last week’s 2.20 percent and last year’s 2.97 percent. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 2.78 percent with an average 0.3 point, down from last week’s 2.80 percent and last year’s 3.32 percent. “Mortgage rates remained flat this week and near record lows, signifying an economy that continues to struggle,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist.…

Are Surging Home Values Sustainable?

By Rhett Wilkinson Home values in the United States exploded during the last year, as interest rates and home inventories both hit record lows. Report after report is finding good news for home sellers, including: The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Home Price index released last month revealed that prices were up an incredible 11 percent from Nov. 2019 to Nov. 2020. Home values swelled in December by 3.2 percent over the prior quarter. That’s the biggest jump in at least 25 years, a new Zillow report says. U.S. housing gained nearly $2.5 trillion in value in 2020 – the most in a single year since 2005, with the full stock of U.S. housing now worth $36.2 trillion, according to a new Zillow analysis.Homebuyer demand…

Mortgage Applications Jump

Mortgage applications in the United States surged 8.1 percent the last week of January from a week earlier, according to a report released Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The Refinance Index increased 11 percent for the week and was 59 percent higher than last year at the same time, while the Purchase Index increased 8 percent for the week and 16 percent for the year. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 71.4 percent of total applications from 70.7 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity remained unchanged at 2.2 percent of total applications. “After increasing for three consecutive weeks, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropped 3 basis points to 2.92 percent. The one-week reversal…

Same Old Story: 2.7M Mortgages In Forbearance

The number of mortgages in forbearance in the United States remains stubbornly at 2.7 million, where it has largely sat for several months now. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest weekly survey released Monday found that the number of loans in forbearance remained unchanged this week at 5.38 percent. The survey also found: The share of Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance decreased from 7.61 percent to 7.51 percent.The share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance decreased from 3.11 percent to 3.10 percent.The share of other loans in forbearance increased from 8.94 percent to 9.16 percent. “While new forbearance requests dropped slightly, the rate of exits from forbearance was at the slowest pace since MBA began tracking exit data…

US Homes Flying Off The Shelf

More than half of homes that went on the market in the United States earlier this month had an offer within the first two weeks, according to a new report released by Redfin. The report found that 55 percent of houses locked in an offer within two weeks for the week ending January 24. Over the last month, 43 percent of homes had an offer in two weeks – well above the 35 percent rate last year at this time. “Buyers are incredibly hungry for listings, but unfortunately there isn’t much to choose from, and that scarcity is making buyers all the more frenzied,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather said. “As a result, the majority of the homes that hit…

Mortgage Rates Fall Again

Mortgage rates fell for the second consecutive week, inching closer to the record low levels set earlier this month, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey released Thursday. The survey found: The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.73 percent with an average 0.7 point, down from last week’s averaged 2.77 percent and last year’s 3.51 percent.The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.20 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week’s 2.21 percent and last year’s 3.00 percent.The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 2.80 percent with an average 0.3 point, unchanged from last week and down from last year’s 3.24 percent. “As the market reacts to a new administration in Washington and COVID-19 driven economic malaise, mortgage rates…

Report: Rent Savings Mean Down Payment Options

There may be an upside for the young adults who were forced to move back home with their parents during the pandemic: Homeownership may be within reach sooner than they think. A new report released Thursday by realtor.com found that saving the one-bedroom median rent of $1,533 means that it would take 11 months to save $17,000 – enough for a 5 percent down payment on a $340,000 home, the median-priced home in the United States. “Although many members of the millennial and Gen Z generations were forced to move home because they lost their jobs in 2020, others chose to forgo their rental because they had the opportunity to work remotely and preferred to wait out the pandemic with…

Mortgage Applications Down 4% For Week

Mortgage applications tumbled 4.1 percent for the week ending January 22 in the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey released Wednesday. The Refinance Index decreased 5 percent, while remaining 83 percent higher than a year ago. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 3 percent for the week and was 16 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 70.7 percent of total applications from 72.3 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity increased to 2.2 percent of total applications. “Mortgage rates were mixed last week, with the 30-year fixed rate rising to its highest level since November 2020 at 2.95 percent, and all other rates in the survey posting a…

House Prices Surge 11% In One Year

The official results are in, and house prices continue to soar. The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Home Price Index released Tuesday showed prices were up 1 percent in November for the month – and a whopping 11 percent from November 2019 to November 2020. “House prices have risen by at least one percent for six consecutive months,” said Dr. Lynn Fisher, FHFA’s Deputy Director of the Division of Research and Statistics. “The acceleration has been slowing but annual gains now outpace the prior housing boom. Current conditions can be explained by fundamentals, including low rates and tight housing supply, which have been intensified by the pandemic.” For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly house price changes from October 2020…

Slight Uptick In Mortgages In Forbearance

The number of mortgages in forbearance in the United States held steady at about 2.7 million, according to the latest weekly survey released Monday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The survey found: The total share of loans in forbearance increased from 5.37 percent to 5.38 percent.The share of Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance decreased from 7.67 percent to 7.61 percent.The share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans in forbearance decreased  3.13 percent to 3.11 percent.The share of independent mortgage bank-managed mortgages in forbearance held steady at 5.79 percent.Bank-managed mortgages climbed from 5.33 percent to 5.36 percent. “The small increase in the share of loans in forbearance was led by a gain in the portfolio/PLS loan segment. The good news is…