Mortgage Rates at Highest Averages of 2016

As we expected, for the fifth consecutive week, average fixed mortgage rates edged higher. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is now averaging above 4 percent.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Dec. 1:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 4.08 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 4.03 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.93 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.34 percent, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 3.25 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.16 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

Home Loan Interest Rates Are Nearing 4%

Fixed-rate mortgages are climbing following a post-selection sell-off in the Treasury Market.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Nov. 17:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.94 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.57 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.97 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.14 percent, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 2.88 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.18 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

Home Owners Get More Realistic on Prices

Home owners’ perceptions of the value of their homes are starting to get closer in line to the opinions of appraisers.

The latest Quicken Loans Home Price Perceptions Index shows that the average appraisal was 1.15 percent lower than home owners’ expectations. In September, appraised values were 1.26 percent lower than home owner expectations — so the gap is narrowing between the two. This is the fourth consecutive month the index has moved closer in line between home owner and appraiser estimates.

View charts of the breakdown across the U.S. of home value expectations between appraisers versus home owners at: Quicken Loans

Home Loan Interest Rates Recede to Near-Record Lows

Great news! “Mortgage rates continue to be relatively stable and at near record lows,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 5 basis points week-over-week to 3.47 percent, erasing last week’s increase. At the same time, the 10-year Treasury yield ended the week relatively flat — up about 2 basis points.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Oct. 27:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.47 percent, with an average 0.6 point, dropping 5 basis points from 3.52 percent last week. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.76 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.78 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping slightly from last week’s 2.79 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.98 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

 

The Computer Keyboard Is Getting a Makeover

Apple wants to change that QWERTY keyboard you’ve grown accustomed to. Apple reportedly has teamed up with Australian start up Sonder Design Pty Ltd. to transform the standard QWERTY keyboard so that it will not only contain any alphabet but also special commands and symbols.

The keyboards are to use “E Ink” displays, which are similar to those on Amazon’s Kindle devices. The keyboards will be fully customizable, and reportedly will make it easier for those who use software programs to outfit it with specialized commands. It also will apparently make it easier to swap out emojis and other symbol substitutes for words.

The new keyboards are set to debut and become standard on new MacBook laptops in 2018.

Source: “It’s Goodbye QWERTY, Hello Emojis as Apple Rethinks the Keyboard,” The Wall Street Journal (Oct. 19, 2016)

Are Home Owners Looking for a Rescue Plan?

Half of Americans say they currently have a dispute with a neighbor, according to a new survey from North American Van Lines.

In fact, 13 percent of Americans say they have moved just to get away from their next-door neighbor.

Take a look at these interesting infographics to see the conflicts home owners are having with their neighbors at: North American Moving Services

Rising Mortgage Rates Nip at Loan Demand

“As incoming economic data reassured investors regarding U.S. growth, and financial markets returned to viewing a December Fed hike as increasingly likely, mortgage rates rose to their highest level in a month last week,” says Michael Fratantoni, the MBA’s chief economist. “Total and refinance application volume dropped to their lowest levels since June as a result.”

Refinancings have been dropping for several weeks now, with an 8 percent drop last week. Mortgage applications for home purchases, on the other hand, posted a smaller drop at 3 percent week over week. Purchase applications are still 27 percent higher than a year ago.

Source: “Mortgage Applications Down 6% as Rising Rates Take a Toll,” CNBC (Oct. 12, 2016)

Home Loan Interest Rates Dip to 10-Week Low

“Investors flocked to the safety of government bonds causing the 10-year Treasury yield to continue its descent following the FOMC’s decision to leave rates unchanged,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage responded by dropping 6 basis points before landing at 3.42 percent — a ten-week low. The course of the economy is uncertain, yet consumers continue to be a bright spot. The September consumer confidence index is up 3 percent to 104.1, exceeding forecasts and reaching a new cycle high.”

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Sept. 29:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.42 percent, with an average 0.5 point, falling from last week’s 3.48 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.85 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: average 2.72 percent, with an average 0.5, falling from last week’s 2.76 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.07 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

Federal Reserve on Interest Rate Hike: Not Yet

The Federal Reserve voted Wednesday to continue to leave short-term rates alone, but hinted that a raise is still likely before the end of the year.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen offered an upbeat report about a strengthening economy, while still acknowledging the sluggish first half of the year. Employment is increasing and household incomes are too, she said. While the case for raising rates has strengthened, Yellen said there was no need to raise rates quite yet because inflation remains below the Fed’s 2 percent target.

“We judged that the case for an increase had strengthened but decided for the time being to wait for continued progress toward our objectives,” Yellen said at a press conference following the Fed’s policy meeting.

Source: “Fed Stands Pat, But Says Case for Rate Increase Has Strengthened,” The Wall Street Journal (Sept. 22, 2016) and “Why Housing Doesn’t Care About the Fed,” CNBC (Sept. 21, 2016)

Home Colors That Turn Off Buyers

Could the wrong shade of paint dampen interest in a home? As a real estate pro, we can point sellers in the right direction when they’re considering color updates.

First, take note of palettes consumers tell researchers they like: The favorite color combos for exteriors are white and gray, beige and taupe, and slate and black, according to the 2013 National Home Color Survey. On the inside, neutral wins too. The most popular 2016 colors include grays and shades of white, as well as natural-looking greens.

So, what are the paint chips your clients should avoid? Credit.com highlights their findings based on studies of colors at: 4 Colors You Should Never Paint Your Home,” Credit.com (Aug. 22, 2016)