Quick Contact

Your Name (required)

Your Phone (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Message


Type this number below.

Permit to Completion – Builder Timeline Depends on Where and Why

Despite complaints about labor, lot, and material shortages, builders needed no more time to build a home last year than they did in 2016.  The time did increase compared to 2015 by about two weeks.  Using data from the Census Bureau's Survey of Construction (SOC), the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) concludes that the average time to build a single-family house was 7.5 months.  The actual building time was about 6.5 months following a typical delay of around 30 days after the permit was authorized.  Data from the 2015 survey showed the time from permit to completion at 7 months.

 

...(read more)

Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Lowest Rates Since May, But There’s a Catch

Mortgage rates fell by an observable amount today--one of the few times they've done so in recent weeks.  Technically, today's average lender is offering the best we've seen since May 31st.  That sounds pretty great, right?!  Unfortunately, there's a fairly big catch.

While today's rates are indeed the best in a month and a half, the range during that time has been so excruciatingly narrow that most prospective mortgage borrowers will find the distinction fairly meaningless.  In almost all cases, the actual NOTE rate at the top of your loan quote will be the same as it has been for weeks.  The only change in lenders' rate sheets is in the upfront cost associated with that rate. 

...(read more)

Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Mortgage Rates Still Can’t Find Inspiration

Mortgage rates stood a very decent chance to experience the highest volatility of the week today thanks to the most important economic data of the week being released this morning.  The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is the most widely-followed inflation metric in the U.S. and inflation is a big deal for the bonds that underlie rates (including mortgages).  On numerous occasions over the past 2 years, we've witnessed clear connections between variations in CPI data and subsequent volatility in rates.

But not today...

...(read more)

Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Inflation Data Shows Deceleration in Housing Costs

While the Labor Department's Employment Situation Report for June showed wages plodding along at a 2.7 percent annual increase, unchanged from May, it is still being outstripped by rising costs, especially for housing. Today's Consumer Price Index (CPI) report shows consumer costs overall were up 2.9 percent with the shelter portion rising 3.4 percent over the last 12 months.

Shelter is one of the categories in the CPI's "market basket," the goods and services that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) considers necessary for day-to-day living.  The CPI does not include housing units which it views as capital or investment rather than consumption items.  Shelter is viewed as a "service" provided by that investment and is thus a consumption item.

...(read more)

Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

New Home Sales Need More Trees and Contractors

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) is projecting a decline in new home sales for June, putting them significantly behind those in June 2017.  MBA's Builder Applications Survey (BAS) shows mortgage applications for the purchase of newly constructed homes were down 12 percent from May and 8.8 percent year-over-year. The survey's results are not adjusted to reflect seasonal patterns.

 "Applications for new home purchases fell in June, both compared to last year at this time and relative to May, which fits the seasonal pattern. So far this year, new home applications are up 2.5 percent relative to the first 6 months of 2017. Our sense is that builders remain constrained by the tight job market for construction labor and rising input costs, particularly lumber costs," said Mike Fratantoni, MBA Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research and Industry Technology.

...(read more)

Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Mortgage Rates Calm Ahead of Key Data

Mortgage rates played the same role they've been playing for weeks by holding fairly steady today.  At the average lender, if you're looking for an average loan and you have above average qualifications, you'll have seen the same interest rate at the top of any loan quote since late June.  Adjustments have only come in the form of the upfront costs associated with any given "note rate."  

The markets that underlie rate movement experienced some volatility today as a new round of tariffs was announced yesterday evening.  "More tariffs," in general, are bad for stocks and good for rates because they create economic uncertainty and/or fear of economic weakness.  A weaker economy does less to promote stock price growth and more to cause demand for safe haven investments like bonds (higher demand for bonds = lower rates).

...(read more)

Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Black Knight: Tappable Equity Skyrockets, But HELOC Loans Decline

This month's Mortgage Monitor Report from Black Knight, Inc. is again about equity, but this time with a twist regarding the way homeowners are treating it.  The company says that the tappable equity held by homeowners increased by $820 billion dollars over the 12 months that ended in March, $380 billion in the first quarter of 2018 alone. Those numbers equate to 16.5 percent growth year-over-year, and 7 percent for the quarter.  Equity growth is generally highest in the first and second quarters of the year, but the first quarter growth this year was up 30 percent from the same quarter in 2017.  It was the highest single-quarter increase recorded by Black Knight since it began keeping records in 2005. 

 

...(read more)

Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Mortgage Application Volume Ignores Holiday, Purchases Make Strong Showing

Despite the Independence Day holiday which both shortened and bisected the week, mortgage activity rallied significantly during the week ended July 6.  The Mortgage Bankers Association said its Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage application volume, increased 2.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis compared to the week ended June 30.  The holiday did take a toll on the unadjusted numbers with the overall index dropping 18 percent. The week's results were driven by strong growth in the volume of purchase mortgage applications. That index was up 7 percent from the previous week on a seasonally adjusted basis although it declined 15 percent unadjusted. 

...(read more)

Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Mortgage Rates Slightly Higher So Far This Week

Mortgage rates didn't move for most lenders today.  Remaining lenders were just slightly higher than yesterday, thus keeping this week's modest upward bias intact.  In the slightly bigger picture, we had a fairly friendly consolidation in rates heading into last Friday and have been giving back the gains since then.

While we're technically able to talk about rate "movement" on a day to day (and even minute by minute) basis, the average mortgage borrower isn't seeing big changes.  In fact, in terms of the NOTE rate (the one at the top of a loan quote that determines the payment), there hasn't been any change in 2 weeks. 

...(read more)

Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Jumbo Guidelines Loosening Quicker Than The Rest

The Mortgage Bankers Association attributed an increase in its Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI) last month to increased competition among lenders for the jumbo prime mortgage market.  MBA said its index increased 0.2 percent in June to 181.0. An increase in the Index indicates that credit standards are loosening.

Due to competition which MBA's Chief Economist and Senior Vice President Mike Fratantoni categorized as "fierce," the Jumbo MCAI rose 9.3 percent from May to June and is now over 300.  The Index was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012.  The increase in that index component was offset by a decline in the Government MCAI which was down 3.9 percent.  Fratantoni attributed recent tightening in government lending, which put that index, at its lowest point since the summer of 2016, to ...

...(read more)

Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.