May 24, 2012

Thirty-Year Rate Holds Fast to Its Record Low

As per Origination news..The average weekly rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in Freddie Mac’s primary market survey held steady at its record low of 3.78% during the week ending May 24.
The average rate for a 15-year FRM, at 3.04%, also remained unchanged week to week. Similarly, the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid stayed put at 2.83%.
The average rate for a one-year Treasury adjustable-rate mortgage slid three basis points to 2.78% and carried an average of just 0.4 of a point.
The 30-year, in contrast, came with an average of 0.8 of a point in the most recent week, while the 15-year carried an average of 0.7 of a point and the five-year Treasury hybrid included on average 0.6 of a point.
The plateau in most rates came during a week when there were several indicators suggesting relative improvement in the housing market, said Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft in his weekly report. He said rate-driven affordability contributed to this.
Nothaft also noted in his monthly economic and housing outlook issued Wednesday that there have been some encouraging signals, although residential fixed investment is still weak.
A Mortgage Bankers Association report adjusting the group’s origination estimates upward Thursday did so on the strength of higher-than-expected refinancing that government programs as well as rates have contributed to.
But it also suggested that purchase volumes look weaker than they had.

May 10, 2012

Home prices rise for first time in 8 months

As per The Niche Report Home prices rose in March for the first time since last July, helped by tighter housing inventory, data analysis firm CoreLogic said on Tuesday.
CoreLogic’s home price index gained 0.6 percent from February, but was still down 0.6 percent compared with March a year ago.
Excluding sales of distressed properties, prices climbed 0.9 percent on a yearly basis. Homeowners in danger of foreclosure, or in “distress”, often sell their homes at significantly reduced prices.
“This spring, the housing market is responding to an improving balance between real estate supply and demand, which is causing stabilization in house prices”, Mark Fleming, chief economist at CoreLogic, said in a statement.
Of the top 100 statistical areas measured by population, 57 showed year-over-year declines, down from 65.
The closely watched S&P/Case Shiller index released in late April showed a rise in U.S. single-family home prices in February for the first time in 10 months, with a gain of 0.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis.