First Home Mortgage Launches New Program For First-Time Homebuyers

First Home Mortgage is launching a rate discount program for first-time homebuyers, the company announced in a press release. The program, First Home Advantage, gives eligible first-time homeowners access to lower interest rates. “We are excited to provide such a timely program,” said First Home Mortgage founder and CEO David Waters. “The First Home Advantage program levels the playing field for those who may have been overlooked in the past due to credit score issues.” Eligibility is based on annual income and geography, with different income limits in different areas. Borrowers in high-cost regions could be eligible with incomes as high as $168,600 a year. First Home says it created the program because more than 40% of loans it originated…

Prices Are Up In Distressed Neighborhoods Due To Soaring HPI And Low Inventory Elsewhere

Home prices rose in Q1 2022 for the majority of Opportunity Zones, with the pace of gains in half of all zones besting quarterly and annual increases across the nation, ATTOM reported. Opportunity Zones are areas targeted for economic improvement, defined in the Tax Act legislation as census tracts in or alongside low-income neighborhoods that meet specific criteria for redevelopment. ATTOM analyzed 5,092 zones in the U.S. that had at least five home sales in Q1 2022. The report found that median single-family home and condo prices increased in 55% of zones between Q4 2021 and Q1 2022. In 50%, prices rose by at least 20%, despite the fact that the pace of increases slowed in Q1. “Home price trends…

Existing Home Sales Fall For Second Month

Existing home sales fell for a second month in March, down 2.7% from February and 4.5% YOY, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Existing home sales are now down to an annualized rate of 5.77 million. March sales dropped in three of the four major regions but stayed stable in the West. But all four regions saw YOY declines. “The housing market is starting to feel the impact of sharply rising mortgage rates and higher inflation taking a hit on purchasing power,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.  “Still, homes are selling rapidly, and home price gains remain in the double-digits.” Properties remained on the market for an average of 17 days, down from 18 days both in…

Morning Roundup (3/24/2022)– New Home Sales, Housing Predictions

Good Morning! Today is Thursday, March 24. Madeleine Albright has died of cancer at age 84. President Biden landed in Brussels for three back-to-back meetings with G7 leaders, NATO allies, and the European Union. The Mortgage Note Reports Biden-Harris Tackle Equity In Lending And Appraisals: Vice President Kamala Harris joined officials from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Wednesday to announce the delivery of a plan aimed squarely at dismantling racial bias in the lending and appraisal process. New Home Sales: New home sales dropped in February for a second month, suggesting buyers are taking a step back thanks to high prices and rising mortgage rates. Housing Predictions: A panel of housing experts surveyed by Zillow said they don’t expect inventory or first-time…

Inventory, First-Time Buyers Won’t Bounce Back Until 2024

Inventory and first-time buyers won’t bounce back until 2024, according to Zillow’s Home Price Expectations Survey. The survey polled a panel of housing experts who said they anticipate for-sale inventory levels will take two years to climb back to pre-pandemic levels. Total inventory fell from a monthly average of just 1 million in 2021 and early 2022 figures aren’t looking any better, both down from 1.6 million units in 2018 and 2019. The largest group of Zillow’s respondents (38%) expect inventory to reach 1.5 million units or more in 2024, though the second largest group (36%) predicted 2023. “Inventory and mortgage rates will determine how far and how fast home prices will rise this year and beyond,” said Zillow senior…

Applications Continue Dropping

Mortgage loan application volume plummeted by 8.1% last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) weekly survey shows. The adjusted Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, dropped by 8.1%%. The adjusted purchase index fell 2%, while the unadjusted purchase index fell 1% and was 12% lower YOY. The refinance index fell a whopping 14% and was down 54% YOY. Refinances made up 44.8% of total applications. Mortgage interest rates jumped by 23 basis points last week, their largest weekly increase since March 2020, due to the Fed’s interest rate hike and the expectation of fewer MBS purchases, Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, noted. “With mortgage rates now at 4.5%, compared to rates at…

Hispanic Homeownership Rate Continues Rising Despite Setbacks

New data from the Census Bureau confirms that Hispanic households continue to make significant gains despite the challenges they face in the hot housing market. The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) released a statement celebrating the finding of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey/Housing Vacancy Survey. The survey found that Hispanic homeownership rates rose to 48.4% in 2021, up by 657,000 households since 2019. Of the total, a net 1,025,000 were new households, which account for 27% of household formation growth in the last two years. Additionally, Hispanics added 1,025,000 net new households, accounting for 27% of household formation growth over the last two years. However, potential Hispanic homeowners face many challenges. Latino homeowners trailed the…

Victoria Garcia DeLuca Named Guild Mortgage VP Of Marketplace Diversity

Guild Mortgage has selected Victoria Garcia DeLuca as its first vice president of marketplace diversity strategy, the company announced. In this newly created position, DeLuca will promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in lending. It is part of the company’s goal to become an industry leader for first-time homebuyers in diverse, often underserved markets. She will head the company’s multicultural lending growth initiative. “I was attracted to Guild because of its strong reputation, vision for growth, and amazing leadership,” DeLuca said.  “Guild retains some 70% of its clients because of a culture dedicated to creating customers for life. As a Latina, I was impressed by Guild’s demonstrated commitment to equity internally and externally to promote increased diversity and inclusion throughout the…

Analysts Respond To FOMC Tapering Announcement

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announced it will double the pace of tapering its pandemic asset purchase program, and signaled it would likely raise interest rates next year. This would be its first rate hike since March 2020. The move comes in response to concerns about rising inflation. At its November meeting, the FOMC said it would reduce its purchases of Treasury securities from $80 billion to $70 billion and from $40 billion to $35 billion for mortgage-backed securities. Since then, inflation has reached a 39-year high and become a major sticking point for the American public. As to how this announcement affects the mortgage and real estate industries, analyst response has focused on rising costs. “Increasing mortgage rates…