Fed Makes First Rate Hike in 7 Years

The Federal Reserve decided the economy is doing well enough to finally raise its target interest rate after seven years, a move that will affect everything from savings to mortgage rates. “Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in October suggests that economic activity has been expanding at a moderate pace,” the Fed said in its December 16 statement. “The Committee currently expects that, with gradual adjustments in the stance of monetary policy, economic activity Read more [...]

Existing-Home Sales, Prices Decline in August

The U.S. existing-housing market cooled off considerably in August, according to the National Association of Realtors, with the probable cause being a lack of inventory and the beginning of the traditionally slower buying season. Total existing-home sales fell 4.8 percent in August, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.31 million, down from 5.58 million in July. Compared to a year ago however, sales are still up 6.2 percent and have increased on a yearly basis for the past 11 straight months. "Sales Read more [...]

Mortgage Rates Drop to 7-Week Low

After a two-month rest above 4 percent, long-term mortgage rates have dipped back into more familiar territory this week, according to mortgage backer Freddie Mac, being pulled down by overseas stock troubles. The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate conventional mortgage declined to 3.98 percent, excluding fees during the week ended July 30, 2015, down from 4.04 percent the week before. The 30-year rate is also down from one year earlier when it averaged 4.12 percent. "Monday's 8 percent decline Read more [...]

Mortgage Applications Jump in Latest Week

An uptick in the spring home buying market resulted in a surge of mortgage applications during the past week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The MBA’s seasonally adjusted mortgage application index rose 4.6 percent during the week ended March 27, 2015, with the home purchase applications index jumping 6 percent from the previous week. Home purchase requests were also 8 percent higher than the year before. "This week's mortgage application survey falls right into line with Read more [...]

Stock Market, Low Inventory Stymied November Home Sales

Sales of existing U.S. homes slumped in November, according to the National Association of Realtors, pulling down the median price as the supply of homes contracted and stock market worries held buyers back. Total existing-home sales sank 6.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.93 million in November, down from 5.25 million in October, the highest level of the year. Compared with a year ago, sales are still up 2.1 percent however. The median home price fell to $205,300, down from Read more [...]

Low Rates Haven’t Bolstered Mortgage Applications

Even as long-term mortgage interest rates rested near their lowest levels in over a year, it wasn’t enough to bring more borrowers to the mortgage table during the Thanksgiving week, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. Perhaps all the tryptophan from holiday turkeys kept potential borrowers too sleepy to take action. Whatever the cause, the MBA Market Composite Index, a measure of all mortgage loan application volume took a serious hit in the week ended November Read more [...]

Jumbo Loans Take Center Stage for Mortgage Lenders

For the past several decades, conventional mortgages have come with a cheaper price tag than “jumbo” mortgages – those above the conventional loan limits, currently set at $417,000. That trend has now reversed itself as the housing market makes an unbalanced recovery with lenders now catering heavily to jumbo loan borrowers. The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate conventional mortgage is 4.48 percent, excluding fees according to Bankrate.com. While conventional rates have traditionally Read more [...]

Mortgage Rates Tumble Making Way for More Home Sales

After rising the week before, long-term mortgage rates fell in the latest week on mixed economic data, a move that helped push applications for purchase mortgages higher. The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage sank to 4.34 percent, excluding fees, according to mortgage backer Freddie Mac, a three-week low, down from 4.41 percent the previous week. While still very historically low, rates have moved up considerably from a year ago when they averaged 3.43 percent. The drop Read more [...]

Existing Home Sales and Prices Took a Tumble in January

A host of factors combined in January to make the perfect storm in the housing market, resulting in the lowest level of existing-home sales in a year-and-a-half, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors. Sales of existing U.S. homes fell 5.1 percent on both a monthly and yearly basis to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.62 million. Sales levels have not been that low since July 2012 when they fell to 4.59 million. January home prices did a nose-dive as well from Read more [...]

Home Sales Drop in November

Market conditions are combining to make homebuying less attractive, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors, as existing U.S.home sales made a significant drop in November. “Home sales are hurt by higher mortgage interest rates, constrained inventory and continuing tight credit,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun in a statement. “There is a pent-up demand for both rental and owner-occupied housing as household formation will inevitably burst out, but the bottleneck Read more [...]