Mortgage Applications Down For The Week

Mortgage applications dipped ever so slightly for the week ending July 24, down 0.8 percent from a week earlier, according to a report released Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. MBA found that the Refinance Index decreased 0.4 percent from the previous week and was 121 percent higher than a year ago. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 1 percent and was 21 percent higher than a year ago.“Mortgage rates remained near record lows for conventional loans last week, and refinances in the conventional sector continued to slightly increase. However, rates on FHA loans rose, leading to an almost 18 percent drop in FHA refinances,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “Homebuyers stepped back slightly, and there…

Mortgages In Forbearance Hold Largely Steady

The share of mortgage loans in forbearance dipped slightly to 7.74 percent in the latest Mortgage Bankers Association forbearance survey released Monday. That works out to an estimated 3.9 million mortgages. It was the sixth straight week that the number of mortgages in forbearance has decreased. “The share of loans in forbearance declined by a smaller amount than in previous weeks, as the pace of borrowers exiting forbearance slowed,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “Although the GSE portfolio of loans in forbearance should continue to improve, Ginnie Mae’s portfolio saw an uptick of both loans in forbearance and borrowers requesting forbearance. The high level of unemployment claims in recent weeks may be playing a role,…

What Is The Future Of Business Districts?

Although downtown business districts are struggling due to continued economic lockdowns and questions about safely reopening offices, the long-term outlook for these areas appears to be in good shape. Business districts are likely to look different, though, as employers adjust to technological advances and a desire from employees to shift away from the traditional model to one that allows more flexibility for telework and work from home. A report from CBRE, a real estate firm that conducts significant research in its sector, indicates that people will want more flexibility with remote work but that at some point, employees will return to a traditional office environment.  “The pandemic has created unprecedented opportunities and challenges for commercial real estate occupiers that likely will usher…

Housing Recovery: Market Is Back With Work To Do

The housing market is officially back to pre-pandemic levels. The realtor.com Housing Recovery Index climbed 2.5 percent to 101 for the week ending July 18, which means market activity has climbed back above the 100 benchmark established before the pandemic hit in the United States in March. Even with the good news, realtor.com cautions that it will take months of sustained growth and an increase in new listings to make up for lost ground from earlier in the year. “There is no blueprint for a pandemic-induced recession, but this recovery milestone is further proof that homebuyers will persevere through the biggest of storms,” said Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com. “Housing remains a must-have during COVID times, and…

Mortgage Rates Up Slightly, Barely Above 3% Again

After dropping below 3 percent, mortgage rates edged up slightly this week for the first time in weeks, Freddie Mac announced Thursday in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.01 percent – up ever so slightly from last week’s record 2.98 percent and well below last year’s 3.75 percent. The survey also found: The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.54 percent with an average 0.7 point was up from last week’s 2.48 percent and down from last year’s 3.18 percent.The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.09 percent with an average 0.3 point, up from last week’s 3.06 percent and down from last year’s 3.47 percent. “While housing demand continues to rebound, the month-long swoon in economic…

Existing Home Sales Skyrocket In June

After three straight months of sales declines amid the coronavirus pandemic, existing home sales surged at a record pace in June, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Association of Realtors. Total existing home sales increased 20.7 percent from May – thought remained down 11.3 percent from June 2019. “The sales recovery is strong, as buyers were eager to purchase homes and properties that they had been eyeing during the shutdown,” NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said. “This revitalization looks to be sustainable for many months ahead as long as mortgage rates remain low and job gains continue.” The NAR report also found: The median existing-home price for all housing types in June was $295,300, up 3.5 percent…

Purchase Applications Up For 9th Straight Week

Mortgage applications increased 4.1 percent last week, driven by new refinance requests and a slight increase in new purchase applications, according to a report released Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. For the week ending July 17, purchase applications were up 2 percent from the week before – and 19 percent higher than last year at this time. Refinance applications were 5 percent higher for the week and 122 percent higher than last year. “There continues to be strong homebuyer demand this summer, as home shoppers have returned to the market in many states,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. “Purchase activity increased again last week and was up 19 percent compared to last…

US House Prices Fall In May

House prices in the United States decreased slightly in May but remain significantly higher than they were a year ago, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s monthly House Price Index released Wednesday. The report found home prices were down 0.3 percent for the month – but were 4.9 percent higher than in May 2019. “The May HPI results are based on contracts for sale signed in late March and throughout April, which was a period when many states announced stay-at-home orders,” according to Dr. Lynn Fisher, Deputy Director of the Division of Research and Statistics at FHFA. “The number of transactions powering the FHFA HPI in May was down by just over 30 percent compared to a year ago,…

Is “Urban Flight” Happening?

While there is anecdotal evidence of people moving from urban environments to the suburbs and beyond, it could take several years before a full data picture to show whether the COVID-19 pandemic led to an urban flight. And even if there was a mass migration out of cities, an American University professor said it’s likely that a vaccine and an economic recovery would lead to people moving back to the urban areas.  “The urban equation has shifted,” said Derek Hyra, a professor in the school’s Department of Public Administration and Policy. “It was mass amenities for small, expensive square footage, and that works for people for a long time. That’s not necessarily the case anymore.” Hyra, who is also director…

Number Of US Mortgages In Forbearance Drops Again

The share of US homeowners whose mortgages are in forbearance dropped for the fifth straight week, now sitting at 7.8 percent of all mortgages in the country, according to estimates released Monday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The MBA said that as of July 12 about 3.9 million homeowners were still in forbearance plans that allow them to pause their mortgage payments during the coronavirus pandemic. The percentage dropped from 8.18 percent the week before. “The share of loans in forbearance dropped to its lowest level in over two months, driven by an increase in the pace of exits as more homeowners have been able to get back to work,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist.…