With mortgage rates still at historical (and historic) lows, there’s a very neat way of looking at what that means for buyers: They can buy 11% more home this year than last year.
That’s using Freddie Mac’s most recent mortgage rate survey — 3.62% for a 30-year fixed loan, which is down from 4.60% in 2011.
Assuming a principal + interest mortgage payment of $1,000 per month on a 30-year term, today’s home buyers can buy 11% “more home” as compared to 12 months ago.
For the first time in, well, a while, Virginia has slipped to third place in CNBC’s annual “America’s Top States for Business” ranking, behind Texas and Utah. (And we’re only a smidge ahead of North Carolina.)
What hurt us? Infrastructure — specifically, transportation. That, and the state’s reliance on government spending.
So what’s gonna happen to the housing market later this year? Mike Simonsen at REI bulletin has (he says) the answer: Prices will rise for another five months, mortgage rates will stay low, and real estate investment will be hot.
The biggest negative one can say about today’s housing market is that inventory is super low. Our Market Action Index … has turned into “Seller’s Market” territory for the first time in years in many markets.
On the downside, credit is still tight for people with bad credit. That limits the buyer pool, but I can’t say that’s a bad thing – for the long term health of the housing market.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has released the latest version of its proposed loan disclosure forms designed to be “easier for both consumers and lenders to understand and use.”
The goal is to allow consumers to compare mortgages side by side in an “apples to apples” way, and require lenders to make it clear exactly what the terms of the loan are.
Speaking of prices going up, Trulia’s price monitor for June — which looks at asking prices for homes — was up 1.7 percent over June 2011 (but only 0.3 percent if you include foreclosures). It’s also up month to month and quarter to quarter, and has risen four of the past five months.
Of course these are asking prices, so they’re as much a guide of consumer sentiment about the market as they are an indicator of actual sales prices. But if sellers are willing to ask for more, there’s a good chance buyers are seeing the same news and are willing to pay more.
Spending on new residential construction spending jumped 18.6 percent in May from a year ago, according to figures released from the Census Bureau.
That includes an increase of 14.6 percent in spending on new single-family houses, and a whopping 48.6 percent on new multi-family buildings.
That puts 2012 almost 11 percent ahead of last year at the same time in single-family construction; it’s 36 percent ahead of last year in multi-family building.
CoreLogic is reporting that it’s Home Price Index for May showed prices up two percent from a year ago — but get this: That includes distressed-home sales.
Take out the distressed sales and prices were up 2.7 percent. (They were also up month to month — and that’s the third month in a row with gains.)
The company expects prices to rise another two percent in June.
By the end of the year, the federal Appraisal Subcommittee should have its hotline operational, and buyers, Realtors®, lenders, and others can use it to file complaints about appraisers and appraisal management companies.
The hotline is required by the Dodd-Frank Act and is expected to open by the end of the year. It hasn’t opened yet because the ASC hasn’t quite figured out what it’s going to do with the complaints that come in. Some (if not most) will undoubtedly be referred to individual states for investigation and enforcement.
Lots of good news on the mortgage-delinquency front — it looks like Americans have gotten their collective sea legs and are on more solid financial ground (to mix a couple of metaphors).
First off, Fannie and Freddie reported that the mortgages they service did better in the first quarter than they have in quite a while. Here’s a quote from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s Mortgage Metrics Report (emphasis mine):
The overall quality of the portfolio of serviced mortgages improved during the quarter with the percentage of mortgages that were current and performing at 88.9 percent, the highest level in three years.
The percentages of mortgages that were 30 to 59 and 60 to 89 days delinquent also decreased to their lowest levels since the OCC began publishing the Mortgage Metrics report in first quarter of 2008 (see table 7).
This improvement can be attributed to several factors, including strengthening economic conditions during the quarter, seasonal effects, servicing transfers, and the ongoing effects of both home retention loan modification programs as well as home forfeiture actions.
Per Ken Wingert, NAR’s senior legislative representative: Our long national nightmare is over. We are officially done with flood insurance extensions for 5 years.
The House had already passed a bill, but the Senate was being held up by Rand Paul (R – Ky.) who tried to attach a controversial and unrelated amendment to the bill. Apparently that’s been dealt with and the bill passed. President Obama will sign the measure this weekend.
“This is the culmination of a successful multi-year Realtor® campaign,” said Wingert.