Mortgage Applications Heat Up After Holiday Lull
Mortgage application activity roared out of the gate in the first week of the New Year, as the country got back down to business. Much of the week's gain could probably be attributed to consumers catching up after the usual holiday induced December slowdown. Applications for both refinancing and home purchasing were up substantially during the week ended January 5. It was, in fact, the strongest week for refinancing applications since mid-July.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its Market Composite Index, a measure of loan applications volume, increased 8.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis and rose 46 percent compared with the week ended December 29 on an unadjusted basis. The week's report included an adjustment to account for the New Years Holiday. MBA said there was also a revision of...Click here to read more.
Tens of thousands of Harvey-area homeowners may become delinquent on their mortgages in the coming months
Houses and cars are seen partially submerged by floodwaters from Harvey in east Houston, Texas on Monday.
Hurricane Harvey could have a more destructive impact on the mortgage market in Texas than Katrina did on the Gulf Coast, according to a report out Wednesday.
Real estate data provider Black Knight Financial Services notes that there are twice as many mortgaged properties in Harvey’s disaster area, with nearly four times the unpaid principal balance — the amount homeowners owe — as in the Louisiana and Mississippi counties declared a disaster area in 2005.
Within two months of Hurricane Katrina’s impact in 2005, the number of homeowners who became late on their mortgage payments surged by more than seven percentage points, from about 8% in July 2005 to nearly 16%, Black Knight...Click here to read more.
Fed's Brainard: Balance sheet runoff 'soon,' but rate hikes in doubt
The Federal Reserve likely will act "soon" to begin running off its $4.5 trillion bond portfolio as long as the economy cooperates, central bank Governor Lael Brainard said in a speech Tuesday.
Brainard, however, added a dovish note to her prediction for balance sheet normalization — that the Fed may "not have much more" to do in terms of rate hikes. Traders currently are assigning about a 50 percent chance that the Fed will hike again in December.
Her comments are particularly relevant because she is considered a close ideological ally of Fed Chair Janet Yellen.
"In light of recent policy moves, I consider normalization of the federal funds rate to be well under...Click here to read more.
Glimmer of Hope in Rate Stability, But It Could Be a Trap
Mortgage rates remained in a very narrow range near their highest levels in roughly 3 months today. If you're into splitting hairs, we could discuss the fact that the average lender is charging microscopically lower closing costs for the same rates quoted yesterday, but most borrowers won't even see a change in rate quotes.
The sideways momentum isn't all too surprising given that the week's biggest potential market movers are all coming out over the next 3 days. The past 2 days, then, have been a nice reprieve from the consistently higher rates seen since June 27th. But undertand the reprieve is not necessarily an indication of a reversal.
Even if the coming days end up helping rates, there are lingering...Click here to read more.