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Consumer confidence waning

Posted by Mehran Aram on Wed, Nov 14, 2018 @ 05:11 AM

Americans are feeling uneasy about the current state of the housing and economy. Fannie Mae’s latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index fell two points in October to a reading of 85.7. While any readings over 50 indicate positive sentiment, last month’s decline brings the index to its lowest point since last fall.

“After hitting a survey high during the spring home buying season, the HSPI has trended downward, declining in October to its lowest level in a year,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist. “The net share of consumers who said it’s a good time to buy a home is near the second lowest reading in the survey’s history.”

Consumers who report that conditions are prime to sell a home also dropped. Still, when asked about the state of the overall economy, American’s remain positive. The share of consumers who think the economy is on the right track reached a new survey high.

Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.875 percent, 15-year rates are near 4.325 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.325 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.

Topics: consumer, consumer confidence, Mortgage rates, Fannie Mae

Homebuilders deeply wounded by Fed rate hikes

Posted by The Aramco Group on Sat, Oct 27, 2018 @ 05:10 AM

Last month’s decision by the Federal Reserve to raise short-term interest rates may have spooked both borrowers and some investors but even a cursory glimpse at the housing market shows that homebuilders may be feeling sharp pains as well. Homebuilders shares in the S&P 1500 are down nearly 40 percent since mid-January and have joined the recent of the stock market in its recent slide.

A report from CNBC states that the drop in homebuilder stock prices comes in tandem with the rise in the 10-year Treasury yield following the Fed rate hike. The coinciding increase in mortgage rates has caused investors to back away from such investments. In addition to rising mortgage rates, scarcity in buildable land and rising material costs have stifled new home construction.

While some market trendsetters have downgraded builder stocks, other investment experts are doubling-down on their ‘buy’ stance claiming that even with higher rates, demand for housing remains high which could result in a rebound in stock prices.

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.75 percent, 15-year rates are near 4.25 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.25 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.

Topics: Homebuilders, Federal Reserve, Interest Rates, Housing Market, Mortgage rates

Mortgage applications rebound but deeper look shows trouble

Posted by The Aramco Group on Fri, Oct 26, 2018 @ 04:10 AM

Columbus Day seems to have skewed the volume of mortgage applications over the past two weeks. While the Mortgage Bankers Association is reporting an increase in weekly application volume for the period ended October 19, a closer examination of the seasonally adjusted figures paints a different picture.

Total mortgage application volume climbed 4.9 percent last week from the previous week when seasonally adjusted. This follows a large drop the week before when the number of applications reported by the MBA were not adjusted to account for Columbus Day. When taking the holiday into account, mortgage activity is lower than it was two weeks prior and 16 percent lower than the same period last year.

Refinancing saw a 10 percent weekly increase but remain 32 percent less than last year Purchases climbed two percent over the week but remain unchanged from 2017. Mortgage rates are nearly a full percentage point higher than they were this time last year, largely the cause for the decreases in mortgage application volume. Conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.75 percent, 15-year rates are near 4.25 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.25 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.

Topics: Mortgage applications, refinance, purchase, Mortgage rates

New housing for developmentally disabled breaks ground in San Diego

Posted by The Aramco Group on Tue, Oct 23, 2018 @ 10:10 AM

Ground has been broken on three new affordable apartment buildings in Otay Mesa which will housing people and families with developmental disabilities. Pacific at Playa del Sol includes a dozen units specifically for low-income residents which such disabilities. Rent costs will start at $730 for a single bedroom.

“Adults with developmental disabilities desire what we all desire,” said San Diego Regional Center Executive Director Carlos Flores. “Good jobs, benefits, good pay and a nice affordable place to live.”

Chelsea Investment Corporation, in collaboration with the County, the San Diego Housing Commision, the Foundation for Developmental Disabilities, Pardee Homes and Banner Banks. The apartments are promised to remain affordable until about 2074.

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.75 percent, 15-year rates are near 4.25 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.25 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.

Topics: Affordable Housing, Housing Affordability, San Diego, Rent Costs, Rent, Monthly Rent, San Diego Housing Commission, Mortgage rates

Home equity has come ‘roaring back’

Posted by The Aramco Group on Mon, Oct 22, 2018 @ 14:10 PM

American homeowners are sitting a record amount of equity according to new research, putting many in a prime position to tap into it. Home equity – the amount a property is worth above the amount owed on it – is estimated to be a cumulative $14.4 trillion. This is an all-time high according to a report by TransUnion and more than double the low of $9 trillion during the height of the recession.

“Consumers have been building up that equity over the last seven years or so,” according to Joe Mellman, senior vice president at TransUnion. “It really has come roaring back.”

With interest rates on credit cards near 20 percent or even higher in some cases, establishing a home equity line of credit or a cash out refinance can be a less expensive way for borrower to get a hold of much needed cash.

Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.75 percent, 15-year rates are near 4.25 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.25 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.

Topics: home equity, home owners, HELOC, refinance, Mortgage rates

Closing escrow on the double

Posted by The Aramco Group on Sun, Oct 21, 2018 @ 09:10 AM

It can feel like the hardest part of the home buying process – waiting. You’ve found your dream home, you’ve crunched the numbers, it passed the termite inspection and you’ve already started packing your knick-knacks in bubble wrap. All you have to do now is wait for escrow to close and get your keys.

The typical time frame to close escrow is generally 30 days but hiccups in the process can stretch out the process to 60 days or even longer sometimes. Buyers may delay escrow to come up with the rest of the cash needed to close. Sellers may ask for additional time as they wait on their new home’s escrow to close. And even if both buyer and seller are on track, delays can be caused by issues with the HOA, lender, appraisals or any number of third-parties.

The important thing to remember is that all these issues can be resolved with a little patience and working with experienced lenders and agents.

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.75 percent, 15-year rates are near 4.25 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.25 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.

Topics: home buying, escrow, Mortgage rates

Weak housing market predicted for Calif. in 2019

Posted by The Aramco Group on Sat, Oct 20, 2018 @ 12:10 PM

Simply put, homes are too expensive and mortgage rates are on the rise. This is expected to drive down demand over the next year and contribute to an overall weaker housing market in 2019, one which is expected to see a decrease in home sales and a rise in the length of times properties sit unsold.

This grim outlook was made by the California Association of Realtors in its “2019 California Housing Market Forecast” released last week. Specifically, CAR anticipates a 3.3 percent decline in single-family home sales next year and fixed mortgage rates to climb to an average of 5.2 percent.

Some experts disagree, however, the 2019 will mark a turn-for-the-worse in housing, rather suggesting that a “cooling off” could be helpful in making California housing more affordable.

As for mortgage rates, today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.75 percent, 15-year rates are near 4.25 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.25 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.

Topics: Housing Market, California Housing Market, Housing Forecast, home sales, Mortgage rates

Reverse mortgages can help the next generation buy a home

Posted by The Aramco Group on Sat, Oct 20, 2018 @ 05:10 AM

Knowing that soaring home prices are making it increasingly difficult for younger homebuyers to enter the housing market, families are getting creative. Seasoned homeowners can use a reverse mortgage to tap into the equity they’ve built up in their home and use it to share the wealth with their children or grandchildren who need assistance with a down payment on a property of their own.

A reverse mortgage is a powerful financial tool that allows homeowners 62 years or older to eliminate their monthly mortgage payment while receiving cash in the form of a lump sum, line of credit or a monthly distribution.

Unlike a regular cash out refinance, borrowers do not need to make monthly payments on the proceeds they give to their children. Reverse mortgages do not need to be repaid like a monthly home loan allowing the funds to be given as a gift not a loan.

Meanwhile, conventional conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.75 percent, 15-year rates are near 4.25 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.25 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.

Topics: Reverse Mortgage, homeowners, Mortgage Payments, Housing Market, Mortgage rates

Mortgage activity dragged down by higher rates

Posted by The Aramco Group on Fri, Oct 19, 2018 @ 14:10 PM

Last week mortgage applications fell by the largest seasonally adjusted percentage in a year, the latest sign that recent increases in borrowing costs are causing pause in the housing market. The Mortgage Bankers Association is reporting that during the week ended October 12, total mortgage applications fell 7.1 percent.

Refinances experienced a significant drop during the week, 9 percent compared to the week prior. This represents the largest decline since November 2017. Mortgage rate increases have the sharpest impact on homeowners looking to refinance their existing home loans.

Although homebuyer demand remains strong, affordability struggles are slowing the rate of purchases. Applications to purchase a home fell 6 percent during the week but remain 2.5 percent higher than the same week last year.

Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.75 percent, 15-year rates are near 4.25 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.25 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.

Topics: Mortgage applications, Housing Market, refinance, Mortgage rates, homeowners, Purchase Applications

San Diego ranks among hottest housing markets for 2018

Posted by The Aramco Group on Fri, Oct 19, 2018 @ 08:10 AM

Every year Realtor.com studies 32,000 ZIP codes in all fifty states and determines the average time it takes to sell a home. Using this data, the online real estate site is able to determine the “hottest” ZIP codes in the nation and rank them according to that hotness. This year, as in the last several, San Diego landed the number 20 spot.

Homes at the top of the list sell in an average of 20 days, according to the report. This is 46 days faster than the rest of the country. Kentwood, Michigan (ZIP code 49508) ranked number one with a hotness score of 99.4. Homes in the area sell in 14 days on average and listings receive up to four times the views than those in the rest of the country. ZIP code 92129, which includes Rancho Penasquitos, Black Mountain, Spyglass Hill and other in demand areas of San Diego amassed a hotness score of 96.6.

This area is known to be a relatively affluent part of San Diego with good school and family-friendly neighborhoods, likely adding to its hotness.

Meanwhile, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.75 percent, 15-year rates are near 4.25 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.25 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.

Topics: San Diego, San Diego Housing Market, Housing Market, home sales, Mortgage rates