RIHA: Americans’ Net Worth Rose 17.6% From 2016 To 2019

The median net worth of American households rose 17.6% between 2016 and 2019, according to a new report from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Research Institute for Housing America (RIHA). The report, titled The Distribution of Wealth in America Since 2016, found that median net worth increased from $103,000 in 2016 to $127,000 in 2019, the highest amount since 2007.  “The increase in homeownership, and the steady rise in home values and the stock market drove the increase in middle-class wealth. The median net worth of every racial and ethnic category also increased, with the largest increases coming from Black and Hispanic households,”  said Dr. John C. Weicher, author of the report and Director for the Center for Housing and…

MBA: Mortgage Applications Fall

Mortgage loan application volume fell 7.2% last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) weekly survey reports. The seasonally adjusted Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, fell 7.2%. The seasonally adjusted purchase index rose 5%, while the unadjusted purchase index dropped 30% and was 8% lower YOY. The share of refinance applications dropped 15% and was 41% lower YOY. Refinances made up 59.4% of total applications, down from 63.1% the previous week. The report noted that mortgage rates– which rose to their highest point since April, hitting 3.31%– contributed to the significant decline in refinance applications. “Over the past three weeks, rates are up 15 basis points and refinance activity has declined over 18 percent,” said Joel…

Pending Home Sales Rebounded In October

Pending home sales rebounded in October after a September drop, though the year-over-year (YOY) numbers were mild, according to the National Association of Realtor’s (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index. The Index, which is based on contract signings, rose 7.5% to 125.2 in October. An index of 100 is equivalent to the level of contract activity in 2001.  However, signings fell 1.4% YOY.  “Motivated by fast-rising rents and the anticipated increase in mortgage rates, consumers that are on strong financial footing are signing contracts to purchase a home sooner rather than later,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.  “This solid buying is a testament to demand still being relatively high, as it is occurring during a time when inventory is still…

Forbearance Starts See First Serious Increase Since Late March

The number of loans in forbearance remained basically the same leading up to Thanksgiving, making up 1.9% of all active mortgages, according to Black Knight’s blog, Vision. Black Knight characterized this week as “holding true to the established mid-month pattern,” referring to a months-long trend of forbearance slowdown in the middle of the month, with substantial pushes in the first and final weeks. The number of active forbearance plans rose by 1,000. FHA/VA loans dropped by 4,000 but this was offset by an increase of 5,000 among portfolio and PLS loans. GSE loans saw no change. “Both plan extensions and renewals remained steady, but low, in keeping with the typical mid-month lull,” the blog reads. But there was one surprising…

Mortgage Applications Up 1.8%

Mortgage loan application volume rose 1.8% last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) weekly survey reports. The seasonally adjusted Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 1.8%. The seasonally adjusted purchase index rose 5%, while the unadjusted purchase index dropped 0.4% and was 4% lower YOY. The report noted that though rates were volatile last week, the net trend is upward, with the 30-year fixed rate rising to 3.24%. “Despite the increase in rates, refinance applications rose slightly, driven by a 2% gain in conventional refinances. Borrowers continue to lock in mortgages in anticipation of higher rates in the future. Refinance applications were still more than 30% below a year ago when the 30-year fixed rate…

63,000 Homes Were Listed “For Sale By Owner” In September

Over a three-year period, between 4% and 6% of all monthly listings across the country were offered directly by their owners, a new report from Zillow found. Homes listed as “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) are advertised and sold directly by owners without an agent’s help. Roughly 63,000 homes for sale in September 2021 were FSBO, while in 2021 overall 24% of rural sellers did not use an agent. For comparison, 16% of suburban sellers did not use an agent, along with 20% of urban sellers. The report found that FSBOs are most common in rural areas. They were also more affordable overall. The median list price for an FSBO was $292,810, while the median price for a home sold…

Delinquency Rate Dropped 4.25% In October

The national delinquency rate continued to improve at a slow but steady pace last month, with especially impactful declines for loans overdue by 30 days or more, according to Black Knight’s October 2021 “first look” report. Delinquencies dropped another 4.25% at the end of October to 3.74%. The decline was pushed by significant changes in longer delinquencies. Loans 30 or more days past due dropped by 82,000, bringing their total below 2 million for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.  Serious delinquencies also saw huge drops, declining by 10%, or 127,000 loans. Black Knight attributes that dip to the first wave of homeowners in forbearance beginning to make payments again. The report predicts more improvement in this…

Existing-Home Sales Up 0.8% in October

Existing-home sales rose in October for the second month straight, though sales year-over-year (YOY) dropped, according to the National Association of Realtors. Sales of existing homes rose 0.8% from September to October, at a seasonally adjusted rate of 6.34 million. However, sales fell 5.8% YOY, down from 6.73 million in October 2020. “Home sales remain resilient, despite low inventory and increasing affordability challenges,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “Inflationary pressures, such as fast-rising rents and increasing consumer prices, may have some prospective buyers seeking the protection of a fixed, consistent mortgage payment.” Though sales were down compared to the same time last year, prices were up: the median price for an existing home was $353,900, up 13.1% from October…

Little Change In Forbearances Mid-Month

The number of loans in forbearance stayed more or less the same as exits stalled mid-month, making up 1.9% of all active mortgages, according to Black Knight’s blog, Vision. November has hit a lull in its third week that mimics similar slowdowns in the last few months. Black Knight has characterized these declines as “expected.” The number of active forbearance plans rose 0.2% as activity hit its lowest level since mid-August. Plan volume rose by 5,000 for portfolio and PLS loans with small declines for FHA/VA (-2000) and GSEs (-1000). FHA/VAs saw an increase in new plans, pushing start volume to its highest level since October. Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) head Rohit Chopra has zeroed in on foreclosures since…

Homebuyer Demand Hits Highest Level Since 2017

Redfin’s Homebuyer Demand Index hit an all-time high since at least 2017 as the number of listed homes remains seasonally elevated compared to past years. The report shows the market speeding up, with an increasing number of homes selling in two weeks or less and demand increasing even as listings trend down.  “The economy is recovering strongly and mortgage rates are still near all-time lows. Those two forces combined have caused homebuying demand to hit a record high,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather.  For homes sold in the four-week period ending November 14, the median sale price rose 13% year-over-year (YOY) to $357,881, up 30% from 2019 and 2.1% from October. Asking prices were also up 13% YOY, and…