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Tag Archives: First-Time Homebuyers

Slight Uptick in Applications Driven Solely by Refinances

Mortgage applications increased 1.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis in May, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's latest mortgage application survey released Wednesday. The survey measured application data for the week ending June 1 and included an adjustment for the Memorial Day holiday. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, application rates were not as strong, falling more than 9 percent from the previous week. Refinances continue to make up a large portion of mortgages, taking up 78 percent of activity for the week, up 1 percent from the previous week.

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Refinance Applications Spike as Investors Leave Europe: MBA

Investors fleeing Europe once more helped drive mortgage refinance applications to 3.8 percent this week, up from the week before, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The MBA's Refinance Index climbed 5.6 percent from the week before, signaling a rise for the third consecutive week and helping reach highs not seen since February earlier this year. The four-week moving average ticked up by 4.83 for the index. The refinance share of mortgage activity leapt to 76.6 percent of total application volume.

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Mortgage Rates Remain Near Record Lows as Europe Wavers

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hovered at 3.63 percent this week, up from record lows last week, with debt crises in Europe continuing to scare investors and drag down prospects for a steady economic recovery. Real estate Web site Zillow found the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage down to 3.63 percent, up from 3.59 percent last week. The 15-year home loan averaged 2.93 percent, while rates for 5-year and 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages reached 2.54 percent. Europe remains a sore spot for the economic recovery.

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Credit Unions Originate Record Number of Mortgages

First-lien home loans helped move credit unions to set new records with loan originations over the first quarter. Callahan & Associates, a Washington, D.C.-based law firm, said Monday that first mortgage originations reached $26 billion by the end of the quarter, accounting for 36 percent of originations. Credit unions reportedly originated 160,746 first-lien loans, with mortgages averaging $161,549. Consumer loan originations ticked up 16.6 percent to reach $39 billion quarter-over-quarter but fell year-over-year.

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Affordability, Inventory Improve, Still Shy of Full Recovery

The U.S. housing market continues to trudge down the slow, bumpy road to recovery with a few positive indicators lighting the way. However, a full recovery continues to linger listlessly on the horizon. Obama's Housing Scorecard for April, released jointly by HUD and the Treasury Department, reveals some positive movement in home sales, though prices continue to languish in many markets. Another piece of good news for the market: Housing inventory is now at a sustainable level. The market currently holds a 5.3-month supply of new homes.

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Green Homes Could Account for Nearly 40% of Construction by 2016

The residential construction market could tilt toward green homes if today's preferences persist, with one recent study estimating that energy-efficient residences could account for anywhere from 29 percent to 38 percent of the playing field by 2016. Unveiling the report at a homebuilders' conference Tuesday, McGraw-Hill Construction estimated that green homes amounted to 17 percent of the construction market last year. The study said that green homes could represent anywhere from $87 billion to $114 billion in gains to be had by the construction industry.

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Home Prices Fell in March Despite Low Sales Inventory: Survey

A surge in homebuyer traffic and waxing inventory failed to prevent home prices from declining in March, according to one survey. Polling 2,500 agents for their monthly HousingPulse Tracking Survey, Campbell Surveys and Inside Mortgage Finance found Monday that home prices for non-distressed properties slid 5.7 percent year-over-year, alongside 2.5 percent for move-in ready REOs over the same time frame. Prices for short sales plummeted 14.3 percent.

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Clouds May Lift for Housing, Economy by 2014: Survey

Housing lingered in the doldrums of a recovery last year but may pick up by 2014 as the U.S. economy generally improves, analysts and economists said Wednesday. The Urban Land Institute polled 38 real estate analysts and economists to signal their expectations for "broad improvements" in the nation├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós economy and real estate markets in 2012. The survey revealed that transaction volume in commercial real estate markets could reach as much as $312 billion in 2014, up from a projected $250 billion in 2012. The news is welcome for an industry that has stayed under a cloud since the crisis.

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HARP Shores Up Slowing Refinance Activity: MBA

A climb for mortgage rates last week cooled mortgage applications, leading overall volume to edge down by 2.7 percent. The Mortgage Bankers Association found in a weekly survey that the refinance share of mortgage activity also continued a six-week streak of declines, with a deflation from 73.4 percent of total applications to 71.9 percent last week. The Refinance Index accordingly ticked down by 4.6 percent from the week before, falling to the lowest figures since December last year. The MBA attributed the dip in a statement to a 12-percent decline in government refinance activity.

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Realtor Referrals Supply One-Third of Business for Lenders: Survey

Referrals from real estate agents guide about one-third of mortgage-financing decisions for today├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós homebuyers, according to a recent survey. Campbell Surveys and Inside Mortgage Finance polled about 1,800 Realtors in January to learn that agents recommended about 60 percent of the business for mortgage lenders. The survey inferred from the results that real estate agents influence or shape some 34 percent of mortgage-financed home purchases. Recommendations by many agents came about as a result of pre-existing relationships with lenders.

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