Aug 7, 2014

Mortgage Applications Escalate as Refinances Increase

Mortgage application volume increased from the previous week due to more refinance activity. The Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly index showed that mortgage loan application volume was 2.4% higher on a seasonally adjusted basis for the period ending July 18, after decreasing the week before.

The refinance index was up 4% week-over-week, while the home purchase index only increased by 0.3% from one week earlier, the Washington-based trade group said on Wednesday.

The refinance share of mortgage activity accounted for 54.4% of total applications, the highest percentage in four months. Meanwhile, the adjustable-rate mortgage share remained unchanged at 8%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages held steady at 4.33%. Mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration saw average interest rates decline one basis point to 4.03%. 

A 15-year fixed-rate mortgage had its interest rate increase six basis points to 3.47%. The weekly survey covers 75% of all retail residential mortgage applications.

Peoples Privo Processing helps mortgage brokers and lenders close more files across the country with a 50 state footprint.

Jul 31, 2014

Most and least expensive states to close a mortgage

 Mortgage closing costs continue to report bad news as numbers maintain their upward trend, not boding well for lenders.

According to Bankrate, mortgage closing costs rose 6% over the past year and now average $2,539 on a $200,000 loan.

Origination fees increased 9% to $1,877, while third-party fees rose 1% to $662.

“New mortgage regulations are the biggest reasons why closing costs went up over the past year,” said Holden Lewis, senior mortgage analyst with Bankrate.

“The good news is that some lenders have not increased fees. To get the best deal, consumers should compare good faith estimates from at least three different lenders,” Lewis added.

Back in June, HousingWire reported that independent mortgage banks and mortgage subsidiaries of chartered banks posted a net loss of $194 on each loan they originated in the first quarter of 2014, significantly down from $150 in profit per loan in the fourth quarter of 2013.

“The significant overall production volume decline in the first quarter hurt mortgage bankers,” said Marina Walsh, Mortgage Bankers Association’s vice president of industry analysis.


“Purchase volume did not pick up, while refinancing volume dropped and costs continued to rise. Given these conditions, companies that managed to break even in the first quarter should consider that a reasonable outcome,” Walsh added.




These are some of the closing cost Fees

(Lender’s origination fee, third-party fees, origination plus third-party fees)

51. Nevada: Costs $1,570, $695, $2,265
50. Tennessee: $1,746, $620, $2,366
49. Missouri: $1,749, $638, $2,387
48.  Ohio: $1,707, $685, $2,392
47. District o Columbia: $1,791, $612, $2,402

Top 5 most expensive states for closing costs

5. Wisconsin: $2,035, $671, $2,706
4. Hawaii: $2,009, $799, $2,808
3. New York: $2,109, $783, $2,892
2. Alaska: $2,195, $703, $2,897
1. Texas: $2,280, $766, $3,046

Jun 24, 2014

Sales of New Homes Surged in May to Highest Since 2008


Another day, another source, similar news !!! Purchases of new homes in the U.S. rose in May by the most in 22 years, indicating the industry is rebounding from a winter-induced lull at the start of the year.Sales increased 18.6 percent, the biggest one-month gain since January 1992, to a 504,000 annualized pace, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. The reading exceeded all forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of 74 economists and was the strongest since May 2008.

Today’s report, following data yesterday that showed a pickup in existing home sales, shows housing is gathering momentum as employment improves and borrowing costs stabilize. Builders such as Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. are optimistic the recovery is on track after harsh weather in early 2014 hurt demand.

“Housing is beginning to revive,” said Stephanie Karol, an economist at IHS Global Insight, the top forecaster of new home sales in the past two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “It’s a step in the right direction. The job market is helping, and there was an expansion of supply the past couple of months.”

The job market directly helps push the housing market up ... and we also predict that the uncertainty in the global crude oil prices (reaching high levels due to the Iraq crises) will help propel transportation costs of goods manufactured in China so high that it would make them more attractive to be manufactured in the US itself. That could help the economy considerably.

Peoples Privo Processing supports the American dream by helping lenders and brokers close loans faster. (www.peoplesprocessing.com)

Existing home sales up 4.9%; best gain since '11

In what could be exciting news for both loan originators and contract mortgage processing companies, there are reports that existing home sales rose for the second-straight month in May — climbing to their strongest pace since fall — as more homes on the market helped draw buyers.

Sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condos and co-ops hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million, up 4.9% from April's revised 4.66 million rate, the National Association of Realtors said Monday. The monthly percentage gain was the highest since August 2011. Last month's sales rate also beat economists' median forecast of 4.73 million in Action Economics' survey.

"The long-awaited spring bounce in home sales looks to have finally appeared," said RBS Markets chief U.S. economist Michelle Girard in a research note.

Both sale prices and inventory improved last month, which is a good sign, said Stephanie Karol, of IHS Global Insight.

"As long as sellers feel assured of making a profit, they will feel emboldened to list their homes; and as buyers feel they have a good selection of well-located properties to choose from, they will continue to look and bid," she said in a research note.

Despite sales' improving trend the past two months, they are still weaker than last year. In May 2013, the annualized sales rate was 5.15 million.Through May, sales are down 8.2% from the first five months of last year.

The market also continues to be difficult for buyers with modest financial resources, such as first-time buyers. Their share of sales declined to 27% in May, down 2 percentage points from April and from April 2013.

Although single-family home sales rose 5.7% from April, they're also down 5.7% from a year ago.
Compared with last year, the lower-priced end of the market looks weakest. Sales of homes under $100,000 and from $100,000 to $250,000 fell in every region of the country last month compared with May 2013. But sales of homes priced at $1 million and above rose everywhere but the Midwest.

The median existing home price was $213,400 in May, up 5.1% from a year earlier.
Still, more homes on the market, prices that are rising more slowly than in 2013 and recent declines in mortgage rates should create better conditions for more buyers, said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors.

Freddie Mac reported last week that the U.S. average for a 30-year mortgage was 4.17%. That compares with an average 4.48% last December and 3.93% a year ago.

This year's declines in interest rates are likely to be temporary. Rates are expected to tick up as the Federal Reserve pares the monthly bond purchases it launched in 2012 to hold down long-term interest rates.

The Realtors group said total housing inventory at the end of May rose 2.2% to 2.28 million existing homes available for sale. That's 6% higher than a year ago.

At May's sales rate, there's a 5.6-month supply of homes for sale, which is still below the 6-month inventory that's considered a balanced market between buyers and sellers.

More data on the housing market is due Tuesday when Standard & Poor's releases the Case-Shiller Index of home prices for April, and the government reports on new home sales for May.

Any positive news is always welcomed by LO's and mortgage processing companies - like Peoples Privo Processing (www.peoplesprocessing.com).

May 29, 2014

Mortgage Rates Drop Abruptly; Now Approaching 4%

After tying the record for most consecutive days with no change, mortgage rates moved significantly lower today.  The significance isn't due to the size of the move--as far as day to day changes go, there have been bigger.  Rather, the impressive part of today's rally is that it occurred while rates were already effectively at the lowest levels in 11 months, further extending an already strong move lower over the past two months. 


Through yesterday, rates had been giving the impression that the string of recent improvements was leveling-off and waiting for more important information on the horizon.  In that context, today was an utter blindside.  It wouldn't have been as surprising if rates merely began drifting lower ahead of those key events.  They sometimes do that after leveling-off in such a manner, but today was anything but a drift.
The most prevalently quoted conforming 30yr fixed rate for best-case scenarios (best-execution) is already close to 4.0%.  Some lenders are there already while others are offering substantially lower costs at 4.125%.  After today's move, few lenders remain competitively-priced at 4.25%.  For imperfect loan files, however, 4.25% is still a sweet-spot in terms of up-front cost vs contract interest rate.

While today's drop in rates is encouraging, markets will now be more sensitive to data and events that suggest a move in the other direction (such as a stronger-than-expected GDP revision tomorrow).  Despite that sensitivity, the first move higher in rate after this rally runs its course isn't likely to be the biggest one.  That affords some decision-making time to those inclined to float (but who also accept that they might be faced with the decision to lock at slightly higher rates than the previous day.