Home Loan Interest Rates in Holding Pattern?

Good news for now! Mortgage rates continue to defy expectations, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate barely budging for the fourth consecutive week.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Feb. 23:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.16 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 4.15 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.62 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.37 percent, with an average 0.5 point, increasing slightly from last week’s 3.35 percent. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.93 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

Existing-Home Sales Reach Decade High

Existing-home sales in January reached their fastest pace in nearly a decade, with all major regions except the Midwest posting gains last month, the National Association of REALTORS® reports.

Total existing-home sales—completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops—rose 3.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.69 million in January. That’s 3.8 percent higher than a year ago and marks the strongest month since February 2007, according to the NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

The REALTORS® Affordability Distribution Curve and Score, a new measurement of homebuying activity created by NAR and realtor.com®, revealed that the combination of higher mortgage rates and home prices made active listings less affordable for households in more than half of all states last month.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

 

Mortgage Rates: Is It a ‘Year Full of Surprises’?

Interesting thought of the week with this real estate opinion:  “For the last 46 years, the 30-year mortgage rate has been almost perfectly correlated with the yield on the 10-year Treasury, but not this year,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “From Dec. 29, 2016, through today, the 30-year mortgage rate fell 17 basis points to this week’s reading of 4.15 percent. In contrast, the 10-year Treasury yield began and ended the same period at 2.49 percent. While we expect mortgage rates to fall into line with Treasury yields shortly, this just may be a year full of surprises.”

Freddie Mac reported the following national averages for the week ending Feb. 16:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.15 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 4.17 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.65 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.35 percent, with an average 0.5 point, falling from last week’s 3.39 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.95 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

Don’t Underestimate Power of Pets

Pets are having more of an influence in home buying and selling as well as renovation, a new study by the National Association of REALTORS® shows. Eighty-one percent of Americans say that animal-related considerations play a role when deciding on their next living situation, according to the 2017 Animal House: Remodeling Impact report.

“In 2016, 61 percent of U.S. households either have a pet or plan to get one in the future, so it is important to understand the unique needs and wants of animal owners when it comes to homeownership ” says NAR President William E. Brown. “REALTORS® understand that when someone buys a home, they are buying it with the needs of their whole family in mind; ask pet owners, and they will enthusiastically agree that their animals are part of their family.”

99 percent of pet owners say they consider the animal part of the family. Eighty-nine percent of respondents say they would not give up their animal because of housing restrictions or limitations. Home owners are willing to move for their pets too. Twelve percent of pet owners have moved to accommodate their animal; 19 percent would consider moving to accommodate their animal in the future.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

Home Loan Interest Rates Are Holding Steady

Rates have mostly stayed flat the past three weeks, offering buyers a pause to steadily rising rates.

“Rates are at about the same level at which they started the year and have stayed within a two basis point range over the past three weeks. Mixed economic releases such as Friday’s jobs report and uncertainty about the Administration’s fiscal policies have contributed to the holding pattern in rates.” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Feb. 9:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.17 percent, with an average 0.4 point, dropping from last week’s 4.19 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.65 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.39 percent, with an average 0.4 point, falling from last week’s 3.41 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.95 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

Hispanic Homeownership Defies National Trend

The Hispanic demographic was the only ethnic demographic with an increase in the homeownership rate in 2016. The Hispanic homeownership rate rose from 45.6 percent in 2015 to 46 percent last year, according to the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals.

Further, the Hispanic population added 330,000 households, leading in net household formations for 2016 too, according to Census Bureau data.

“With credit remaining tight and limited housing inventory in several markets, these numbers are extremely encouraging and a testament to the economic resilience of the Hispanic community,” says Joseph Nery, 2016 NAHREP president. “As the mortgage industry continues to recognize the exceptional opportunities in serving the Hispanic market and adjusts accordingly, we expect these numbers to only improve.”

Source: National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals

Mortgage Rates Take a Breather This Week!

Good News! Mortgage rates barely budged this week compared to the previous week, as the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage held its 4.19 percent average, Freddie Mac reports.

“The 30-year mortgage rate remained flat at 4.19 percent, starting the month 47 basis points higher than this time last year. Despite the uncertainty in the market, the pending home sales index increased 1.6 percent in December, up from a decline of 2.5 percent the month prior,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Feb. 2:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.19 percent, with an average 0.5 point, unchanged from last week. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.72 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.41 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising slightly from last week’s 3.40 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.01 percent.

Source: Freddie Macm

Mortgage Rates Move Up for First Time in 2017

Following several weeks of decreases, mortgage rates were back on the rise this week.

“This week marks the first increase in the mortgage rate since December 29. The 2.8 percent decline in existing home sales in December is a reminder of the lack of homes for sale. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, supply is at its lowest level since 1999, a factor that should support higher house prices regardless of the oscillations of the mortgage rate.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Jan. 26:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.19 percent, with an average 0.4 point, rising from last week’s 4.09 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.79 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.40 percent, with an average 0.4 point, rising from last week’s 3.34 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.07 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

Study: January, February ‘Great for Buying’

For home buyers hoping to snag a deal, they may want to make a move now. Home prices in January usually decrease compared to the spring and summer buying season.

There’s plenty of research to back that up too. NerdWallet recently crunched two years of realtor.com® data that reflected the 50 largest U.S. metros. Researchers found that January and February were the top months for those looking to get a bargain. In those months, home sales prices were 8.45 percent lower on average than in June through August.

“You basically face almost half of the competition with almost the same amount of inventory in the market,” says Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com®’s chief economist. Plus, buyers likely will face fewer homes with multiple bidders.

“As we look toward spring and later in 2017, [mortgage rates are] another reason to buy in January and February,” Smoke says. “Because rates are expected to be about 50 basis points, or half a percent, more as the year goes on.”

Source: “Why January Is the Best Time to Buy a Home” NerdWallet (Jan. 13, 2017)

Home Loan Interest Rates Move Down Again

For the third consecutive week, fixed-rate mortgages edged down, lowering borrowing costs for buyers and refinancers. So, now is the time to start your loan and home search!

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Jan. 19:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.09 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 4.12 percent. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.81 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.34 percent, with an average 0.5 point, falling from last week’s 3.37 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.10 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac