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Mortgage rates are low right now but pinning them down this week could be a challenge. As Labor Day Weekend nears and Wall Streeters take their head-start on the holiday, trading volume will fall, which will cause mortgage rates in Maine to get jumpy. As mortgage rates change, so does the long-term cost of owning a home. Every 1/8 percent adjustment changes a household budget. Meanwhile, the relationship between "vacation days" and mortgage rate volatility is an interesting one; based more in scarcity than market fundamentals. Rates tend to get volatile near holidays because of two inter-related facts: Conforming mortgage (0 comments)
What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week : August 30, 2010 - 08/30/10 12:15 PM
Mortgage markets improved last week despite a major mortgage bond sell-off Friday afternoon. Prior to the jump, conforming mortgage rates had cut new, all-time lows by Thursday, only to lose up to 0.250 percent on the last day of the week. Meanwhile, the same type of news that drove rates lower Monday through Thursday also contributed to rates rising Friday — revised projections for the U.S. economy. Early in the week, “bad” news piled on which, in turn, lowered expectations for the economy and pushed mortgage rates down: Existing Home Sales dropped 27% from June Single-Family New Home Sales dropped 12% (0 comments)
With home prices holding firm and mortgage rates still dropping, home affordability is reaching new heights. According to the quarterly Home Opportunity Index as published by the National Association of Home Builders, more than 72 percent of all new and existing homes sold between April-June 2010 were affordable to families earning the national median income. It’s a slightly higher reading as compared to last quarter, and the second highest reading in the survey’s history. As with all aspects of real estate, however, home affordability varies by locale. For example, 97.2% of homes sold in Syracuse were affordable for families making (0 comments)
New Home Sales Drop In July — Just Like Existing Home Sales - 08/26/10 08:59 AM
One day after the National Association of Realtors released the softest Existing Home Sales report since 1995, the U.S. Census Bureau released a similarly-weak New Home Sales report. Americans bought just 276,000 newly-built homes in July. That marks the fewest units sold since the government started keeping records in 1963. In addition, although new home inventory actually dropped 2,000 units in July, the slowing sales pace still managed to push the national supply higher by 1.1 months. At July’s rate of sales, the nation’s new home inventory would be exhausted in just about 9 months. None of this news should surprise (0 comments)
Existing Home Sales Plummet In July; Home Buyers Gain Leverage - 08/25/10 09:02 AM
The number of home resales plunged by 1.4 million units in July, according to the National Association of Realtors®’ Existing Home Sales report. It’s a drop of 27 percent from June; single-family home resales are at the report’s lowest levels since May 1999. Furthermore, because of the sharp drop in sales volume, home inventories are spiking. Homes for sale nationwide fell just short of 4 million units in July and, at the current sales paces, it would take 12.5 months for the existing inventory to be absorbed. Home supply was just 8.9 months in June. For home sellers in Belfast , (4 comments)
Bank Mortgage Lending Policies Appear To be Easing - 08/24/10 09:21 AM
The tightening in mortgage-lending policies that characterized the last 3 years appears to be slowing. According to the Federal Reserve’s quarterly survey of senior bank loan officers, roughly 1 in 10 lenders added mortgage qualification hurdles between April and June. It’s a huge departure from just 2 years ago when the mortgage industry was facing its first wave of challenges. During that period, eight in 10 lenders added hurdles. For mortgage applicants in Belfast , this quarter’s Fed survey results signals that mortgage lending may have reached its limits of restriction. Since 2007, mortgage guidelines have become increasingly restrictive. There’s extra (1 comments)
What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week : August 23, 2010 - 08/23/10 09:37 AM
Mortgage markets stalled last week in back-and-forth trading as Wall Street grappled with weak housing data, falling builder confidence, and worsening jobs numbers nationwide. Because markets were volatile, rate shopping was challenging. Conforming mortgage rates did managed to make a new all-time low last Thursday but quickly gave up those gains. Most of Friday afternoon was spent in the red and, as a result, for the second straight week, mortgage rates failed to fall overall. But, although last week’s action puts a damper on this summer’s mortgage rate rally, the Refi Boom is still going strong. According to Freddie Mac, as (0 comments)
Another week, another new low for conforming mortgage rates. In fact, this week marks the 9th time in a row it’s happened. Mortgage rates are (again) at their lowest levels in history. The data comes from the Freddie Mac, a government group and major loan securitizer for the U.S. mortgage market. Freddie Mac’s weekly survey is among the most widely-cited reports on mortgage rates and is the data used in home affordability models, among other statistics. The 30-year fixed rate is averaging 4.42% nationally with an accompanying cost of 0.7 points. 1 point is equal to 1 percent of the (1 comments)
How much does a mortgage cost? The answer depends on where you live. But no matter which your locale, chances are strong that you’ll pay more for a mortgage in 2010 as compared to 2009. According to Bankrate.com and its annual Closing Cost Survey, a typical $200,000, purchase mortgage now carries an average $3,741 in closing costs — up nearly 37 percent from last year. As defined by Bankrate.com, “closing costs” is defined as the sum of two numbers. The first group is labeled “origination charges”, a category that includes such items as underwriting fees, application fees and processing fees. (1 comments)
Single-Family Housing Starts Fade In July - 08/18/10 08:59 AM
Sometimes, you need to look deeper than the headlines to get the news that matters. This basic truth’s latest example comes from the July Housing Starts data, as published by the U.S. Census Bureau. According to the newspapers, Housing Starts improved last month: US Housing Starts Make Modest Rebound (FT) Housing Starts Rise Slightly (MoneyWatch) Housing Starts Tick Higher In July (MarketWatch) However, these stories are speaking in terms of all housing starts — not just the single-family ones. This is a major point of difference for home buyers in Belfast because the most people don’t buy the multi-unit homes and (3 comments)
Home Builder Confidence Falls Again; Home Buyers Gain Leverage? - 08/17/10 10:06 AM
Home builder confidence in the newly-built, single-family housing market is down for the third straight month this month. After reaching a 3-year high just 90 days ago, the National Association of Homebuilders’ Housing Market Index is now at a multi-year low. It’s since dropped by almost half. As an economic indicator, the HMI’s goal is to “take the pulse of the single-family housing market”. It surveys home builders across the country and asks them to report on 3 facets of their business: How are market conditions today? How do market conditions look 6 months from now? How is the prospective traffic (0 comments)
What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week : August 16, 2010 - 08/16/10 09:02 AM
Mortgage markets worsened last week, putting a pause on the mortgage rate rally that dates to mid-April. Mortgage rates rose across Maine last week and home affordability suffered. The Refi Boom remains in full effect, but rates are not as dazzling as they were a week ago. It’s somewhat strange that mortgage rates rose last week given the heavy dose of negative-bending news. The Federal Reserve noted that the economy “has slowed“ New unemployment claims rose to a 6-month high Retail sales — excluding auto sales — rose less than expected Mortgage rates often to fall on such news, but last (0 comments)
Higher (And Lower) FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums Start October 4, 2010 - 08/13/10 09:04 AM
For the second time this year, the FHA is modifying mortgage insurance. Beginning with FHA case numbers issued on or after October 4, 2010, the FHA is changing its upfront and annual mortgage insurance premium structure. Under the new terms, assuming a 30-year fixed rate FHA mortgage with at least 5 percent equity: Upfront MIP drops to 1.000% of the amount borrowed from 2.250% Annual MIP increases to 0.850% of the amount borrowed from 0.500% For homeowners in Belfast and everywhere else , this switch in MIP decreases the upfront cost of an FHA-insured mortgage, but increases the loan’s long-term costs. (0 comments)
How Big Is The Foreclosure Market? It Depends On Where You Live, Of Course. - 08/12/10 09:10 AM
Foreclosure filings rose 4 percent nationwide last month versus June, according to foreclosure-tracking firm RealtyTrac.com. For the 17th straight month, total filings topped 300,000. A foreclosure filing is defined as default notice, scheduled auction, or bank repossession. As with most months, just a handful of states dominated foreclosure activity nationwide. California : 14.9 percent of all activity Florida : 11.6 percent of all activity Arizona : 6.4 percent of all activity Michigan : 6.2 percent of all activity Georgia : 6.1 percent of all activity Texas : 4.9 percent of all activity Together, these 6 states represent just 30 percent of (0 comments)
A Simple Explanation Of The Federal Reserve Statement (August 10, 2010 Edition) - 08/10/10 08:11 PM
Today, in its first meeting in 6 weeks, the Federal Open Market Committee voted 9-to-1 to leave the Fed Funds Rate unchanged. The Fed Fund Rate remains at a historical low, within a prescribed target range of 0.000-0.250 percent. In its press release, the FOMC said that, since June, the pace of economic recovery “has slowed”. Household spending is increasing but remains restrained because of high levels of unemployment, falling home values, and restrictive credit. Today’s statement shows less economic optimism as compared to the prior year’s worth of FOMC statements dating back to June 2009. The Fed is looking for (2 comments)
The Fed Is Meeting Today. Should You Float Or Lock Your Mortgage Rate? - 08/10/10 09:03 AM
The Federal Open Market Committee holds a one-day meeting today, its fifth scheduled meeting of the year, and sixth overall since January. The FOMC is the government’s monetary policy-setting arm and the group’s primary tool for that purpose is an interest rate called the Fed Funds Rate. The Fed Funds Rate is the prescribed rate at which banks borrow money from each other and, since December 16, 2008, the Federal Reserve has voted to keep the benchmark rate within a target range of 0.000-0.250 percent. It’s the lowest Fed Funds Rate in history. Because the Fed Funds Rate is near zero, (0 comments)
What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week : August 9, 2010 - 08/09/10 09:06 AM
Mortgage markets improved again last week on softer-than-expected economic data, punctuated by Friday morning’s weak jobs report. Conforming mortgage rates in Maine dropped on the news, making new, all-time lows. Mortgage rates have been on an extended rally dating back to mid-April. This week, there’s a lot of data and news due for release, the most influential to markets of which is the Federal Open Market Committee’s scheduled policy meeting. 8 times annually, the FOMC meets to discuss the nation’s monetary policy with respect to the current and projected U.S. economic conditions. Sometimes the FOMC takes action on the economy. Other (0 comments)
According the Federal Home Finance Agency’s Home Price Index, home values are now off just 12.5 percent from their April 2007 peak nationwide. This, after a half-percent monthly increase in prices in May, on average. Given the state of the market since April 2007, the Home Price Index results are a positive for both the housing market and the economy, but we have to remember that May’s half-point increase is an average, and not specific to a particular area. In contrast to “national markets”, the real estate markets in which you and I live are decidedly local. It’s a major (0 comments)
Nervous About Mortgage Rates Rising? Lock Thursday — Ahead Of Friday’s Jobs Report - 08/05/10 09:20 AM
Mortgage rates have been falling since April but that momentum could reverse tomorrow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the July jobs report at 8:30 A.M. ET Friday. With a stronger-than-expected reading, mortgage rates should rise, harming home affordability in Maine. Jobs are a keystone in economic growth and growth is tied to rates. Earlier this year, job growth went positive and reached as far north as 431,000 jobs created in May. That figure slipped negative last month, however, as the temporary, decennial census workers left the workforce. Jobs matter to the U.S. economy. Among other concerns, unemployed Americans spend less (0 comments)
As The Pending Home Sales Index Falls, Home Buyers See Dollar Signs - 08/04/10 09:01 AM
The Pending Home Sales Index failed to rebound from a cliff-dive in May, falling by another 3 percent more in June. The index remains at record-low levels. A “pending home sale” is a home under contract to sell, but not yet closed. The data is culled from local real estate associations and large brokers and accounts for 20 percent of all purchase transactions in a given month nationwide. The Pending Home Sales Index is a future indicator for the housing market; there is a high correlation between the PHSI and the monthly Existing Home Sales report. This is because of the (0 comments)
What Does It Mean To Escrow Taxes And Insurance? - 08/03/10 10:03 AM
The fiscal responsibility of a homeowner — in Bangor and everywhere else — extends beyond the mortgage’s basic principal and interest repayments. Homeowners are also responsible for the real estate taxes on the home and its insurance premiums, too. Failure to pay taxes can lead to foreclosure, and failure to insure is breach of your mortgage contract. As a homeowner, you have a choice about how you manage your real estate tax and insurance bills. You can choose to pay them from your own bank account when the bills come due, or you can choose to pay 1/12 of the annual (2 comments)
What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week : August 2, 2010 - 08/02/10 10:38 AM
Mortgage markets improved last week, pushing mortgage rates lower for the 6th time in seven weeks. Since April, rates in Maine have been on a downward path, spurring refinances in most markets and sparking the start of a Refi Boom. Last week, 3 key stories played a role in falling rates: Demand was strong for U.S. government debt Emerging concerns of a Japan-style deflation in the U.S. Personal Spending since late-2007 was shown to be less than previously thought Of the three, it’s the measured drop in Personal Spending for which rate shoppers and home buyers in Belfast should watch. Drops (0 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.