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Rising Applications and Falling Mortgage Rates

As mortgage applications increase, mortgage rates have begun to drop, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and Freddie Mac. The MBA’s Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, rose 1.5 percent from a week earlier, while the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped from 4.10 to 4.08 percent. The average loan size for purchase applications was at $318,700, a survey high.

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New Homes Purchases and Applications Jump

New home purchases are on the rise. Recent reports show increases in new home purchases. According to the Survey, year-over-year new home purchases for March 2017 increased 6.7 percent compared to March 2016. Month-over-month, applications grew 23 percent. Average loan size decreased in March, from $330,208 in February to $328,192.

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NMSA Announces New Chairperson

The National Mortgage Servicing Association (NMSA), recently announced the appointment of Ray Barbone, EVP, of Mortgage Services at BankUnited, as the new NMSA Chairperson. Barbone assumed the seat recently vacated by J.K. Huey, SVP at Wells Fargo, during the NMSA annual member meeting on April 5 in Washington D.C.

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Banks Report Declining Mortgage Performance

The first quarter was a mixed bag for Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and PNC. All three bank’s latest earning reports reveal lower gains on residential mortgage servicing rights and lower mortgage loan revenues, but the banks are optimistic going into the 2017. Overall earnings for JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo were down slightly from the previous quarter.

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Mortgage Bankers Report Rising Profits

Independent mortgage bankers profits are up, according to the Annual Mortgage Bankers Performance Report. Independent mortgage banks and mortgage subsidiaries of chartered banks made an average of $157 more on average per loan originated in 2016 compared to 2015. The report also found that average production volume was $2,679 million per company, another increase from 2016’s $2,504 million per company.

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Down Payments are the Biggest Barrier to Homeownership

Down payments are holding back renters from entering the housing market. Mortgage payments tend to be considerably cheaper than a rent payment on a monthly basis, but Zillow’s Housing Aspirations Report found that 70 percent of renters across the country are find high down payment costs to be the top roadblock to homeownership.

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Fewer Homes Available to Moderate Earners

A new study by Trulia shows that while doctors can still afford most markets, teachers, first responders, and restaurant workers are getting increasingly shut out of markets where they work. Availability for solid, even above-median earners in coastal California is especially low. However, even there, some pockets of affordability exist.

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BofA: First-time Buyers Look to the Future

When first-time homebuyers make the jump from renting to homeowning, they have to ask “is it affordable?” For the most part, that answer is yes. Many first-time homebuyers, particularly millennials, have found that owning a home has a more positive impact on their finances than renting.

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Mortgage Barometer Projects Higher Volumes

The second annual Lenders One Mortgage Barometer indicates favorable conditions ahead. First-time buyers, Generation X and millennials are expected to drive demand for mortgages, while lenders are advised to stay creative to meet economic demand drivers. About three in five surveyed lenders anticipate an increase in new homeowners entering the market

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