COVID: 4+ Years For Millennials To Recover Savings

The economic shutdowns in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic are forcing people to dip into their savings to cover basic necessities – and that will put a crimp in people’s ability to save for a down payment for a home. That is especially true for millennials, as a new realtor.com analysis reports that it will take “nine months of saving to recoup a single month’s worth of expenses” for the average millennial. The report found it would take the average millennial 53 months to recover that value back into their savings, if they had no income for six months.  “Millennials may largely escape the worst of COVID-19, but with an unemployment rate of 13.4 percent, this age group is not…

Sales, Listings Dip Slightly In Late May

Zillow’s Weekly Market Report shows that newly pending sales and new listings fell in the seven days ending May 25 after sustained growth since mid-April – perhaps a function of the Memorial Day holiday. Even with the dip, pending sales and new listings remain well up from the previous month when the market was bouncing back from a slowdown in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. Zillow reports that experts expect the sales lost during that period to be recouped in full over the next few years.  The report found: Newly pending sales fell 5.2 percent from the previous week.Month-over-month, newly pending sales are up 24.5 percent nationally.New listings are up 19.3 percent from a month ago, they fell…

Interest Rates Climb Slightly

Interest rates didn’t set yet another new record this week, but they are still hovering at historically low levels. Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey found that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased to 3.18 percent this week. “While the economy is slowly rebounding, all signs continue to point to a solid recovery in home sales activity heading into the summer as prospective buyers jump back into the market. Low mortgage rates are a key factor in this recovery,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “While homebuyer demand is up and has been broad-based across most geographies, supply has been slower to improve. In fact, the gap between supply and demand has widened even further than the large gap that…

Signs Pointing Up In Monthly Housing Report

All signs seem to be pointing up for the U.S. housing market. Realtor.com’s May Monthly Housing Trends report released Thursday found that the market likely reached its low point in mid-April – with signs of recovery beginning late in the month followed by a stronger May. The report found: The national median listing price hit a new all-time high of $330,000 in May, despite rising just 1.6 percent year-over-year.The median list price began the month up 1.4 percent and strengthened throughout the month, increasing 3.1 percent during the last week of May.New listings were down 29.1 percent the week ending May 9 but recovered to down 22.9 percent by the week of May 30.While still well-below last year’s levels, the rate of decline in…

IMBs Report Strong First Quarter

Independent mortgage banks reported strong results on loans in the first quarter of the year even in the face of a reduction in volume as the coronavirus pandemic took hold in March, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Thursday IMBs and mortgage subsidiaries of charted banks reported a net gain of $1,600 on each loan they originated in the quarter – up from $1,182 per loan in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to MBA’s Quarterly Mortgage Bankers Performance Report. “Mortgage production profits were strong in the first three months of 2020 – despite a decline in production volume from the fourth quarter and March’s severe market volatility sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Marina Walsh, MBA’s Vice President of Industry…

Mortgage Apps Up For 7th Straight Week

Seven weeks and counting. Mortgage applications for new home purchases increased by 5 percent for the week ending May 29 – the seventh straight week purchase applications have increased, according to a report released Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The MBA’s Purchase Index also was 18 percent higher than the same week a year ago. “The pent-up demand from homebuyers returning to the market continues to support a recovery from the weekly declines observed earlier this spring,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “However, there are still many households affected by the widespread job losses and current economic downturn. High unemployment and low housing supply may restrain a more meaningful rebound in purchase…

Slight Increase In Number Of Mortgages In Forbearance

Forbearance numbers seem to have officially leveled off. The latest Mortgage Bankers Association report released Monday found that 8.46 percent of U.S. mortgages were in forbearance as of May 24 – up just 0.10 points from 8.36 percent a week earlier. By contrast, the percentage increased by 1 to 2 percentage points during some weeks in April. That equates to about 4.2 million homeowners whose mortgages are in forbearance. “MBA’s survey continues to indicate that fewer homeowners are seeking forbearance as more states across the country reopen their economies and prospects begin to improve,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. The $2 trillion CARES Act includes a moratorium on foreclosures and the right to forbearance on…

Open Houses: People Seem Willing To Go

Would you attend an open house right now? Sixty-five percent of people who attended an open house in the last year say they would do so now without hesitation, according to a survey released Monday by the National Association of Realtors. “The real estate industry – and our country – has endured some very challenging times for several months, but we’re seeing signs of progress and we are earnestly hoping the worst is behind us,” said NAR President Vince Malta, broker at Malta & Co., Inc., in San Francisco. The survey also found that 59 percent of buyers and 58 percent of sellers believe buying houses is an “essential service.”…

3 States Dominate GSE Non-Performing Loan Sales

By Jim Perskie Nearly half of the non-performing loans sold by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the private sector last year were located in New York, New Jersey or Florida, according to a report released Monday by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The report found that 44 percent of the loans – known as NPLs – transferred last year were in those three states. A loan is deemed non-performing when the borrower is in default and does not pay the monthly principal and interest repayments for a specified period – often 90 days or depending on the terms of the mortgage agreement. Freddie and Fannie sell non-performing loans to reduce the number of delinquent loans in the their portfolios and…

April Pending Home Sales: Largest Drop This Century

By Jim Perskie Stay-at-home orders, curtailed real estate activities and an economic shutdown sent pending home sales into the dumps in April, according to a new report released Thursday by the National Association of Realtors. The Pending Home Sales Index dropped 21.8 percent from March – and was 33.8 percent lower than April 2019, the largest decline since NAR began tracking pending sales in 2001. Every major region experienced a drop in month-over-month contract activity and a decline in year-over-year pending home sales. “With nearly all states under stay-at-home orders in April, it is no surprise to see the markedly reduced activity in signing contracts for home purchases,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. Here is how each region fared:…