More Americans Have Mortgages Above 5%

The share of mortgage holders with rates of 5% or higher is now 24%, up from 10% two years ago, suggesting a refi tipping point could be on the horizon. Four million loans originated since 2022 have rates of 6.5% or higher, according to ICE Mortgage Technology’s Mortgage Monitor. An additional 1.9 million have rates greater than 7%. With rates yo-yo-ing between the high 6%s and low 7%s, those homeowners currently have no reason to refinance. But rates are expected to cool as the year progresses, and even a slight downward trend could incentivize them. “This has been a slow-moving change, as borrowers with lower rates have sold their homes or, to a smaller degree, refinanced to withdraw equity,” Andy…

Analysts Anticipate A “Quieter” Spring Buying Season

Inventory and rate pressures are creating conditions for a “quieter” spring homebuying season. That’s according to HouseCanary’s March Market Pulse Report, which found that while inventory is up 12.6% YOY, total stock remains historically low. In March, net new listings slipped 4.4% YOY. For the entire last 52 weeks, net new listings were down 12.4%. HouseCanary says the decrease in net new listings was driven by a 2.5% drop in new listing volume, plus a 7% increase in removals compared to March 2023. “Over the past month, net new listings and contract volumes have continued to trend at multi-year seasonal lows. The interest rate shock is the biggest factor responsible for sustaining inventory scarcity,” said Jeremy Sicklick, Co-Founder and CEO…

Marketing Pro Sara Holtz Joins Optimal Blue

Marketing veteran Sara Holtz has joined Optimal Blue as its Chief Marketing Officer, the company announced in a press release. Holtz brings more than two decades of experience to the position, including ten years specifically impacting the mortgage industry. In her new role, she will spearhead marketing and communications strategies to advance Optimal Blue’s industry influence. “As the only comprehensive capital markets solution in the mortgage industry, Optimal Blue helps lenders realize greater profitability and operational efficiency, which plays an essential role in making the dream of homeownership attainable for the American borrower,” said Holtz. “It’s an honor to join Optimal Blue – a company that’s been regarded for its innovation and expertise for decades. I am energized by the…