mortgage economy: Adjustable-Rate Mortgages Starting To Adjust Higher! - 09/13/11 07:36 PM

For the first time in a year, homeowners with adjusting mortgages are facing rising mortgage rates. The interest rate by which many adjustable-rate mortgages adjust has climbed to its highest level since September 2010, and looks poised to reach higher.
This is because of the formula by which adjustable-rate mortgage adjust.
Each year, when due for a reset, an adjustable-rate mortgage’s rate changes to the sum of fixed number known as a “margin”, and a variable figure known as an “index”. For conforming mortgages, the margin is typically set to 2.250 percent; the index is often equal to the … (2 comments)

mortgage economy: Mortgage Rates This Week, Up or Down? - 09/12/11 05:28 PM
Mortgage markets improved last week as a weakening Eurozone and questions about the U.S. economy sparked a global flight-to-quality. Conforming and FHA mortgage rates improved for the second week in a row.
The storylines should sound familiar by now. They are the same ones that have dictated the path of mortgage rates since April 2011. As a result, according to Freddie Mac, mortgage rates across California and nationwide are now at an all-time low.
Not in 50 years of tracking mortgage rates has pricing been so favorable.
Last week’s holiday-shortened week didn’t begin well for rate shoppers in Laguna Beach. Rates … (1 comments)

mortgage economy: Home Affordability Still Tops Nationwide! - 09/12/11 05:25 PM
Home affordability slipped slightly last quarter, dragged down by rising mortgage rates and recovering home prices in California and nationwide.
The National Association of Home Builders reports a Q2 2011 Home Opportunity Index reading of 72.6. This means that nearly 3 of 4 homes sold last quarter were affordable to households earning the national median income of $64,200.
Q2 2011 marks the 10th straight quarter — dating back to 2009 — in which the index surpassed 70.
Prior to 2009, the index had never crossed 70 even one time.
However, we must remember that the Home Affordability Index is a … (1 comments)

mortgage economy: Mortgage Guidelines Resume Tightening! - 09/08/11 09:47 PM
Mortgage guidelines appear to be tightening with the nation’s largest banks.
In its quarterly survey to senior loan officers nationwide, the Federal Reserve uncovered that a small, but growing, portion of its member banks is making mortgage approvals more scarce for “prime” borrowers.
A prime borrower is described as one with a well-documented payment history, high credit scores, and a low monthly debt-to-income ratio.
Of the 53 responding “big banks”, 3 reported that mortgage guidelines “tightened somewhat” last quarter. This is a tick higher as compared to prior quarters in which only 2 banks did.
46 banks reported guidelines unchanged … (0 comments)

mortgage economy: As Jobs Tally Fades, Mortgage Rates Fall! - 09/07/11 06:25 PM

The U.S. economy is no longer adding new jobs.
Last Friday, in its monthly Non-Farm Payrolls report, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the U.S. economy added exactly zero new jobs in August as the national Unemployment Rate held steady at 9.1 percent.
Despite the “zero” reading, the jobs figures were in the red. This is because the BLS issued revisions to its June and July figures that adjusted the two months of data down by 58,000 jobs.
Economists had expected a monthly reading of +75,000. Their estimates missed.
The weaker-than-expected jobs data fueled a stock market sell-off … (4 comments)

mortgage economy: Where are Mortgage Rates Headed? - 09/06/11 08:36 PM
Mortgage markets improved last week on a weak jobs report, expectation for new market stimulus, growing evidence of a global economic slowdown. Rates were especially volatile, too, with the long Labor Day Weekend looming.
Overall, conforming mortgage rates in California improved for the first time in 3 weeks. On a product-by-product basis, though, mortgage rates are faring differently.
According to the Freddie Mac weekly mortgage rate survey, last week, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage was unchanged but the 15-year fixed rate mortgage and the 5-year ARM fell.
The 5-year ARM is at a new all-time low for qualified borrowers.
A drop … (0 comments)

mortgage economy: Home Values Rose In June 2011! - 09/02/11 07:59 PM

Has housing turned the corner for good?
The June 2011 Case-Shiller Index reading posted strong numbers across the board, with each of the index’s 20 tracked markets showing home price improvement from May.
Some markets — Chicago and Minneapolis — rose as much as 3.2 percent.
The rise in values is nothing about which to get overly excited, however. The Case-Shiller Index is just re-reporting what multiple data sets have already shown about the summer housing market; that it was stronger than the spring market, and that a recovery is underway, but occurring locally, at different rates.
For example, the … (3 comments)

mortgage economy: With The Jobs Report Looming, Mortgage Rates May Rise! - 09/01/11 05:35 PM

If you’re shopping for a mortgage rate, today may be a good day to lock one down. That’s because Friday morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its Non-Farm Payrolls report for August 2011.
The “jobs report” tends to have a big influence on mortgage bonds and mortgage rates in Irvine.
The jobs report is a monthly issuance, providing sector-by-sector analysis of the U.S. workforce. It also report the national Unemployment Rate.
Wall Street expects the August Non-Farm Payrolls data to show 75,000 jobs created in August, down from 117,000 in July; and it expects that the Unemployment Rate … (3 comments)

mortgage economy: Pending Home Sales Slip In July; Creates Buyer Opportunity! - 08/30/11 05:05 PM
After 3 straight months of gains, the Pending Home Sales Index slipped 1 percent in July. The monthly report is published by the National Association of REALTORS® and measures the number of home under contract to sell nationwide.
The Pending Home Sales Index is closely watched by Wall Street and analysts because it’s a forward-looking housing market indicator. Unlike most housing market data, though, Pending Home Sales forecasts a future housing market event. In this case, the Existing Home Sales report.
In its methodology, the Pending Home Sales Index states that 80% of homes under contract close within 2 months, … (2 comments)

mortgage economy: Mortgage Rates this week? - 08/29/11 05:34 PM
Last week was another volatile week for mortgage rates. Wall Street alternately sought risk and shunned it, causing mortgage-backed bonds to rise and fall rapidly.
There was a lot to move markets, too, including banking concerns across Europe, inflation figures within the U.S., and a public speech by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.
Conforming rates in California rose to their highest levels of the week Wednesday afternoon, then receded into the weekend. 3
0-year fixed rates remain above their all-time lows set 2 weeks ago. 5-year ARMs are at all-time lows.
This week, mortgage rates figure to be equally jumpy. As well … (5 comments)

mortgage economy: Mortgage Rates Bounce Off All-Time Lows; The Start Of A Trend? - 08/26/11 07:27 PM

Low mortgage rates are terrific — if you can get them.
One week after posting its lowest mortgage rate in 50 years, Freddie Mac reports that the 30-year fixed rate mortgage rose by an average of 7 basis points nationwide this week to 4.22%. To get the rate, you’ll pay an average of 0.7 “points”.
This week’s rise in the 30-year fixed rate mortgage pulled rates off their all-time lows so either you locked last week’s rock-bottom rates, or you missed it.
Mortgage rates are rising.
As a refinancing homeowner or home buyer in Irvine , rising mortgage rates … (5 comments)

mortgage economy: Ranking The Best Places To Live In The U.S. (2011 Edition) - 08/25/11 07:35 PM
CNNMoney recently released its Best Places To Live 2011 list.
The annual survey is based on data from Onboard Informatics. Using Quality of Life factors such as education, crime and “town spirit”, and focusing on towns with between 8,500 and 50,000 residents, the CNNMoney survey ranks the country’s best “small towns”.
To be eligible, towns must be have a median household income greater than 85 percent, and less than 200 percent of the state median income; must not be a categorized as a “retirement community”; and must be racially-diverse.
From a list of 3,570 eligible towns nationwide, Louisville, Colorado was … (3 comments)

mortgage economy: New Home Supplies Remain Flat; Builders Not Over-Extending! - 08/24/11 05:42 PM

Sales of newly-built homes slipped in July, falling 1 percent as compared to June. Home buyers closed on a seasonally-adjusted, annualized 298,000 units, the lowest reading since February.
The supply of new homes, however, remained flat.
July’s 6.6 months of supply equaled June’s tally and remains near the multi-year low of 6.5 months set in May of this year. The figures suggest a new home market that’s finding its balance.
Builders are building to meet demand, and not much more.
The New Home Sales report may have read differently if not for the Northeast Region which doubled its sales units … (1 comments)

mortgage economy: Existing Home Sales Slip In July - 08/23/11 04:53 PM
Home resales slipped in July.
According to the National Association of REALTORS®, Existing Home Sales nationwide fell to 4.67 million units on a seasonally-adjusted annualized basis last month. It’s the fourth straight month below the 5 million mark, and the report’s lowest reading since November 2010.
An “existing home” is a home that’s been previously occupied or owned.
In addition, the Existing Home Sales report showed home supplies rising nationwide. At the current pace of sales, in other words, the complete, national “For Sale” inventory would be exhausted in 9.4 months. This, too, is the worst reading since November 2010.

mortgage economy: Mortgage Rates Don’t Move With The Fed Funds Rate? - 08/19/11 06:10 PM
Last week, at its 5th scheduled meeting of the year, the Federal Open Market Committee voted to leave the Fed Funds Rate in its target range near zero percent.
The Fed Funds Rate has been near zero percent since December 2008 and, in its official statement, the FOMC pledged to leave the Fed Funds Rate untouched for at least another 2 years.
This doesn’t mean mortgage rates will be untouched for 2 years, though. 
Mortgage rates and the Fed Funds Rate are two different interest rates; completely disconnected. If mortgage rates and the Fed Funds Rate moved in tandem, the … (4 comments)

mortgage economy: What Perks Does Your Favorite Credit Card Offer? - 08/18/11 07:10 PM

Last week, the Federal Reserve pledged to leave the Fed Funds Rate near 0.000 percent until at least mid-2013. For credit card holders in California who carry a monthly balance, this is good news. Because of the Fed’s call, credit card rates are unlikely to rise before mid-2013.
But cardholders can save on more than just interest costs, as you’ll learn from this two-and-a-half minute piece with NBC’s The Today Show. In the interview, you’ll hear about “built-in” perks offered by most credit cards and ways by which you can save on everyday goods and services.
For example, did you know … (3 comments)

mortgage economy: Housing Starts Tick Lower; Building Permits Tick Higher! - 08/17/11 07:15 PM
Single-Family Housing Starts fell to a seasonally-adjusted, annualized 425,000 units in July, according to the Census Bureau.
A “Housing Start” is defined as a home on which construction has started and ground has broken.
Furthermore, Single-Family Housing Starts were revised lower for both May and June of this year, by 6,000 units and 2,000 units, respectively.
The data may be worthless, however.
Like in most months, the government’s official report states that the Housing Starts numbers have a margin of error exceeding their actual measurement. Mathematically, this renders the data statistically irrelevant.
July Published Results : +4.9% July Margin of … (2 comments)

mortgage economy: Homebuilders Expect A Soft Winter Housing Market!! - 08/16/11 06:18 PM

Two months after posting their worst confidence reading of 2011, home builders say they foresee no improvement in the immediate- or medium-term market for new homes nationwide.
In August, for the second straight month, the Housing Market Index read 15.
The HMI is a monthly housing survey, published by the National Association of Homebuilders. It’s scored on a scale of 1-100 with readings over 50 suggesting favorable home builder conditions. Readings under 50 suggest unfavorable conditions.
The Housing Market Index has been below the 50-point benchmark since 2006.
To calculate the HMI, home builders are asked 3 separate questions, each addressing … (1 comments)

mortgage economy: Will Mortgage Rates Stay at Record Low This Week? - 08/15/11 08:05 PM
Mortgage markets improved again last week. The combination of global economic uncertainty plus a dour outlook from the Federal Reserve pushed mortgage bonds to highs for 2011, and drove mortgage rates below their all-time lows.
Bonds were volatile, driven by the stock market’s gyrations.
On 4 consecutive days, the Dow Jones Industrial Average moved by more than 400 points. Rate shoppers in California had no choice but to go along for the ride.
The week began with the market’s reaction to Standard & Poor’s U.S. credit rating downgrade. Mortgage bonds caught a boost on the news, and pushing rates lower throughout … (3 comments)

mortgage economy: Foreclosures Sink To 4-Year Low! - 08/12/11 05:29 PM
Foreclosure activity continues to slow.
According to RealtyTrac, a national foreclosure-tracking firm, the number of foreclosure filings nationwide fell 35 percent as compared to July 2010, a statistic suggesting that the housing market continues to improve.
“Foreclosure filing” is a catch-all term encompassing default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions.
Filings fell to a 44-month low in July 2011.
For all the improvement, though, activity remains concentrated in just a few states. More than half of all bank repossessions last month occurred in just a handful of states.
In July, 6 states accounted for 52% of activity.
California : 19% of … (7 comments)

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