Fixed-rate mortgages climbed this week after signs of stronger consumer spending, Freddie Mac reports in its weekly mortgage market survey.
Here are the national averages for mortgage rates for the week ending May 16:
- 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.51 percent, with an average 0.7 point, increasing from last week’s 3.42 percent average. A year ago at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.79 percent.
- 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.69 percent, with an average 0.7 point, rising from last week’s 2.61 percent average. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.04 percent.
- 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 2.62 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 2.58 percent average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.83 percent.
Source: Freddie Mac
Fixed-rate mortgages pushed lower for the fifth-consecutive week, with low mortgage rates further driving the housing recovery over the near term, says Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.
This week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hovered near its all-time record low, while 15-year rates set a new record.
Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending May 2, 2013:
- 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.35 percent, with an average 0.7 point, just shy of its 3.31 percent record set during the week of Nov. 21, 2012. A year ago at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.84 percent.
- 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: sank to an all-time record low of 2.56 percent, with an average 0.7 point, dropping from last week’s previous record of 2.61 percent. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.07 percent.
- 5-year adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.56 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 2.58 percent average. Last year at this time, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.85 percent.
Source: Freddie Mac
Between 2004 and 2012, student loan balances nearly tripled, per a new survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. What’s more, one-third of student loan borrowers are delinquent on their debt, according to the Federal Reserve report. This will impact their credit rating and possibly keep them out of the mortgage market much longer.
“Short term, you see a decrease in the number of first-time home buyers,” Brian Coester of Coester Valuation Management told CNBC. “You’re going to see somebody who would have been able to afford a more expensive house maybe go for the lower version or the downgraded version.”
Potential buyers with heavy student debt burden have been forced to rent or even move back in with their parents as they chip away at their debt.
“Long term it’s going to really affect especially the upper end, because people aren’t going to have the excess income to buy the jumbo property or buy that high end property,” says Coester. “It’ s going to affect home prices as a negative, as more of a cap, because it’s really debt that they are servicing.”
Source: “Student Debt Is Housing’s $1 Trillion Challenge,” CNBC.com (April 8, 2013)
Lenders tightened up underwriting standards the last few years, making it difficult for creditworthy buyers to get approved for a loan. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said last week that the tightening of the mortgage market “has gone too far.”
But recent data released by Ellie Mae shows there may be some improvement in the loosening of credit. “The credit box may be expanding,” says Jonathan Corr, Ellie Mae president and CEO.
In its latest data release, Ellie Mae found that the average FICO scores for approved loans has started to drop — a 767 FICO average for all of 2012 compared to 761 FICO average for all approved conventional loans during February.
More applications for mortgages also were approved — 56.8 percent in February versus 55 percent in January, a slight improvement.
The refinance share of loan originations fell to 68 percent in February, from 73 percent in January, which is “a good sign since it indicates lenders are getting more serious about going after the purchase market,” Inman News reports.
Many say that banks are too strict with home loans. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, estimates that if credit conditions returned to “normal,” about 500,000 to 700,000 more home sales would occur this year.
Source: “Encouraging Signs That Mortgage Credit Is Easing,” Inman News (3/26/13)
Loan requests for home purchases — viewed as a leading indicator of future home sales — surged 6.7 percent last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports. Applications for refinancing also rose, jumping 8 percent.
MBA’s index of mortgage application demand had declines six of the past nine weeks as mortgage rates have inched higher. Last week, mortgage rates dropped for the first time in three weeks, helping to lift loan demand, the MBA reports.
MBA’s overall index of mortgage application activity, which reflects applications for home purchases and refinancing, increased 7.7 percent for the week ending March 22.
The MBA reports that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.79 percent during the week, down from 3.82 percent the week prior.
Source: “Mortgage applications rebounded last week as rates fell: MBA,” Reuters (March 27, 2013)
Some would-be move-up home sellers are eyeing home prices carefully. They’re waiting to see how much home prices appreciate more before they consider selling their home. But they may be missing their perfect opportunity, some housing experts say.
The best time to move may depend on when the home owner purchased their current residence, says Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac. Blomquist says that home owners who purchased their home during the sluggish market the last two to three years may find moving up in 2013 may be their prime opportunity.
“Because they bought near the bottom, these home owners should have built up some good equity that can go toward the purchase of a new home, and waiting longer to build more equity likely won’t provide much advantage given that other homes that they might want to move up to will also be appreciating at roughly the same pace,” Blomquist told HousingWire.
Home owners who wait much longer to sell their home may miss out! Your comments?
More at Source: “The Time to Sell Is a Waiting Game for Some,” HousingWire (3/21/13)
For the second consecutive week, mortgage applications fell as interest rates climbed to seven-month highs, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports in its weekly survey.
Overall mortgage application activity dropped 7.1 percent in the week ending March 15. Refinancings, which make up the biggest bulk of that activity, dropped 8 percent last week. Applications for home purchases, viewed as a leading indicator of future home sales, dropped 3.9 percent.
Meanwhile, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.82 percent during the week, the highest level since last August, the MBA reports. Your market comments?
Source: “U.S. Mortgage Applications Fell Again Last Week, Rates Up,” Reuters (March 20, 2013)
Young generations were badly hit in the recession, and it could have widespread effects on their lives, from delaying home ownership to starting a family and having children to even one day eventually retiring.
A new study from the Urban Institute shows that those under the age of 40 have accumulated less wealth than their parents did at the same age. That coincides with a time when the average wealth of Americans has doubled over the last quarter-century , according to the study.
“In this country, the expectation is that every generation does better than the previous generation,” Caroline Ratcliffe, an author of the study, told The New York Times. “This is no longer the case. This generation might have less.”
Young adults are facing stagnant pay, a tough job market, soaring student loan debt, and some who did own a home may have faced lost equity or even foreclosure during the housing crisis.
Will younger adults ever be able to catch up?
More about the study at source: “Younger Generations Lag Parents in Wealth-Building,” The New York Times (March 14, 2013)
Following a 15 percent surge in mortgage applications, demand for home loans fell for the week ending March 8, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reports in its weekly mortgage market surveyed. Mortgage rates inched up this week, decreasing demand for home loans, MBA says.
The organization’s mortgage market index, which measures loan demand for refinancing and home purchases, dropped 4.7 percent for the week. Broken out, refinancing application demand fell 5.2 percent while applications for home loans — viewed as a leading indicator of future home sales — dropped 2.5 percent.
Meanwhile, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage reached its highest average in more than six months, averaging 3.81 percent. Recent data that revealed job growth was stronger in February than expected caused mortgage rates to inch higher, according to MBA.
Source: “Mortgage Applications Decreased Last Week as Rates Spiked,” Reuters 3/13/13