80% of Housing Markets Are Getting Better

The majority of the top 100 housing markets nationwide are improving compared to their historic benchmark range of housing activity, according to Freddie Mac’s Multi-Indicator Market Index.

The index measures the stability of the housing market by reflecting how single-family housing markets are performing to their long-term stable range based on home purchase applications, payment-to-income ratios (changes in home purchasing power based on home prices, mortgage rates, and household income), proportion of on-time mortgage payments, and local employment.

“The purchase applications indicator is up nearly 20 percent from last year and is reflected in the recent better-than-expected existing and new home sales purchase data,” says Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac’s deputy chief economist.

Source: Freddie Mac

Survey: Higher Rates Don’t Scare Buyers

Despite mortgage rates reaching a two-year high last week, home buyers say the increases aren’t scaring them away from their real estate search, according to a new Redfin survey. Only 2.6 percent of respondents say they have decided to postpone their search since rates rose above 4 percent.

Twenty-five percent of respondents say the rise in rates does not impact their homebuying decisions, and about 24 percent say they feel a greater sense of urgency to buy before rates go up further. However, 23 percent say the rate increases may prompt them to look in other areas or  buy a smaller home. About 26 percent of buyers say they might take more time with their search and see if rates go back down again.

Source: “Rising Mortgage Rates: Homebuyers Are More Resilient Than You Might Think,” Redfin Blog (Dec. 20, 2016)

First-Time Home Buyers Aren’t Backing Down!

Higher mortgage rates and home prices aren’t deterring first-time buyers yet. Those new to the home-purchase game comprised 32 percent of the market in November, up from a 30 percent share a year ago, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ latest housing report.

Overall, this has been a good year for this segment of the population. NAR’s 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, released in November, showed that the annual share of first-time buyers was 35 percent in 2016, which is the highest since 2013 (38 percent).

“There are fewer available homes during the winter months but also fewer buyers,” suggests NAR President William E. Brown. “With mortgage rates and prices expected to increase as the year goes on, the first few months of 2017 could be an opportune time close on a home.” 
So we suggest let us start your home search now, plus the loan options ASAP!

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

Home Loan Interest Rates Climb to 2016 High

Fixed-rate mortgages were once again on the way up this week, marking the sixth consecutive month for increases. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, the most popular option among home buyers, reached a new high for the year.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Dec. 8:

30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.13 percent, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 4.08 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.95 percent.
15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.36 percent, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 3.34 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.19 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

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 Moving on Up

“This is the first week since June that mortgage rates were above 3.48 percent, snapping an 11-week trend,” says Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Sept. 15:

30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.50 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.44 percent average. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.91 percent.

15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.77 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 2.76 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.11 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

Buyers Prove Sensitive to Mortgage Rates

Even the slightest fluctuations in mortgage rates are having a big impact on application volume. Total mortgage applications, including for refinancings and home purchases, dropped 2.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis last week as rates rose slightly, the Mortgage Bankers Association report.

The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage bumped up to 3.67 percent last week from a 3.64 percent average the previous week, MBA reports. Applications for refinancings dropped 3 percent last week. Still, refinancings are nearly 45 percent higher than the same week a year ago.

Applications for home purchases dropped slightly by 0.3 percent last week and are 7.7 percent higher than a year ago, MBA reports. However, applications for purchases are now at a six-month low.

Source: “Weekly Mortgage Applications Drop 2.1% as Rates Edge Higher,” CNBC (Aug. 24, 2016)

Home Loan Rates Hold Steady This Week

Average fixed-rate mortgages remained near historic lows this week, keeping financing costs lower for home shoppers and home owners looking to refinance.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Aug. 11:

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.45 percent, with an average 0.5 point, rising from last week’s 3.43 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 3.94 percent.
  • 15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.76 percent, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 2.74 percent average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 3.17 percent.
  • 5-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages: averaged 2.74 percent, with an average 0.5 point, increasing from last week’s 2.73 percent average. A year ago, 5-year ARMs averaged 2.93 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

Mortgage Rates Near 2016 Lows Again

After climbing for the last three consecutive weeks, mortgage rates reversed course this week, falling back near the lowest averages of the year.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages for the week ending Aug. 4:

’30-year’ fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 3.43 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 3.48 percent average. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 3.91 percent.

’15-year’ fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 2.74 percent, with an average 0.5 point, falling from last week’s 2.78 percent average. Last year at this time, 15-year rates averaged 3.13 percent.

Source: Freddie Mac

First Half Review: Housing Is Doing Well!

The first half of 2016 has proven to be a boom to real estate, writes Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com®’s chief economist in his monthly column. Total home sales are up 5 percent compared to the first half of 2015 and median existing home prices are up 5 percent as of June, setting a new record. Also, a rise in equity for home owners may encourage them to consider selling.

Yet, Smoke doesn’t expect the strong market to stay this strong in the second half of the year.

“All ages have been tempted by near-record lows in mortgage rates prompted by global economic weakness and instability driving investors toward U.S. bonds,” Smoke writes in his latest column. “But even with all that demand, the market can grow only so much, because of the limited inventory of homes for sale.

“As long as [mortgage] rates do not increase substantially in a short period of time, the real estate market should remain strong,” Smoke says. “The underlying reason for higher rates is a stronger economy; so the benefits of that will offset the impact of marginally higher rates. A stronger economy, more jobs, lower unemployment, and higher wages will power demand. Higher rates will also likely help loosen credit. Those positive conditions coupled with demographic tailwinds from millennials and boomers will keep the U.S. housing market healthy and strong for at least two more years.”

Source: “Housing Had a Great First Half of 2016, But Will It Last?” realtor.com® (July 28, 2016)