Category: Industry News

Mortgage rates tumble to fresh 2017 low

Yesterday, interest rates fell to the lowest they’ve been all year! This is great news for those who are ready to purchase a home or are considering refinancing.

Mortgage rates can change at any moment; that’s why it’s so important to strike while the iron is hot.

Rates for home loans fell in line with Treasury yields, nudging mortgage rates to the lowest level of the year, Freddie Mac said Thursday.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.08%, down 2 basis points during the week. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.34%, down from 3.36%. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.18%, down one basis point.

Those rates don’t include fees associated with obtaining mortgage loans.

The 10-year Treasury yield fell five basis points during the week as investors continue to re-assess the expectations for fiscal stimulus and economic growth that followed the November election even as fresh geopolitical worries flared. The benchmark government bond breached a key technical level, 2.30%, twice during the week.

Read the source article at MarketWatch

Vacation Home Sales Drop, Investment Home Sales Rise

Vacation home sales took a serious fall in 2016 while investment home sales were on the rise, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

There were approximately 721,000 vacation home purchases last year, a 21.6 percent plummet from the 920,000 sales level in 2015. Last year’s level was the lowest for this sector since the 717,000 mark set in 2013. However, the median vacation home price in 2016 was $200,000, up 4.2 percent from 2015 ($192,000) and the highest since 2006 (also $200,000). Vacation sales accounted for 12 percent of all transactions in 2016, down from 16 percent in 2015 and the lowest level since 2012 (11 percent).

Read the source article at National Mortgage Professional Magazine

Demand for houses still grows despite interest rates increasing

Potential existing-home sales decreased in February as interest rates continue to rise, according to the Potential Home Sales model from First American Financial Corp., a provider of title insurance, settlement services and risk solutions for real estate transactions.

Potential home sales increased to a 5.7 million seasonally-adjusted, annualized rate. While this is down 0.5% from January, or 28,000 sales, it is up 2.4% over the past 12 months.

Potential home sales measures existing-homes sales, which include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate based on the historical relationship between existing-home sales and U.S. population demographic data, income and labor market conditions in the U.S. economy, price trends in the U.S. housing market, and conditions in the financial market.

Read the source article at U.S. Housing Finance News

Fed Announces Rate Hike

In a statement, the Fed explained its actions: “In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 3/4 to one percent. The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting some further strengthening in labor market conditions and a sustained return to two percent inflation.”

Read the source article at National Mortgage Professional Magazine

New bill threatens CFPB’s freedom as independent agency

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s freedom as an independent agency to enact regulation could soon change due to a new bill working its way through Congress. This bill, “OIRA Insight, Reform, and Accountability Act,” has already made its way through the House and has moved onto the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Will the industry finally get the regulatory relief it’s been asking for if the bill passes?

Read the source article at U.S. Housing Finance News

Timing is Key for Economic Growth

In the February 2017 Economic and Housing Outlook from Fannie Mae released on Thursday, there are moderate growth expectations for the market in 2017, as experts continue to debate on developing policies and regulations from the Trump administration.

According to the report, the full-year economic growth forecast remains unchanged from last month’s projection of 2.0 percent, which is slightly above the 1.9 percent growth registered for all of 2016,”

Doug Duncan, Chief Economist at Fannie Mae, noted that timing will play an integral role in the positioning of policies and regulations from the Trump administration.

“Last month we revealed our theme for the year, ‘Will Policy Changes Extend the Expansion?‘ That question still hovers as the month-old Administration begins enacting its agenda,” he said. “Timing effects make it unlikely that we’ll see materially positive impacts stemming from any fiscal stimulus or deregulation this year, while immigration and trade policy pose downside risk.”

Although job growth was one of the highlights last month, wage growth hindered people from re-entering the workforce. The unemployment percentage rate decreased to 4.7 last month from 5.0 in 2016.

There was also an uptick in home sales, with new single-family home sales saw an increase of 552 from last year and total existing home sales increasing from 5,300 to 5,437.

“Mortgage rates have moderated slightly but remain 60 basis points higher than before the election. Still, leading indicators of home sales are encouraging with pending home sales rebounding and purchase mortgage applications holding up,” the report stated.

Duncan remarked that although a multitude of factors are preventing the economy from moving forward, expansion is on the horizon, and it is coming at a faster rate.

“We expect the housing expansion to continue, albeit at a more moderate pace than last year given continued pressure on affordability. Depressed inventory, particularly in the more affordable segments, will likely constrain sales and push home price gains that outpace income growth. A faster pace of monetary tightening, unless accompanied by a stronger increase in household income, also poses downside risk to housing,” said Duncan.

To read the full report, click here.

Read the source article at theMReport.com