Mortgage Applications Increase Amid Low Rates

People are still applying for mortgages at a rate significantly higher than last year. Mortgage applications were up 6.8 percent last week from a week earlier – while purchase applications were up 22 percent from the same year ago and refinance applications were up 47 percent from a year ago, according to a report released Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. “While this was still positive news for the purchase market, the gradual slowdown in the improvement in the job market and tight housing inventory remain a concern for the coming months, even as low mortgage rates continue to provide support,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to…

Redfin: Bidding Wars Continue

More than half of Redfin offers on home purchases faced competing bids in July, according to a new report released by the brokerage. Redfin reports that 54 percent of offers nationwide had at least one competing bid – down slightly from 56 percent in June. It is the third month in a row that half of Redfin offers experienced bidding wars. “Bidding wars may slow down if interest rates tick up again, which could happen if we get good news about a coronavirus vaccine or more clarity around the outcome of the upcoming U.S. presidential election,” Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather said. “At the same time, we may still be in the early innings of the pandemic migration wave. If coronavirus…

3.7M US Mortgages Remain In Forbearance

The number of mortgages in forbearance in the United States continues to inch down each week, though 3.7 million Americans still have payments paused, the Mortgage Bankers Association announced Monday. The share of mortgages decreased from 7.67 percent to 7.44 percent as of August 2, according to MBA. “The share of loans in forbearance declined at a more rapid pace last week, with many borrowers who had been making payments while in forbearance deciding to exit. New forbearance requests increased, but are still well below the level of exits,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. The MBA report found: The share of Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance decreased from 10.28 percent to 10.06 percent.The share of…

Q2 Commercial, Multifamily Loans Way Down

Even as the housing market fought through the coronavirus pandemic, commercial and multifamily mortgage loan originations dropped 48 percent in the second quarter compared to a year ago, according to a survey released Monday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. MBA’s quarterly survey of commercial/multifamily mortgage bankers originations found they had declined 31 percent from the first quarter. “Commercial real estate borrowing and lending slowed dramatically in the second quarter, as uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic caused both borrowers and lenders to focus more of their attention on their existing books of business instead of new opportunities,” said Jamie Woodwell, MBA’s Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Research.  All property types showed a decline in the second quarter in commercial/multifamily lending…

Mortgage Credit Loosens Slightly In July

Mortgage credit was slightly more available last month after tightening every other month of the year to date, according to the Mortgage Credit Availability Index released by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The MCAI rose by 1.5 percent to 126.9 in July. The Conventional MCAI increased 2.9 percent, while the Government MCAI increased by 0.4 percent. Of the component indices of the Conventional MCAI, the Jumbo MCAI increased by 5 percent, and the Conforming MCAI rose by 1.2 percent. “Credit availability rose slightly in July – the first increase in eight months – as the supply of certain types of adjustable rate mortgages and jumbo loans increased. The improvement was more of a leveling off from the precipitous drop earlier this…

Mortgage Rates Plunge To 2.88% – Another Record

How low can they go? The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged a record-low 2.88 percent, the eighth time rates set a new record this year, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey released Thursday. “The resilience of the housing market continues as mortgage rates hit another all-time low, giving potential buyers more purchasing power and strengthening demand,” Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist Sam Khater said. “We expect rates to stay low and continue to propel the purchase market forward. However, the main barrier to rising demand remains the lack of inventory, especially for entry-level homes.” The survey found: The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.88 percent with an average 0.8 point for the week ending August 6, down from last week’s 2.99…

More Renters Not Making Payments

More than 1 in 5 renters did not pay rent during the first week in July – the highest for any month since the coronavirus pandemic started in March in the United States, according to a report released Wednesday by Zillow. The share of apartments households that did not pay any rent was 22.6 percent in the first week of July – up from 19.2 percent the first week of June. By July 13, the percentage who hadn’t paid fell to 12.4 percent – 2.5 percentage points higher than the same period last year. “The rental market has been more affected by the coronavirus pandemic than the for-sale side appears to have been. The steady climb of the past few…

Weekly Mortgage Applications Decline

Mortgage applications dropped 5.1 percent last week, according to a new report released Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The Refinance Index decreased 7 percent from the previous week but was 84 percent higher than the same week a year ago, while the Purchase Index dipped 2 percent for the week and was 22 percent higher than last year. “Mortgage rates dropped to another record low last week, falling below the previous record set three weeks ago to 3.14 percent. Refinance activity decreased – despite the decline in rates – but the current pace remains more than 80 percent higher than a year ago when rates were over 4 percent,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and…

US Forbearance Levels Drop Again

The share of US mortgages in forbearance dropped for the seventh straight week, with 3.8 million homeowners still pausing their mortgage payments during the coronavirus pandemic, the Mortgage Bankers Association announced Monday. The share of loans in forbearance dropped from 7.74 percent to 7.67 percent as of July 26. “The share of loans in forbearance declined, but we are now seeing a notable pattern developing over the past two weeks. The forbearance share is decreasing for GSE loans but has slightly increased for Ginnie Mae loans,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “The job market has cooled somewhat over the past few weeks, with layoffs increasing and other indications that the economic rebound may be losing…

Mortgage Rates Drop Below 3% Again

After a week above 3 percent, mortgage rates in the United States dropped below that line for the second time in history as the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.99 percent, Freddie Mac announced Thursday. “It’s Groundhog Day in the mortgage market as rates continue to remain near historic lows, driving purchase demand over 20 percent above a year ago,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “Real estate is one of the bright spots in the economy, with strong demand and modest slowdown in home prices heading into the late summer. Home sales should remain strong the next few months into the early fall.” Freddie’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey found: The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.99 percent with an average…