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…

Morning Roundup (9/22/2021)– Loan Applications, Housing Starts Up

Good Morning! Today is Wednesday, September 22. The House passed a bill to keep the government open and prevent a debt default, but Senate Republicans will likely block it. The Taliban asked to participate in the U.N. General Assembly this week to gain international representation. The DOJ and six states are challenging American Airline’s partnership with JetBlue, alleging it violates anti-trust laws. And in mortgage and housing news… Mortgage Loan Apps Up: Mortgage loan application volume rose 4.9% last week, the MBA weekly survey found. Anthony Casa Abuse: The case of Anthony Casa, the AIME Chair who threatened and sexually harassed a competitor’s wife last year, perfectly demonstrates the difficulty of holding individuals accountable, Christine Lenzo writes. August Housing Starts: …

Morning Roundup (9/21/2021)– August New Home Purchases Down, Real-Estate Commissions Under Investigation

Good Morning! Today is Tuesday, September 21. The U.S. is easing travel bans, but will require foreign nationals to show proof of vaccination before entering the country. The Biden administration is raising the cap on refugee admissions to 125,000. A doctor who publicly admitted to performing an abortion after six weeks is being sued, the first case filed under Texas’ controversial abortion law. And in mortgage and housing news… New Home Purchases Down: MBA’s Builder Application Survey data for August 2021 shows mortgage applications for new home purchases increased from July but fell year-over-year. Commissions Under Investigation: Home sale commissions are under investigation by the Biden administration, which has asked the Federal Trade Commission to adopt rules to address any…

Morning Roundup (9/20/2021)– Home Sales Down, Consumer Sentiment Steadies

Good Morning! Today is Monday, September 19. France recalled its ambassadors from Britain and the U.S. in protest of their secret negotiations with Australia. Natural gas prices are surging, prompting fears about winter shortages. The Biden administration began deporting thousands of Haitians awaiting immigration processing in Texas. And in mortgage and housing news… Will Fed Meeting Affect Interest Rates?: The FOMC is meeting September 21 and 22 to discuss next steps on monetary policy. It probably won’t affect interest rates. Home Sales Down: RE/MAX’s August Annual Housing Report suggests that while the market may still be hot, the busiest months of 2021 may be behind us. Consumer Sentiment Up: Consumer sentiment steadied in September after plunging to its lowest level…

What Will This Week’s Fed Meeting Mean for Mortgage Interest Rates?

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is meeting September 21 and 22 to discuss the next steps on broad issues related to monetary policy. But in the mortgage industry, there’s only one question on brokers’ minds: What’s going to happen to interest rates? As of today, the best guess is: Not much. Fed-watching is an industry unto itself, and the phrase that’s caught their attention is “substantial further progress.” That’s how Fed Chairman Jerome Powell described the conditions under which the institution would begin reducing its monthly bond purchases — currently $120 billion — as part of his regime of “qualitative easing.” Shrinking the money supply, or even talk of shrinking the supply, is expected to lead to higher interest rates and,…

Morning Roundup (9/17/2021)– Rent Growth Overtakes Home Prices, Home Sales Down

Good Morning! Today is Friday, September 17. Elizabeth Warren sent letters to 12 regional Fed presidents asking them to ban ownership of individual stocks among top officials at their banks. The World Bank canceled their “Doing Business” report after an investigation found that management tried to alter data. The Justice Department is fighting against a settlement that would prevent citizens from suing the Sackler family. And in mortgage and housing news… No Bias in Mortgage Biz?: Researchers from the American Enterprise Institute Housing Institute claim studies alleging racial bias in mortgage ignore outcomes that undermine their arguments. Rent Growth Tops Home Prices: Rent growth overtook home price growth in August, a Realtor.com report found. Sales Down In August: Redfin reported…

Morning Roundup (9/16/2021)- Interest Rates Flat, Warren Calls For Break-Up Of Wells Fargo

Good Morning! Today is Thursday, September 16. The FDA found that an additional shot of Pfizer boosts immune response, but the typical two-shot regimen is still effective. The U.S., Britain, and Australia are teaming up to launch nuclear-powered submarines to patrol the South China Sea. Olympic gymnasts abused by Larry Nasser blamed the F.BI., USA Gymnastics, and the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee for not responding to accusations in 2015. And in mortgage and housing news… Interest Rates Flat Again: Freddie Mac’s PMMS showed interest rates barely moved for another week, with 30-year fixed-rates averaging 2.86%. “Middlemen”: Mat Ishbia says UWM’s in-house appraisal program will speed things up by removing AMCs, which needlessly hinder closing times. Non-banks Non-primes Down: Fitch…

Freddie Mac: Interest Rates Flat Again

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) showed rates stayed basically flat for yet another week, with 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaging 2.86%. It was 2.87% this week a year ago. Last week it inched up 0.1% to 2.88%. This week it dropped 0.2%. Overall, it’s been months since it moved significantly. Rates on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages dropped to 2.12%, down from 2.19% last week. Fifteen-year rates averaged 2.35% a year earlier. Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) averaged 2.51%, increasing from last week’s 2.42%. Last year it was 2.96%. “It’s Groundhog Day for mortgage rates, as they have remained virtually flat for over two months. The holding pattern in rates reflects the markets’ view that the prospects for the economy…

Fitch Ratings: Late-Stage Non-Prime Delinquencies Down

Fitch Ratings’ Q2 RMBS Servicer Metric Report found late-stage non-prime delinquencies down year-over-year (YOY) for both bank and non-bank mortgage servicers. Bank servicers reported a drop in 90+ day delinquencies, from 13% to 10% YOY, down 12% last quarter. Non-bank servicers saw a drop from 8% to 4% YOY, with a 2% fall from Q1. The numbers suggest that holders with loans in forbearance might be financially recovering and exiting policies before many expire. “Bank servicers showed the most significant loss mitigation results over the past year with forbearance plans now down to 38% from 93% of all loan workout plans while repayment plans and loan modifications have seen significant increases as borrowers exit forbearance plans,” said Director Richard Koch. “Non-bank servicers are…