All Posts Tagged: ARM

Numbers Count: Housing snapshot looks bright

Posted by

Numbers count. They matter to bankers and to prospective homebuyers, sellers, and real estate professionals. Here’s my take on the key numbers on the housing market this week.

Side shot of brick condo building with balconies, in Seattle at sunset.The numbers: As of mid-April, the national average for the 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 3.58%, according to Freddie Mac’s April Housing Outlook, which goes on to point out this is the lowest rate since May 2013. Despite economic weakness, the report forecasts that housing will maintain its momentum in 2016.

What counts: Mortgage rates have slid down to spring 2013 levels. Back then, however, remember that average home prices were shooting up; it felt like you couldn’t walk from one open house to the next without prices rising in the meantime. In fact, in May 2013, average home prices had risen 12% from a year earlier – with homebuyers in several big cities, including Atlanta and Los Angeles, coping with increases of 20% or more, according to the Case Shiller Home Price Index.

Fast forward to today, and the frenzied pace of appreciation is gone, for the most part. The most recent Case Shiller Index showed about a 5% increase in February for home prices. Welcome relief for the open house browsers everywhere but fast-moving Portland, Seattle, and San Francisco where prices have climbed 9-12% from a year ago.

The combination of historically low mortgage rates and moderate home appreciation is practically a Goldilocks housing market for potential buyers. Inventories are still tight, but gradual appreciation means shoppers may be able to take more time to find the home they love, and low rates mean there may be opportunities for first-time homebuyers. Also, current homeowners may be able to afford that bigger move-up home they’ve been wanting.

Read More ›

Numbers Count: Steady climb for mortgage rates ahead?

Posted by
Two women, one holding a tablet, looking up at a white two-story house with upper and lower balcony/porch.

Here’s my take on the key numbers on the housing market this week.

Read More ›

Numbers Count: Possible savings for refinancing

Posted by
Graph showing possible savings for both traditional and HARP refinances. (From Black Knight Financial, published with permission.)

Here’s my take on the key numbers on the housing market this week.

Read More ›

Numbers Count: Weekly mortgage data highlights

Posted by
Young couple meeting with an agent, seated at a laptop with paperwork.

Here’s my take on the key numbers on the housing market this week.

Read More ›

Creative college financing: A condo for your kid?

Wendy Cutrufelli
Mortgage Banking
Man and son unloading boxes from car

“On campus or off?” That’s the common college housing discussion as kids prepare to head to school. But how about “rent or own?”

Read More ›