U.S. Average Credit Score Hits Highest Point In 13 Years

Americans’ average credit score rose seven points from 2020 to Q2 2021, reaching 695, the highest average in more than 13 years, according to Experian’s State of Credit report. “The findings from this year’s report show something I’ve always believed: Americans are resilient, for the most part they make smart decisions in the face of adversity and they are agile in adjusting their financial habits when the environment or circumstances change,” said Alex Lintner, President, Experian Consumer Information Services. Consumers across all generations except Gen Z lowered their credit card balances and utilization rates. They also missed fewer payments. Minnesota held the highest average score, 726, while Mississippi held the lowest, 666. New Jersey had the highest number of credit…

Morning Roundup (9/28/2021)– Forbearances Dip Below 3%, Homebuyers Increasingly Worried About Natural Disasters

Good Morning! Today is Tuesday, September 28. Rocket Mortgage will continue to sponsor the PGA’s Rocket Mortgage Classic through 2027. The presidents of Boston and Dallas’s Federal Reserve banks are resigning following reports of investment trading. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell will tell Congress today that inflation will stay high for a few months before moderating. Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would prevent a government shutdown. And in mortgage and housing news… Forbearances Keep Falling: The share of loans in forbearance fell yet again, dropping to 2.96%. It’s the first time they’ve dipped below 3% since March 2020. Natural Disasters Cause Concern: More than half of respondents to a Realtor.com survey said they considered natural disasters when choosing where…

MBA: Forbearances Fall Again

Forbearances fell again last week, continuing to trend down as relief plans expire, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) latest survey. Forbearances made up just 2.96% of servicers’ portfolio volume, down from 3.00%. It’s the first time they’ve fallen below 3% since March 2020. The estimated number of homeowners in forbearance plans is around 1.5 million. For Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans, the August 2021 number was down three basis points to 1.44%. Ginnie Mae loans rose three basis points to 3.42%. Portfolio loans and private-label securities shares fell four basis points, from 6.95% to 6.91%. Independent mortgage bank servicers saw a drop of one basis point to 3.24%, and the share for depository servicers declined four points…

Morning Roundup (9/27/2021)– D.C.’s Debt-Ceiling Debate Could Impact Mortgage Rates, LIFT Legislation Proposes 20-Year-Fixed-Rate

Good Morning! Today is Monday, September 27. Government funding is set to expire this week as Democrats push two sweeping legislative packages. States are beginning to roll out booster shots to at-risk Americans. China traded two detained Canadian citizens to bring home a Huawei executive accused of stealing trade secrets. And in mortgage and housing news… What Does Debt-Limit Mean For Mortgage Rates?: Mortgage rates could be impacted by Washington D.C.’s debate over raising the debt ceiling. “LIFT”: Legislation aimed at first-time homebuyers proposes creating a 20-year-fixed-rate mortgage program through Ginnie Mae. FHFA Loan Mods:Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac completed 217,020 foreclosure prevention actions in the second quarter, with 47% of loan modifications lowering monthly payments by more than 20%.…

FHFA: 47% Of Modified Loans Got Lower Monthly Payments

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae completed 217,020 foreclosure prevention actions in Q2, bringing the number of homeowners the GSEs have helped during conservatorship to 6.030 million, according to the Federal Housing Finance Authority’s Foreclosure Prevention and Refinance Report. 57% of loan modifications reduced monthly payments by more than 20%, though the number of refinances began to fall in Q2. Forbearance starts dropped 32% to 6,233 in the second quarter, while third-party and foreclosure sales fell 9% to 2,281. The GSEs’ serious delinquency rate dropped from 2.48% to 1.99% by the end of Q2.  The total number of loans in forbearance continues to drop from its latest peak in May 2021, though new forbearance plans fell but stayed high through Q2…

What Does Debt-Limit Fight Mean for Mortgage Rates?

Economists and housing industry experts are keeping a close eye on Washington D.C.’s debate over raising the debt ceiling and what it might mean for interest rates. Congressional Democrats are heading into what even Speaker Nancy Pelosi acknowledges is a turbulent week or two, in which her party will attempt to use its narrow majorities to pass two massive spending bills. At the same time, Washington’s about to hit the limit of debt it can issue to keep paying its bills. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen says the nation will run up against the debt ceiling sometime in October. Democrats are demanding the GOP follow the tradition of previous debt-ceiling votes and support an increase. Republicans, angry over the Democrats’ decision…

Morning Roundup (9/24/2021)– Homeowners Gained $51K In Equity, Early Homebuyers Demand Highest In Three Years

Good Morning! Today is Friday, September 24. The Congressional Committee investigating the January 6 riot issued four subpoenas, all for former advisers to Donald Trump. China is cracking down on cryptocurrencies, saying it will root out “illegal” activity and ban crypto mining. The House approved $1 billion for an Israeli missile defense system. And in mortgage and housing news… Fed Correction: FHFA and HUD released a joint statement clarifying Freddie Mac’s policy on buying mortgages secured by group homes. Homeowner Equity Up In Q2: Homeowners with mortgages gained $2.9 trillion in equity in the second quarter of 2021, up 29.3% year-over-year, according to a CoreLogic report. Housing Boom May Not Be Over: Early homebuyer demand reached its highest point in at…

What Slowdown? Homebuyer Demand Hits Three Year Peak

Home prices have fallen a bit in recent weeks thanks to increasing inventory and buyer sticker shock, but expectations of a cooling market may be premature. A new report from Redfin found that early homebuyer demand reached its highest point in at least three years during the four-week period ending September 19. The report showed other housing market measures slowing at a normal rate for the end of summer. Pending sales fell 12% from their 2021 peak, and the number of homes selling above their list price fell. Time on market rose to 20 days. Asking prices also rose 2.4%. While that’s typical for September, the number itself is not: the median asking price rose 11% year-over-year to $359,724, an…

Freddie Mac: ‘Little Change’ in Rates

Mortgage rates remained essentially unchanged over the past week, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. Freddie’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) reports the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 2.88 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 2.90 percent. “The slowdown in economic growth around the world has caused a flight to the quality of the U.S. financial markets,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “This has led to a rise in foreign investor purchases of U.S. Treasuries, causing mortgage rates to remain in place, despite the increasing dispersion of inflation across different consumer goods and services.” Khater continued, “On the housing front, homebuyers continue to snap up available inventory, which has improved modestly, and home price growth…

HUD, FHFA ‘Correct’ Stance on Freddie Purchasing Mortgages Secured by Group Homes

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued a joint statement Wednesday addressing an “incorrect” policy regarding Freddie Mac’s ability to purchase mortgages secured by a property owned by an individual and rented to a group home for persons with disabilities. “The clarifications follow a HUD investigation of a mortgage lender who had refused to lend to a homeowner that was renting their property to a company that was operating a group home,” the joint statement reads. “The lender’s refusal was based on the incorrect belief that Freddie Mac would not agree to buy the mortgage. After HUD reported this misunderstanding to Freddie Mac and FHFA, Freddie Mac worked with both…