Home Sales Up, But At A More Normal Pace

houseU.S. home prices increased in May when compared to last year’s figures, but the gains have slowed to a more normal pace. National data provider CoreLogic said Tuesday that prices increased 8.8 percent in May compared with 12 months earlier. The pace of gains has slowed as more houses have come onto the market. On a month-to-month basis, prices rose 1.2 percent from April to May.

Prices increased the most in Western states, including Hawaii, California and Nevada. Home sales began to stall in the middle of 2013 after double-digit price increases and higher mortgage rates made real estate less affordable for many people. But sales rose last month as price gains have moderated and mortgage rates have dipped.

Sales of existing homes climbed 4.9 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million homes, according to the National Association of Realtors. However, sales are down 5 percent year-over-year. Sluggish sales, in turn, will slow annual price gains this year to a more normal rate of appreciation, roughly 5 percent or 6 percent, economists predict.

Prices rose in the last 12 months in every state, CoreLogic said. The states with the biggest price gains were Hawaii, 13.2 percent; California, 13.1 percent; Nevada, 12.6 percent; Michigan, 11.8 percent; New York, 11 percent; Georgia, 10.3 percent; and Oregon, 10.1 percent. Average prices have risen nationwide for the past 27 months, but homes nationwide are still 13.5 percent below their peak values in April 2006. Ten states have exceeded their previous peaks, including Alaska, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Colorado, Texas and New York.

Comments Off

Filed under Real Estate

Woodside Launches New Websites!

WM_Logo_SM

 

Comments Off

Filed under Mortgage, StraightForward

Rates Slightly Lower

 

 

 

Rates

With inflation fears at bay, fixed-rate home loans got a bit cheaper this week, with Freddie Mac’s survey putting the average interest rate for a 30-year mortgage at 4.29%, down from 4.33% a week ago.

The average rate for 15-year fixed mortgages declined to 3.38% from 3.39%.

 

Comments Off

Filed under Rates

Your Mortgage Checklist

checklistWhether you are interested in buying a home or getting a lower interest rate on your current mortgage, the following items will be required by all lenders for a new mortgage loan.  With underwriting guidelines being more conservative than ever it is essential to provide all documentation upon the initial loan submission if you wish to acquire a new mortgage as easily and efficiently as possible.

Here is the Checklist:

Provide clear, legible copies of the following for each borrower:

  1. driver’s license
  2. social security card
  3. most recent paystubs spanning complete 30-day pay period
  4. all 2012 & 2013 W2s
  5. 2012 & 2013 Federal Tax Returns (all pages, all schedules, CA Returns not needed)
  6. a recent statement (all pages) for your 401K, IRA, Stocks, Funds, etc.
  7. 2 months’ most recent Checking Account statements (all pages, not internet summary, primary account)

(these additional  items are required  for refinance transactions)

  1. recent homeowner’s insurance bill
  2. property tax statement
  3. recent HOA bill  (if applicable)
  4. most recent payment coupon for your 1st mortgage
  5. most recent payment coupon for your 2nd mortgage/heloc (if applicable)
  6. if subordinating a 2nd mortgage/heloc we need the NOTE for that loan
  7. recent statement for any account you wish to payoff through this transaction

Comments Off

Filed under Mortgage

Rates End Week Lower

Low RatesMortgage rates moved lower today, reaching their best levels of the week. Slumping stocks and geopolitical concerns contributed to positivity in the bond market, and when bond markets improve (specifically “mortgage-backed-securities,” or MBS), rates generally move lower. The most prevalently quoted conforming 30yr fixed rate for best-case scenarios (best-execution) remains at 4.375% in most cases. While this is the same rate as yesterday, the cost to obtain it is lower. If we express that cost improvement in terms of rates, it comes out to a drop of roughly 0.03%.

All that having been said, geopolitical instability has clearly kept downward pressure on rates. It’s impossible to say exactly how much, but we do know that the longer term trend is just now shifting from “sideways to slightly higher in rate” to “sideways to slightly lower.” It’s close enough to “flat” to confidently say we’d still be trending higher if not for Ukraine events. That’s not the sort of market-mover we want to be hoping for on an ongoing basis, or at all for that matter. It’s here though, and thus represents an opportunity while rates are as low as they’ve been in over a week.

Comments Off

Filed under Rates

Hey Feds, Don’t Lower Our Loan Amounts Further!

danger-sign11The Mortgage Bankers Association sent a letter to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, outlining its objections to a proposal that would reduce the maximum size of loans that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could purchase. The letter to FHFA Director Mel Watt said the agency’s proposal to reduce the maximum conforming and high-cost loan purchase limits for Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac purchases from $417,000 to $400,000 (and from $625,500 to $600,000 for high-cost areas) as early as Oct. 1 could have a “deleterious” effect on government housing finance and should only be considered as part of a more comprehensive housing finance reform effort. “Housing markets remain fragile and moving forward with this option risks further constricting access to credit and reversing progress made in the housing recovery without achieving a meaningful return of private capital,” MBA said. “Many potential homeowners remain on the sidelines unable to purchase a home or refinance their home loan due to rising rates, tight housing inventory and restrictive credit standards. In key housing markets, the proposed loan limit changes could exacerbate the problem.” MBA President and CEO David Stevens said MBA believes better options are currently available to FHFA to increase private capital participation without harmful effects. These options include expanding the GSEs’ successful use of risk sharing, which began during 2013, as well as offering lenders the option to arrange for deeper private mortgage insurance coverage in exchange for a reduced guarantee fee from the GSEs. “MBA believes these alternatives will not only increase private capital’s role in housing finance, but also produce tangible savings that can be passed on directly to borrowers,” Stevens wrote.

Comments Off

Filed under Mortgage

Home Affordability & Prices…What’s a Homebuyer to do?

 

More potemtg1ntial buyers are out trolling the nation’s neighborhoods for their dream homes. Unfortunately, they are finding little to look at and, even worse, they are finding higher prices than they expected.

Home prices are up 12.2 percent from a year ago, according to the latest February reading from CoreLogic. Meanwhile, wages are up just 2.1 percent from a year ago, according to Friday’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Investors, laden with cash, are buying fewer homes this spring, which leaves regular, mortgage-dependent buyers to pick up the slack.

While home prices are still well off their peak of the housing boom in 2006, it still costs the average homebuyer considerably more to buy a home today than it did then. That is because mortgage lenders require larger down payments and higher incomes to support the debt. Despite the fact that the rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage is slightly lower than it was in 2006, it is now a far more popular product in the market because all those “creative” mortgage products of the past are either gone or illegal. Rising mortgage rates and costs, tighter credit conditions, higher home prices. Add it all up, and affordability shrinks.

Home builders, who raised prices dramatically in the past year, are seeing the worst of it; they are reporting higher buyer traffic, but far less pull-through on sales than normal. Some are now offering incentives, like free upgrades in the home. It is tougher for them to lower prices now, because they are still faced with higher costs for land, labor and materials.

But despite weakening affordability, home price growth is still historically strong. That is because there is so little supply on the market for sale nationwide.  With rates expected to continue their general upward trend as the economy improves, any possible savings due to potential “mini” corrections in the housing market could be offset by these increasing rates.  It’s difficult to determine the absolute best time to buy, but if you find the right home then now may be the time to move forward.

 

Comments Off

Filed under Real Estate, StraightForward