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ARAMCO Report - Wednesday May 14, 2015

Posted by The Aramco Group on Wed, May 13, 2015 @ 16:05 PM

How lower import prices may influence interest rates

Import prices for goods coming to the U.S. went down 0.3 percent in April 2015, according to The U.S. Department of Labor. This is after prices fell an adjusted 0.2 percent in March 2015, and in total have fallen 10.7 percent over the last 12 months. Lower oil prices and the strengthening of the U.S. dollar drove most of this decline.

The Federal Reserve is currently debating when it would be appropriate to raise short-term interest rates from their current level at 0.25 percent. The Fed is waiting for the U.S. economy will enter into a beneficial period of 2 percent annual inflation. Decreasing import prices are the opposite of inflation, however, so the Fed may continue to delay. Although there has been a recent uptick in bond yields and mortgage rates, low inflation rates would bode well for mortgage interest rates staying level.

Total mortgage application activity for both refinancing and home purchases fell 3.5 percent in the week ending May 8 according to The Mortgage Bankers Association.

Potential homebuyers will find mortgage rates near historic lows. Conforming no point 30-year fixed mortgage rates average 3.875 percent, and 15-year rates average 3.125 percent. 

For more information on a home purchase, refinance, or a reverse mortgage, visit our website at Aramco.Biz or call me at (877) 700-0942. This is Mehran Aram with today's ARAMCO Report.

Ask Mehran Aram

Topics: financial recovery, Interest Rates, Fed, Fed Chairwoman, 30 year fixed rates, economic growth, Federal Reserve, inflation, economy

ARAMCO Report - Thursday March 2, 2015

Posted by The Aramco Group on Fri, Apr 3, 2015 @ 12:04 PM

A new analysis of housing data from 24/7 Wall Street revealed that a full, nationwide recovery of single-family home values might still be 2 ½ years away. Values are on the rise, but some markets—particularly those in Western states including California—have recovered more quickly. Looking at other current economic data, new orders for U.S. factory goods rose unexpectedly in February — good news for a sector that accounts for 12% of the U.S. economy but that is negatively affected whenever the dollar is gaining strength, as it is now. Also, last week, initial jobless claims fell close to their lowest levels in 15 years according to the Labor Department’s jobs report. Claims decreased by 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 286,000 in the week ending on March 28th. Thursday’s jobs report also showed that the number of people continuing claims for unemployment assistance fell by 88,000 — meaning that the number people discontinuing assistance is exceeding the rate at which new people need help.

Conforming no point 30 year fixed rates average 3.75 percent while 15-year rates are closer to 3 percent. 

For more information on a home purchase, refinance, or a reverse mortgage, visit our website at Aramco.Biz or call me at (877) 700-0942. This is Mehran Aram with today's ARAMCO Report.

Ask Mehran Aram

Topics: financial recovery, durable goods, Housing Market, economic data, housing recovery, home values

ARAMCO Report - Thursday March 19, 2015

Posted by The Aramco Group on Thu, Mar 19, 2015 @ 19:03 PM

The Federal Reserve (The Fed) triggered an impressive bond market rally in the middle of this week that pushed mortgage rates down one eighth of a percent. The result is that conforming no point 30 year fixed mortgage rates now average 3.75 percent with 15 year rates closer to 3 percent. The Fed triggered the rally by committing to a gradual path to raising its rates in 2015 due to revised down projections for growth and inflation. Inflation is a general measurement of the amount of money transferring hands and is a proxy for overall gainfulness of employment in the U.S. Jobs are up but inflation has been below targets for 34 straight months. The Consumer Price Index currently estimates inflation at -.o1 percent since January 2014 versus the Fed’s goal of approximately 2% per year by 2017. Interest rates should stay low for the medium term as the bank continues to shepherd the economy upward. Expect rates to rise in the summer, and for them to stay below 1 percent for the rest of 2015. 

For more information on a home purchase, refinance, or a reverse mortgage, visit our website at Aramco.Biz or call me at (877) 700-0942. This is Mehran Aram with today's ARAMCO Report.

Ask Mehran Aram


Topics: financial recovery, Consumer Price Index, CPI, Interest Rates, Fed, Fed Chairwoman, 30 year fixed rates, economic growth, Federal Reserve, inflation, economy

Is Now The Best Time to Buy a Home? – Home Loan Rates

Posted by The Aramco Group on Tue, Aug 28, 2012 @ 15:08 PM

Being so deeply entrenched in California real estate finance, I am asked daily if now is a good time to buy a home or investment property. And whether this question arises on a TV or radio interview or a one-on-one meeting with a client in the office, I have the same response for everyone, “I’ve never in all my life seen a better time to buy as much real estate as possible.” With a combination of low sales prices (down 42% since their peak in 2006), high inventory, record-low home loan rates, and a strong rental market, it is a fabulous time to grow your real estate portfolio or buy your first home.

After numerous reports from multiple sources including a recent California Association of Realtors report which showed a 6% increase in single family home sales since June 2011, it’s safe to say the housing market has begun a rebound, however sluggish it may be. Will home prices return to the levels seen in 2006 and 2007? Yes, but probably not as quickly as we would all like. One major factor which will be driving up home prices though is future inventory. While today’s high inventory due to unemployment, underemployment, uncertainty and the shock of the Great Recession is lending to low home prices, I believe we will see a major shift in inventory within a few years.

Home Supply Aramco Mortgage

Since 2008, housing permits for both single and multi-family homes have been nearly stagnant as one might expect, due to the economic downturn we've experienced over the last few years. But while the economy has slowed down,the number of college studnets graduating and getting jobs, families moving to California and first-time home buyers continue to rise at extremely high levels. Thus, the simple economic laws of supply and demand should take over, in which construction will be a couple years behind the demand for homes and a fairly serious shortage of homes will occur due to low supply. This lack of supply should boost home prices, and incentivize home builders to increase home devoloping, until the demand and supply are once again balanced.

But even if you wanted to take an ultra-conservative prospective on the housing market and assume 0% appreciation over the next few years, now is still one of the best times in our nation’s history to purchase real estate. The Housing Affordability Index which measures the affordability of home ownership based on median home prices, median income, and average mortgage interest rates, is currently at its highest level since record keeping began in 1970. Record-low long term interest rates are one of the catalysts driving this rebound, making homeownership extremely affordable.  But in addition to rock bottom rates and low prices, the current rental market should attract many more investors into real estate.  Due to uncertainty and a depressed level of income, many families have elected to rent instead of buy. Apartment vacancies are falling monthly, while effective rent has been rising in most parts of the state for 10 consecutive quarters. This combination of low interest rates and high rents are allowing many investors to make a monthly profit even if their properties show zero appreciation.

As you can see, barring any major double-dip recession, or shock to the economy, it seems as though the California housing market is poised for a slow but much anticipated recovery. The perfect combination of low interest rates, deflated prices, and high rents lends to an extremely favorable home buying environment. My final word of advice is to avoid waiting for home prices or interest rates to creep down even lower, as it is much more likely that both rates and prices spike rather than go down any further. 

Mehran Aram

President/CEO The Aramco Group

Topics: home prices, home buying, financial recovery, The Aramco Group, Mehran Aram, California, Aramco Mortgage, home ownership, investing, Aramco Properties, low rates

Happy Summer!...From The Aramco Group

Posted by The Aramco Group on Thu, Jun 21, 2012 @ 15:06 PM

For those of you who have been following my blog for the last few months, you know by now that I like to stick to the cold hard facts. I might mix a little humor in here or there, but the majority of the time I’m all about business; Reverse Mortgages, Refinances, Real Estate, and all things Finance. So today, on this first day of summer, allow me to diverge just for one day on a bit of a lighter note.The Aramco Group

First, imagine your friends, relatives, and fellow Americans in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, even beautiful Kansas…Currently they’re experiencing temperatures well above 85° with humidity closer to 100°. So, let’s take just a brief moment out of our busy life in paradise to be grateful for the amazing state of California that we all call home. Our finances, traffic, even sports teams may be far from perfect, but if there exists a perfect climate I believe it’s right here in this golden state of California.

At The Aramco Group we take pride in our dedication to Californians. We have chosen to exclusively service California with their financing needs so that we can more completely understand our client’s lifestyle, economics, and everyday joys and concerns. Mehran Aram and his competent staff at The Aramco Group are here for all Californians and have put people before profit for over 20 years. More than anything it is our goal to educate Californians whether it’s regarding the benefits a Reverse Mortgage can have on a senior’s retirement, how much one can save on their monthly mortgage payments with a Refinance, or any other real estate finance needs. If a question should ever arise, please don’t hesitate to call and we’ll give you a detailed, honest, and friendly answer to any question or concern.

On behalf of all of us at The Aramco Group, we wish you a safe, exciting, and memorable summer of 2012! We hope that one day we can earn your trust and business and impress you with our “white glove” customer service.


The Aramco Group Staff


Topics: Reverse Mortgage, HECM, Aramco Financial, home buying, financial recovery, The Aramco Group, San Diego, senior citizen, Retirement, real estate, trust, HARP 2.0, California, Aramco Mortgage, home ownership, Carlsbad, integrity, HARP, Aramco Properties, refinance, Mortgage rates

Fewer Foreclosures, More REOs

Posted by The Aramco Group on Thu, Mar 29, 2012 @ 08:03 AM

There was good news in the February National Foreclosure Report released this morning by CoreLogic. Foreclosures, the foreclosure inventory, and the pipeline clearing ratio all posted improving numbers. At the same time the numbers of lender owned properties (REOs) and serious delinquencies were up compared to January figures.

As reported in Mortgage News Daily, there were 65,000 completed foreclosures in February, 1,000 fewer than in January and 6,000 fewer than in February 2011. During the 12 months ending in February there were 862,000 foreclosures nationwide, an average of 71,800 per month. Of the top 100 core-based statistical areas (CBSAs) tracked by CoreLogic, 61 had lower foreclosure rates than one year earlier.

There were 1.4 million homes in the process of foreclosure - the foreclosure inventory - in February compared to 1.5 million in February of last year. These figures represent 3.4 percent of all homes with a mortgage in January and February 2012 and 3.6 percent in February, 2011.

The number of seriously delinquent borrowers (90 or more days late on their mortgage payment) ticked up from 7.2 percent to 7.3 percent from January to February but remained a full half-percent below the 7.8 percent rate in February 2011.

California, Florida, Michigan, Arizona, and Texas were the top five states in the number of completed foreclosures during the 12 months ending in February. Together they accounted for 49.4 percent of all completed foreclosures during the period.

Florida, New Jersey, Illinois, Nevada, and New York had the highest foreclosure rates, ranging from 12.0 percent in Florida to 4.9 percent in New York.

From the start of the financial crisis in September 2008, there have been approximately 3.4 million completed foreclosures.

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Topics: financial recovery, foreclosure, economic data

How Goes The Recovery?

Posted by The Aramco Group on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 @ 20:02 PM

Thought we'd take a quick look at how the recovery, such as it is, is going.

One good sign is that employment appears to be up - at least that's what the last few monthly job reports have indicated. More people working is, for obvious reasons, a good thing.

Another good sign is that last year Home Depot's fourth-quarter profits were up 32%. That's good because Home Depot employs more than 320,000 people, and because Home Depot sells home repair and improvement products, which means that people are fixing up their homes.

The administration has announced plans to cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 28%. This is a good thing because the U.S. has the second-highest corporate tax rate in the world according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. (Japan has the world's highest corporate tax rate at 39.54%.)

The corporate tax cut is really reduced depreciation allowances and fewer deductions. These translate to more profits, and more profitable companies pay more taxes, which increases government revenues.

Profitable companies also higher more people, who earn more money (and pay more taxes), who buy more things, which increases corporate profits.....which keeps the cycle going.

So the recovery seems to be heading in the right direction. However, reports can be twisted and manipulated, and the real key would seem to be the corporate tax cut. That would make a real difference.

Forgive me for being suspicious, but a corporate tax cut, especially of this magnitude (one-fifth) just seems to be the exact opposite of what this President would normally do.

And this is an election year.


Topics: financial recovery, corporate taxes, economic data