rates: If I had a little more confidence in my preditiction Tuesday, I would have looked like a genius yesterday - also, major FHA changes coming? - 06/11/10 05:44 AM
Daily Rate Update for Friday, June 11th from Province Mortgage Associates
Part of my job is to send a daily email to the staff at my company detailing the condition of the mortgage market, and whether our originators should be locking rates, or if it is safe to float to another day. I've been doing this for two months now, and from what I've heard around the office, the results have been great. We're having more success in improving profitability, while at the same time delivering better rates to our borrowers.
On Tuesday, I closed my message, saying,
"In spite of … (0 comments)

rates: My New Responsibility at Province Mortgage - Tracking Interest Rates - 04/30/10 05:58 AM
Over the 5 years I've been a member of the team at Province Mortgage Associates, the company has grown considerably. We started with 9 loan officers, and 3 support staff, and have more than doubled in that time.
As of the beginning of April, I've taken on a new responsibility at Province emailing my colleagues a daily interpretation of relevant financial and economic news, along with rate advice. I thought I'd post today's update as a sample of this work, to give you an idea of what I've been doing lately:

A slow day today after slightly lower than expected … (0 comments)

rates: Mortgage-Treasury Spread Hits New Lows - Are mortgages safer now? - 04/05/10 04:51 AM
Mortgage-Treasury Spread Hits New Lows - Are mortgages safer now?
In mid-March, a number of articles were published suggesting that the end of the Federal Reserve's Mortgage Backed Security purchase program might drive mortgage rates somewhat higher, fairly quickly. The Fed had telegraphed this upcoming action very loudly and very clearly since 2009.
The program has had substantial effects on mortgage rates over the past 16 months. It immediately lowered mortgage rates by 1/2% or more, and, over its course, brought 30-year fixed rates to their lowest point ever, at 4.71% in December of 2009. It also had a profound effect … (0 comments)

rates: Combining Education with Mortgages: My Job is Much More than Just Writing Loans - 02/24/10 11:12 AM
Combining Education with Mortgages: My Job is Much More than Just Writing Loans
Education is important.
Without education, income levels are lower. According to the macroeconomics textbook used in the course I'm teaching right now, in the United States, each year of education accrues a 10% average increase in income for its recipient. Education can help consumers avoid traps like sub-prime mortgages. Education may be the key to the next technological innovation that will spur economic growth.
I have made a commitment to education, both in my business, and in my personal life. I've certainly consumed a lot of it (18 … (0 comments)

rates: Jumbo Mortgages in 2010 - Will the secondary market keep forcing ARMs on owners? - 01/13/10 08:52 AM
Jumbo Mortgages in 2010 - Will the secondary market keep forcing ARMs on owners?
Flash back a couple of years, and you'll remember the Federal Government initiating a program to allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to purchase loans greater than $417,000 on a temporary basis. Fannie and Freddie had been limited as part of their charters to a set amount which started at $93,750 in 1980, and which has since been adjusted based on year-over-year housing price changes.
The economic stimulus package of 2008 gave provisions for the limit to be temporarily increased in "High-cost areas" to an amount … (0 comments)

rates: 2010 New Hampshire FHA and Conventional Loan Limits by County - Jumbo Cutoffs - 01/12/10 08:38 AM
2010 New Hampshire FHA and Conventional Loan Limits by County - Jumbo Cutoffs
Wondering what makes a Jumbo mortgage in New Hampshire for 2010? Here's the updated limit information, compiled from the Federal Housing Finance Authority and the Federal Housing Administration by county.
County                   FHA Limit                Conventional Limit
Belknap                 $281,250                $417,000
Carroll                    $271,050                $417,000
Cheshire                $271,050                $417,000
Coos                       $271,050                $417,000
Grafton                  $281,250                $417,000
Hillsborough         $402,500                $417,000
Merrimack             $302,500                $417,000
Rockingham          $523,750                $523,750
Strafford                $523,750                $523,750
Sullivan                   $271,050                $417,000
Again, for 2010, neither Agency nor FHA loans will observe a different limit amount than 2009.
Please contact me if … (0 comments)

rates: 2010 Conventional Loan Limits for Rhode Island - 01/12/10 02:52 AM
2010 Conventional Loan Limits for Rhode Island
For 2010, conventional loan limits for Rhode Island have remained at the same level where they stood in 2009, according the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the group that oversees mortgage investment giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These limits define the maximum loan amount for loans that may be sold to the agencies, which is an important distinction, as the secondary market for loans meeting these requirements is much more active than the secondary market for larger loans, meaning that loans that conform to these size requirements carry much lower interest rates.
For … (0 comments)

rates: What's new in the mortgage market? Keeping up on recent changes - 03/30/09 04:26 AM
Good morning!
It’s been a little while since I had the opportunity to write, and I wanted to pass along a bit of information about what is going on in the financing market. There have been some changes recently that need to be considered, so I’d like to take a few minutes to run through them. If you have questions about any of these in particular, please don’t hesitate to call me.
FICO Updates
Over the past two months, many individual lenders have set credit score requirements that differ significantly from traditionally accepted criteria. At present, a 620 credit score is … (1 comments)

rates: Mortgage - Treasury Spread closes sharply in January - is Fed buying bringing stability? - 02/12/09 02:19 AM
In a month which saw the lowest 30-year fixed rates on record, it isn't surprising that the massive groundswell of refinancing we experienced happened. Its consequences could also be seen as quite predictable: lenders, fresh from laying off thousands of employees in 2008, saw their operations grind to a halt as they received an onslaught of mortgage applications. The reprecussions to market interest rates were rather more cryptic, though.  By the end of January, the Mortgage-Treasury Spread had closed to its tightest range since September, 2008, closing the month at 2.28%. 
The 10-week moving average stayed relatively level at 2.78%, bouyed … (4 comments)

rates: Builders converge, but does their idea make sense? - 01/14/09 01:59 PM
I attended a presentation yesterday regarding the possible solutions to the real estate problems currently facing Rhode Island, and, one of the things I learned about was a proposal by the National Association of Home Builders to stimulate home sales by artificially lowering 30-year mortgage rates to 2.99% for a 6 month period and to 3.99% for an additional 6-month period.
I was interested in the concept, so I did some additional research looking for news articles related to this.
I found one such article on the association website of the magazine of the landscaping industry. The two primary proposals offered … (1 comments)

rates: Rates drop sharply on $600 Billion Fed Purchase - expect to see 5.5% 0 points in some cases - 11/25/08 01:12 AM
I only have a minute to post right now, but I wanted to make sure you're aware that there has been a dramatic shift in mortgage pricing this morning. 
This morning the Fed announced it was going to buy $600 Billion in mortgage assets. This has had a huge impact on rates, with most mortgage rates at least .375% better on RATE than they were yesterday. If you’ve been waiting for the right time to lock a floating loan, or you’ve been waiting on refinancing for a better rate, it’s here. Today is the day to make that move, but don’t … (0 comments)

rates: Flight to Safety continues as US government lends $85 Billion to stabilize AIG - 09/17/08 04:10 PM
Earlier this week, I recapped the market phenomenon referred to as a "Flight to Safety".  In such a situation, investors flee riskier investments, in favor of assets that are more secure, such as oil, treasury bills, and gold. 
What happened today is clearly such a Flight to Safety. 
As you know, the Federal Reserve announced yesterday it would lend $85 Billion to help stabilize troubled insurer American International Group, a company that insures homes, cars, businesses, and mortgages, among other things, while investing its assets in stocks, bonds, mortgages, and other investments.  This loan came with a very high price: 11.5% … (0 comments)

rates: Why is gasoline still $3.50 or more when oil falls to $91? Supply and Demand holds the key - 09/16/08 04:57 PM
I've gotten a number of questions lately on broadly ranging economic topics, with a significant focus on everything on Wall Street, such as Barclays' purchase of Lehman assets, and the government "bailout" of AIG, but one area I thought merited a bit of discussion is the current oil / gasoline price relationship.
In the market for oil, just like Fed rates and mortgage rates move separately, so do prices of crude oil and finished petroleum products, like gasoline and heating oil.  At present, there is no shortage of crude oil; last week there was some concern that Gulf production of crude might … (5 comments)

rates: Wall Street Rocked by Credit Fallout; the Definition of a Flight-to-Quality - 09/15/08 05:19 AM
If there is rock & roll playing in lower Manhattan this morning, it is probably The Doors' "Peace Frog", as investors awoke to a market seeing financial giants Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and American International Group all discussed in badly negative news. 
Lehman, a troubled investment firm with major investments in the mortgage market filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy this morning.  Its stock has declined from over $65 at the beginning of 2008 to less than a quarter this morning.  The company had sought government intervention or an outside buyer over the past 10 days, but when none was forthcoming, found … (1 comments)

rates: Down Payment Assistance Programs: Suspended, for now - 09/15/08 02:59 AM
Well, it's official.  I got an email this morning from our last wholesaler that was offering to fund loans using seller-funded down payment assistance programs like Nehemiah or Ameridream, stating that they were going to stop accepting new registrations for loans using these programs. 
So, this means no more 100% financing, right? 
Well, not exactly. 
According to the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, several members of Congress, including Financial Services Committee Chair Barney Frank, are pushing legislation that would restore the status of seller-funded down payment assistance programs such as Nehemiah and Ameridream.  The legislation would, however, place significant restrictions on … (3 comments)

rates: After brief respite, Mortgage – Treasury Spread reaches new peak - 08/25/08 02:09 PM
The 2nd quarter of 2008 began on a positive note for mortgage borrowers, as a relative lack of news caused the Mortgage - Treasury spread to narrow from its March 13th peak at 2.60% to a low of 2.03% May 30th.  The Mortgage Treasury spread is an indicator of relative risk between commonly quoted long-term securities, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages as quoted by Freddie Mac, and 10-year treasury notes.  (30-year treasury bonds are not used because 30-year bonds have not been continuously available in recent years).  Recent news has been less favorable to the spread, however, as the failure of IndyMac Bank, … (4 comments)

rates: Worries at Fannie, Freddie, push Mortgage - Treasury rate spread close to 52-week high - 07/11/08 02:06 AM
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been struggling with the fallout of the mortgage and foreclosure crisis for some time now.  This week alone, there have been several front-page articles in the Wall Street Journal.  In pre-market trading this morning, stocks of the two companies are in free-fall, suggesting possible losses as high as 50% today. 
Recent troubles haven't helped the mortgage bonds of these companies either, which have lost significant value.  Remember that bond prices, or value, move inversely to yield, or interest rate, and you will see that in a vacuum, mortgage rates should be rising.
Look at recent … (4 comments)

rates: Province Mortgage Associates Celebrates 3rd Anniversary - 07/03/08 11:49 AM
I don't write a lot of what I consider "shameless self-promotion" articles, but I think that a mortgage company completing its 3rd year in existance given current market conditions is a great testament to the quality people I work with, to their dedication, and to their perseverence.  We held an anniversary celebration event last Thursday, which was attended by over 75 prominent attorneys, realtors, and financial planners.  I was asked to give a speech about the market and our company at that event, and the following is what I presented:
It's difficult to argue that the past 12 months has not … (3 comments)

rates: It's the Innuendo, Not the Actions - 06/25/08 12:16 AM
The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee will adjourn its first meeting of the Summer today, and is expected to make an announcement at 2:15 PM regarding its decision to raise or lower interest rates.  At this point, virtually no one in the investing world expects the Fed to make any changes to policy at this point; rather Wall St. will be listening very closely to the specific wording used by the FOMC in today's brief announcement. 
You might be asking, though, if the Fed is leaving things as they are, why should this affect other interest rates, especially mortgage rates? 
In … (5 comments)

rates: US Senate to Vote on Foreclosure Rescue Plan Today - 06/24/08 03:52 AM
I've been hearing rumors of this plan for a while.  A similar bill passed the House of Representatives in May, and was expected to get to the Senate fairly quickly.  I guess 7 weeks is fairly quick in Washington.
What is it?
We've seen a number of plans recently to help homeowners get out of trouble with problem mortgages, but so far they have met with limited success.  The first such program was the FHA Secure mortgage, which allowed homeowners who had gotten into credit difficulties because of adjustable rate mortgages to refinance.  While this program was originally expected to help … (5 comments)


Dan Hartman

Providence, RI

More about me…

Province Mortgage Associates - NMLS #2861

Address: 50 Office Parkway, East Providence, RI, 02914

Office: 401(490) 440-0114

Mobile: (401) 263-8655

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Dan Hartman's Blog about mortgages, real estate, and the economy in New England, and the United States, especially Rhode Island Rates, Connecticut Mortgages, Massachusetts Rate Locks, and New Hampshire Home Sales. Let Dan leverage his MBA in Finance and experience as a college professor for you!



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