Rates Jump After Dour Inflation Data

Tough inflation data led to mortgage rates increasing for a second straight week. Officials at Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.77%, up from the week prior’s 6.64%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.32%. The 15-year fixed jumped to 6.12% from 5.90%. A year ago, it averaged 5.51%. “On the heels of consumer prices rising more than expected, mortgage rates increased this week,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist.  “The economy has been performing well so far this year and rates may stay higher for longer, potentially slowing the spring homebuying season. According to our data, mortgage applications to buy a home so far in 2024 are down in more…

Rocket Homes Search App Now On Apple Vision Pro

Tech-minded buyers can tour homes in virtual reality on the Rocket Homes app, now available on Apple Vision Pro. The app features a home search page and map of nearby listings. The listings fill the user’s entire field of vision and give a realistic sense of the location and layout of the home, including a “Look Around” option that lets them see the neighborhood and exterior. Listings that include 3D tours allow potential buyers to tour inside as well, seeing each room in detail. “At Rocket Homes, we know there are millions of people who are waiting for the right moment to buy a home. We also know that there are many ways to find and fall in love with…

Housing Market Posts Positive Indicators But Home Prices Remain Elevated

The housing market may be impossible for the average American now, but hold on a while longer: it’s heading in the right direction. That’s ICE’s message, at least, with its latest Mortgage Monitor report, which revealed a mix of good and not-so-good data about the state of homebuying. Affordability is improving, for one, as rates come down. The share of income required to purchase the median home fell close to 5 percentage points from October 2023’s peak. Stock is also slowly recovering, up for a seventh consecutive month. Lack of inventory has contributed to high prices and competition, making the bidding process a nightmare for many buyers in the last few years. But home price appreciation remains off the charts.…

Americans Touring Homes But Not Yet Buying

Potential buyers are coming out of the woodwork and touring homes, but that activity has yet to turn into a sales surge. Redfin’s Homebuyer Demand Index, which measures requests for tours and other buying services from Redfin agents, increased by 6% in the week ending January 28. Buyers are touring homes as rates hover in the mid-6’s, an exciting moment of stability in the wake of a rollercoaster year. Some are worried that rates will swing back up– or that ongoing home price appreciation will push their dream home out of reach regardless.  But the increase in touring has yet to translate into actual home sales. Purchase applications have actually declined, and Redfin says pending sales saw a huge drop.…

Buying Power Up $40K As Rates Moderate

Homebuyers, newly infused with extra spending power, are returning to the housing market as they come to terms with 6% rates and move to beat out increasing competition. Redfin reported that buyers on a $3,000 monthly budget have gained almost $40,000 in purchasing power as rates have fallen from a peak in October 2023. This theoretical buyer can afford a $453,000 home with a mortgage rate at roughly 6.7%. Just a few months ago, they could only snag a $416,000 home at a 7.8% interest rate, a $37,000 difference. Costs are easing for buyers across the income spectrum, of course. The monthly mortgage payment on the typical U.S. home (about $363,000) is $2,545 with a 6.7% rate but clocked in…

Americans Willing To Think Outside The Box To Afford A Home

Nearly 80% of potential buyers are willing to get creative when it comes to purchasing a home. A new survey from RE/MAX found that homebuyers burdened by unaffordable listings and high interest rates are willing to consider atypical options to buy a home in the next 12 months. Those options include purchasing a home two or more hours away from the workplace and signing up for a super commute, buying a multi-family home, and moving into a tiny home. Purchasing a home in need of remodeling, for either cosmetic or structural reasons, is the most popular option with 56% of buyers saying they would buy a fixer-upper. Millennials in particular see buying a house in need of repairs as a…

Existing-Home Sales Now At Lowest Levels Since 1995

Existing-home sales slipped in December to their lowest point since 1995. Sales declined by 1% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.78 million, according to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors. They were down 6.2% from the same time last year. The South and Midwest experienced declines month-over-month, while the Northeast saw effectively no change. Notably, sales in the West spiked by 7.8%. All regions clocked decreases YOY. This is a turnaround from November, which saw sales increase for the first time in five months, and a break from predictions. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected sales of previously owned homes would rise to a seasonally adjusted 0.3%. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun suggested…

Empty-Nesters Beat Out Millennials With Kids For America’s Biggest Homes

The generational real estate showdown is still underway, and the latest battleground is large homes. A new report from Redfin found that Baby Boomers with empty nests own 28% of the nation’s large homes, while Millennials with kids own just 14%.  This a huge turnaround in the last ten years, as a decade ago, younger adults with children were just as likely to own large homes as their parents. Redfin defined “empty nesters” as households headed by Baby Boomers that report only 1-2 adults living in the home, and based on the number of bedrooms, with three or more being considered large. Part of the problem is the current state of the housing market. Many Baby Boomers own their homes…

CrossCountry Adopts FICO 10 T For Non-QM, MBS

CrossCountry Mortgage has adopted FICO Score 10 T for non-QM loans and securities. The goal of using FICO 10 T is to expand the number of people eligible for mortgages based on their credit scores. FICO says its new model can increase mortgage approval rates by up to 5% without additional risk, as well as reduce delinquencies by 17% for many consumers. “CrossCountry Mortgage’s astute decision to adopt FICO Score 10 T demonstrates its commitment to innovation, credit access, and responsible business growth,” Julie May, vice president and general manager of Scores at FICO, said. “By leveraging FICO’s most predictive credit scoring model, CCM is at the forefront of meeting the needs of today’s borrowers and investors.” CCM is the…

Rate Cooldown Boosts Consumer Optimism For 2024

The mortgage rate cooldown is giving Americans a somewhat rosier view of 2024’s housing market, sparking some optimism despite overall dour views about the state of buying and selling. That’s according to Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index, which increased 2.9 points in December to a reading of 67.2. Though Americans generally see homebuying in a negative light, cooling rates pushed the “good time to buy” component of Fannie’s index up slightly month-over-month to 17%. That’s up from 14% in November, a survey low. The boost was the result of a record-high number of consumers saying they expect mortgage rates to fall in the next 12 months (31%).  “This significant shift in consumer expectations comes on the heels of the…