Home Loan Interest Rates Maintain Yearly Lows

Great news! Mortgage rates mostly held at last week’s year-to-date lows, offering another opportunity for borrowers to take advantage of savings. Ask a local lender for what is your best type of loan.

“The 30-year mortgage rate, however, remained unchanged at 3.78 percent. If Treasury yields continue to rise, mortgage rates could see an increase in next week’s survey,” says Freddie Mac chief economist Sean Becketti.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Sept. 14:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.78 percent, with an average 0.5 point, holding the same average as last week. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.50 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.08 percent, with an average 0.5, the same average as last week. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 2.77 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

New Program to Help Buyers Bypass Appraisals

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac has announced a new program allowing some home buyers to skip a traditional appraisal, which could lower the fees the buyers pay and speed up the closing process. Freddie’s Automated Collateral Evaluation (or ACE) will determine a property’s collateral risk by culling data from multiple listing services, public records, and historical home values, and then assess whether a buyer needs a traditional appraisal or an automated one. Borrowers who are refinancing may also be eligible for the program.

Those who qualify for an automated appraisal could save up to $500 in fees and make it to settlement up to 10 days sooner, Freddie says. “By leveraging big data and advanced analytics, as well as 40-plus years of historical data, we’re cutting costs and speeding up the closing process for borrowers,” says David Lowman, Freddie Mac’s executive vice president of single-family business. “At the same time, we’re providing immediate collateral representation and warranty relief to lenders. This is just one example of how we are reimagining the mortgage process to create a better experience for consumers and lenders.”

Source: “Freddie Mac Extends Appraisal-Free Mortgage Program to Purchase Loans,” HousingWire (Aug. 18, 2017) and Freddie Mac

Foreclosures may “Stall a Housing Recovery”

A survey of 109 economists released this week by Zillow Inc. forecasts that U.S. home prices may fall further under the weight of foreclosures, bouncing back no sooner than 2013 even with mortgage rates at historic lows.

Zillow researchers say U.S. home values probably registered their smallest drop in four years in 2011, with prices expected to hit bottom in late 2012 or the first quarter of 2013 and begin rising by 3 percent a year through 2016.

“Negative equity, unemployment, and low consumer confidence remain the key factors delaying a true recovery,” Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries says.

 Source: “Foreclosures Weighing on Prices May Push Housing Rebound to 2013,” Bloomberg (Dec. 22, 2011)

More news from the “Sierra Foothills” regions of El Dorado, Placer, Amador and  Sacramento Counties, California  at: www.sierraproperties.com or www.dougandbudzeller.com