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Author Archives: Tory Barringer

Tory Barringer began his journalism career in early 2011, working as a writer for the University of Texas at Arlington's student newspaper before joining the DS News team in 2012. In addition to contributing to DSNews.com, he is also the online editor for DS News' sister publication, MReport, which focuses on mortgage banking news.

Mortgage Rates Jump to 4-Month High

Freddie Mac released Thursday the results of its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey, showing the interest rate on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) jumping more than 10 basis points to an average 4.23 percent (0.5 point), the highest level since the start of May. It was the biggest one-week gain so far this year. "Fixed-rate mortgage rates rose this week following the increase in 10-year Treasury yields being partially fueled by market speculation the Federal Reserve might change its interest rate guidance," said Frank Nothaft, VP and chief economist at Freddie Mac.

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Housing Starts Down 14.4% in August

According to the government's figures, privately owned housing starts last month were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 956,000, marking a 14.4 percent month-over-month drop. July's rate of new homebuilding was revised up to 1.12 million. While apartment construction has led single-family homebuilding in most of this year's previous gains, the opposite was true in August's report: Multifamily starts (five units or more) plunged 31.5 percent in August to an adjusted annual rate of 304,000, while single-family starts were down a more modest 2.4 percent to 643,000.

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Builder Confidence Rises to Nearly Nine-Year High

NAHB's Housing Market Index, a gauge of builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes, rose four points in the group's latest reading to 59, nine points above the benchmark separating a market largely viewed as good from one viewed as poor. September's gain brings the index to its highest value since November 2005, NAHB reported.

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Large Lenders Anticipate Slight Easing in Credit Standards

In a survey of mortgage lenders over the third quarter, Fannie Mae found 85 percent of senior executives believe it would be difficult for most Americans to get a home loan in today's environment, up from 81 percent in the second quarter. To compare, only 50 percent of consumers polled in the company's August National Housing Survey said they think securing a mortgage would be difficult. Lenders were also more sour on their outlook for purchase mortgage demand over the next three months.

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Fed Cuts Bond-Buying, Hints at October End

In a statement released Wednesday following the end of the Federal Open Market Committee's latest meeting, the Fed announced that starting in October, it will dial back its monthly purchases of agency mortgage-backed securities and Treasury securities to a combined pace of $15 billion per month. Barring any significant setback in the economy in the next month, the committee announced it could end its asset purchases at its October meeting.

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Analysts: Don’t Count Millennials Out Yet

Despite concerns about their current presence, millennials still have a major role to play in shaping the housing market in the coming years, researchers assert in a new report from the Demand Institute (TDI). Based on an analysis of economic and consumer research over the last 18 months, TDI predicts the number of households headed by millennials will reach 21.6 million by 2018, representing an increase of 8.3 million since 2013.

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Mortgage Applications Bounce After Post-Labor Day Plunge

MBA's Market Composite Index, a measure of application levels, rose 7.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending September 12, the group reported. The bounce followed a 7.2 percent decline in the previous week, which included an adjustment to account for the Labor Day holiday.

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End of Summer Brings Drag in Home Sales

Home sales in August remained below last year's pace for yet another month as prices inched higher, RE/MAX reported Tuesday. The real estate company calculated an 8.2 percent drop in August transactions compared to a year ago. Compared to July, August sales were down 6.6 percent. Out of the last six months, four have seen sales climb above the previous month's pace, RE/MAX reported.

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