ARAMCO Report - The Mother of ALL Mortgage Blogs!

Mortgage rates ease following Fed rate hike

Posted by The Aramco Group on Thu, Dec 14, 2017 @ 14:12 PM

The Federal Reserve, as widely expected, increased short-term interest rates by 25 basis points on Wednesday. This marks the fifth increase since December 2015 and third this year. The decision was announced following the Fed's final meeting of the year and the last for outgoing Chair Janet L. Yellen. Officials also announced that they remain on course to hike rates another three times over the next year.

Shortly after the announcement the 10-year Treasury note yield fell as investors fled to the safety of the U.S. bond market. Long term debts like home loans are more closely tied to Treasury notes and mortgage backed securities than they are to the short-term rates affected by the Fed decision this week.

With inflation maintaining its low levels and heavy purchases of Treasury bonds by U.S. and foreign investors, these yields are likely to remain low. If yields continue to drop, it could result in decreases in mortgage rates. Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4 percent while 15-year rates are near 3.25 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

What happens if you don't pay your mortgage?

Posted by The Aramco Group on Wed, Dec 13, 2017 @ 14:12 PM

When homeowners take out a mortgage to buy a home they are legally obligated to make the payments on time but the details of what really happens when borrowers skip the mortgage are unknown to many. While most lenders will work with owners in dire financial circumstances, those who stop making payments begin down a path with serious consequences.

First come the late fees. These are typically assessed after 15 days come with the first of the endless phone calls and letters. Should these go ignored, a mortgage may enter a state of 'default', meaning the bank has not received payment for close to a month past the grace period and has filed a Notice of Default with the county.

If a borrower continues to ignore their obligation, lenders may initiate the foreclosure process. This may happen within a few months. Owners may find their home listed for sale by the bank and be told to vacate. Time frames vary significantly but the general rule of thumb is, communicate with the bank when times are tough.

Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4 percent while 15-year rates are near 3.25 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

San Diego homeowners offered assistance in wake of fires

Posted by The Aramco Group on Tue, Dec 12, 2017 @ 14:12 PM

The County of San Diego opened a Local Assistance Center in Vista this week to help victims of the Lilac Fire. The center will offer a variety of services including crisis counseling. There will also be access to other resources such as tax relief information (San Diego property taxes were due on Monday), short-term housing referrals and rebuilding information.

Residents of North County were permitted to return to their homes this week as the fires are now 90 percent contained. While it is still unknown how many families have been displaced, Cal Fire is reporting over 200 structures have been damaged or destroyed.

The County is waiving permit fees for rebuilding and County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk Ernest Dronenburg has announced that owners of these properties can have the value of their land reassessed to reflect lower values and thus reduce property taxes until construction is complete.

The Local Assistance Center is located at 700 Eucalyptus Avenue from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4 percent while 15-year rates are near 3.25 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

The hidden cost of retirement

Posted by The Aramco Group on Mon, Dec 11, 2017 @ 18:12 PM

Leaving behind the daily grind and starting a restful and fulfilling retirement is the crowning glory of the American dream. But unexpected expenses can disrupt even the most carefully planned retirement – a predicament many of America's baby boomers are finding themselves in. According to a 2017 survey from investment management firm, Captial Group, more than a third of retirees are claiming their post-working life is costing them more than they expected. 

In particular, health-care expenses are being cited as a cost that is consuming a greater than anticipated percentage of retirement. Forty-three percent of retired boomers state they are spending more than expected on medical bills.  

Fortunately, a reverse mortgage can offer retirees some relief from the burden of these unexpected expenses. Boomers 62 or older can eliminate their monthly mortgage payment while receiving supplemental income in the form of a lump sum, monthly payout, line of credit or even a combination thereof. 

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4 percent while 15-year rates are near 3.25 percent. 

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article. 

Wildfires threaten $27 billion in SoCal real estate

Posted by The Aramco Group on Sun, Dec 10, 2017 @ 14:12 PM

More than 86,000 homes in Southern California are at risk as wildfires continue to ravish multiple counties in the region. According to an analysis by CoreLogic, the combined value of these homes tops $27 billion.

While 84 percent are considered either at a "low" or "moderate" risk, the total reconstruction value of all homes being threatened is more than $5 billion. Sixteen percent are categorized at "high" or "extreme" risk of damage the CoreLogic states.

The infamous Santa Ana winds are fueling the flames and sudden changes in weather patterns could put even more homes in the fire's path. In San Diego, the Lilac Fire continues to spread across North County forcing thousands to evacuate.

Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4 percent while 15-year rates are near 3.25 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

U.S. household net worth near $97 trillion in Q3

Posted by The Aramco Group on Sat, Dec 9, 2017 @ 14:12 PM

Driven largely by a bullish stock market and soaring home values, U.S. households saw their net worth climb higher in the third quarter of 2017. According to a report by the Federal Reserve released last week, the total net worth of American households reached $96.9 trillion – a quarterly increase of $1.742 trillion.

Wealth derived from Wall Street investments boosted net worth by $1.1 trillion while rising home values tacked on another $411 billion. Household borrowing and credit both increased during the period, a reflection of strong consumer confidence.

A report by Reuters suggests that the U.S. economy is currently in its third-longest period of growth since World War Two, a conclusion backed by a nearly two-decade low in unemployment.

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4 percent while 15-year rates are near 3.25 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Fed more than likely to raise rates this month

Posted by The Aramco Group on Fri, Dec 8, 2017 @ 14:12 PM

Market speculators are all but certain that a rate hike by the Federal Reserve is imminent according to reports. Strong employment numbers and continued economic growth, economists say, is enough to prompt Fed officials to move to increase short-term interest rates during its mid-December meeting.

As of earlier this week, CME Group, which tracks fed funds futures placed the odds of a rate hike at 90.2 percent. Economists grew even more confident in their predictions following a statement by outgoing Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in which she said the central bank is intending to normalize monetary policy in the U.S. by continuing to gradually increase rates – a plan first put into effect in December 2015 when Yellen led the charge for the first increase in the benchmark rate since June 2006.

While the Fed rate is key for much consumer debt, mortgage rates more closely follow the yield on 10-year Treasury notes. Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4 percent while 15-year rates are near 3.25 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Low mortgage rates spur refinances according to latest data

Posted by The Aramco Group on Thu, Dec 7, 2017 @ 14:12 PM

Mortgage rates dropping to their lowest point in nearly a year was a shot in the arm for refinances last week. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association Weekly Mortgage Application Survey, overall mortgage application volume jumped 4.7 percent during the week ended December 1.

Driving the impressive increase was a nine percent climb in refinance applications which drove the refinance share of mortgage activity to 51.6 percent of total applications – up from 48.7 percent the previous week.

Mortgage rates are currently far lower than they were a year ago. Rates have steadily declined from a post-presidential election spike seen last November. The increase in refinances is indicative that homeowners are moving to lock in the current historically low rates. Conforming no-point 30-year fixed rates are averaging 4 percent while 15-year rates are near 3.25 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Reverse mortgage volume climbs in Nov.

Posted by The Aramco Group on Wed, Dec 6, 2017 @ 14:12 PM

The number of seniors obtaining a reverse mortgage increased on both a monthly and yearly basis in November. According to the most recent report from industry analysts Reverse Market Insight, the number of federally insured reverse mortgage endorsements climbed to 4,782 last month – up 6.3 percent from October's 4,497. When compared to the same month last year, Home Equity Conversion Mortgage endorsements are up a significant 22.89 percent.

HECMs, which are regulated and insured by the Federal Housing Administration, allow homeowners 62 or older the ability to eliminate monthly mortgage payments by tapping their equity. Borrowers can also convert a percentage of their home's value into a regular monthly payment, a lump sum of cash or a line of credit.

Borrowers maintain ownership of their home and federal regulations require that they receive financial counseling before obtaining a reverse mortgage. With rising prices, equity is a major part of the wealth of a senior household. HECMs offer a way for them to utilize that wealth to their advantage.

Meanwhile, conventional conforming no-point 30-year fixed rates are averaging 4 percent while 15-year rates are near 3.25 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.

Holiday home shopping more expensive as median home prices climb

Posted by The Aramco Group on Tue, Dec 5, 2017 @ 14:12 PM

Home prices in Southern California climbed 6.5 percent in October from a year earlier, the sixty-seventh consecutive month of year-over-year increases. According to CoreLogic, the median price of a home in the six-county region is now hovering near $500,000, just below all-time highs.

"The thin inventory of homes for sale, coupled with job growth and other factors, suggest continued upward pressure on home prices and rough going for first-time buyers," said Andrew LePage, an analyst with CoreLogic.

In San Diego the median price of a single-family home has climbed to $529,750. California's home prices are more than double the national average and online real estate marketplace Zillow predicts another three percent increase in 2018.

Despite more than five years of continuous price increases, the housing market remains robust in part due to mortgage rates being near historic lows. Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed rates are averaging 4 percent while 15-year rates are near 3.25 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.