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Mortgage Interest Rates Remain Flat: Zillow

Weak economic news out of Europe and comments from the Federal Reserve chairman last week conspired to keep interest rates for mortgage loans near all-time lows ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô and flat ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô for another week. Real estate Web site Zillow found the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hovering at 3.81 percent, down from 3.88 percent last week. The 15-year loan averaged 3.04 percent, even while the 5-year and 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages hit 2.57 percent. The Web site found mortgage rates zigzagging in states across with the union, with those in California and New York each falling furthest at a clip of 11 basis points.

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Mortgage Applications Tick Up 4.8% Last Week: MBA


Scheduled increases for government premiums and springtime for a still-steady recovery helped drive up mortgage application volume by 4.8 percent last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday. The trade group also found mortgage applications headed up by 5 percent on a seasonally unadjusted basis. The Refinance Index ticked up 4 percent from last week, with the refinance share of mortgage activity on a decline to 71.2 percent of total application volume, down from 71.9 percent from the week before.

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Construction Spending Rose 5.8% in February

Construction spending rose 5.8 percent in February from estimates last year to reach a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $808.9 billion. The Commerce Department found Tuesday that figures in February went above estimates from the same month last year but fell 1.1 percent below revised numbers from January. Private construction expenditures grew to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $527.3 billion, roughly 0.8 percent below revised estimates of $531.7 billion from January.

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V.I.P. Mortgage Enhances Loan Production in Arizona

V.I.P. Mortgage is increasing its footprint in Tucson, Arizona. The company recently announced that it conducted in excess of $113 million in mortgage loans during 2011, and V.I.P. also noted that it is continuing to add home loan specialists within its Tucson branch, hiring nearly a dozen personnel last year alone. The company has merged two of its loan groups in the city, combining V.I.P. teams led by Rob Purvis and Jim Kaiser. Currently, V.I.P. has a total of 35 employees in Tucson.

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Gateway and MCS Announce Partnership

Mortgage Contracting Services (MCS) has been selected by Gateway Mortgage Group as the company's partner for property inspection and preservation needs. Targeting enhanced efficiency for the property-related management of its servicing portfolio, Gateway chose Florida-based MCS for streamlined support.

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Churchill Hires New Home Loan Specialists

In Texas, Churchill Mortgage has added two industry professionals to bolster mortgage loan production in its Houston branch. The company recently announced that Peter Oreziak and Mike Gonzalez have been hired as home loan specialists. Prior to joining Churchill, Oreziak accrued more than nine years of experience in the mortgage business, and he has previously been active in customer service and transaction protection initiatives. Oreziak's new role for Churchill encompasses the provision of client guidance throughout the lending process from application to funding.

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United Wholesale Mortgage Adds USDA Loan Products

In Michigan, United Wholesale Mortgage is adding a new mortgage loan product to its portfolio, recently announcing that the company would begin offering loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. UWM seeks to enhance its existing government platform of Federal Housing Administration and Veterans Affairs loan programs through the extension of USDA loans. The USDA products from UWM will be comprised of 30-year fixed rate, 0 percent down mortgages with finance closing costs, competitively low rates, and financed appliances with minimal restrictions.

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Report from Equifax, Moody’s Shows Uptick in Originations

Recently released findings from Equifax's March National Consumer Credit Trends Report and CreditForecast.com revealed that originations are on the uptick, with notable increases in the sub-prime segment across all lending sectors. The survey, which evaluated activity for credit cards, auto finance, consumer finance, and student loans, showed that home financing balances fell to $8.7 billion during February. Total consumer debt in the U.S. stood at $11 trillion for February, representing an 11 percent drop since highs seen in the fourth-quarter of 2008.

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Spending Growth Outpaces Income in February

Consumer spending grew 0.8 percent in February, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Friday, fueling expectations for a stronger first quarter economic surge than economists have forecast. Personal spending grew faster than the 0.6 percent market consensus. Personal income, BEA reported, grew just 0.2 percent in February, half the rate of growth expected by economists. In dollars, spending increased $86.0 billion in February while income ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô from all sources ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô grew $28.2 billion. Spending for the first two months of the quarter averaged $10.9 billion.

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Mortgage Rates Dip, Staying Aboard Rollercoaster

Higher gasoline prices and concerns about Chinese growth fed bond investments, driving down mortgage rates once again amid worrying signs about the economy. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac found rates for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage falling from 4.08 percent last week to 3.99 percent this week. The company said the 15-year loan fell from 3.30 percent last week to 3.23 percent this week, a change of pace from 4.09 percent seen year-over-year. Five-year and 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages meanwhile slid from 2.96 percent and 2.84 percent to 2.90 percent and 2.78 percent, respectively.

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