Pending Home Sales Post 5th Straight Loss
Thu, 25 Feb 2021 15:47:49 GMT
January marked the fifth straight month that the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) has reported a decline in its Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI). The index, based on newly signed contracts for the purchase of existing homes, was down 2.8 percent from its December level. The index in January was at 122.8 compared to 125.5 in December and has lost 10 points since August. Still, pending sales were up 13 percent compared to a year earlier. This January's PHSI was, in fact, the highest for any January on record.    ...(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

New Home Sales on the Rise 4.3% in January
Wed, 24 Feb 2021 17:28:16 GMT
New home sales continued the turnaround, started in December, that ended three straight months of slowing sales. The U.S. Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development said newly constructed homes were sold in January at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 923,000 units. This is an increase of 4.3 percent compared to the upwardly revised (from 842,000) rate of 885,000 in December and 19.3 percent above the estimate of 774,000 units in January 2020. Analysts polled by Econoday had projected sales to be flat compared to the December estimate, in a range of 809,000 to 905,000 units. Their consensus was 855,000 annualized sales.  ...(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Delinquency Rate Lowest in COVID Era; but Lingering Risks Remain
Wed, 24 Feb 2021 16:18:13 GMT
Loan performance continued to improve in January although the number of delinquencies remains significantly elevated from pre-pandemic levels. Black Knight's first look at the month's loan performance data has both good news and some that is disquieting. The good news is a 121,000-loan decline in the number of loans that are 30 or more days past due but not in foreclosure when compared to the prior month. This reduced the national delinquency rate to 5.85 percent, the first time the rate has been under 6 percent since the pandemic hit in March 2020. The number of seriously delinquent loans, those 90 or more days past due but not in foreclosure, was reduced by 56,000 loans. Black Knight includes loans that are in active forbearance plans in its delinquency numbers if they are non-current.  ...(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Mortgage Application Volume Continues Decline
Wed, 24 Feb 2021 13:43:19 GMT
The volume of mortgage applications for both home purchase and refinancing fell for the third straight time during the week ended February 19. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) says its Market Composite Index, a measure of that volume, dropped 11.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis. It was the largest single week decline since the week ended April 3, 2020. On an unadjusted basis the index was down 10.0 percent. The Refinancing Index decreased 11 percent from the previous week but was still 50 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 68.5 percent of total applications from 69.3 percent the previous week.  ...(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

December Home Price Gains Highest Since 2014
Tue, 23 Feb 2021 16:25:38 GMT
Both the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller and The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) report that the country ended the year with more than a 10 percent annual increase in home prices. The Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, which covers all nine U.S. census divisions, showed a year-over-year gain of 10.4 percent in December while FHFA put the increase at 11.4 percent. The Case-Shiller National index showed significant acceleration in appreciation from the 9.5 percent reflected in its November report for the prior 12 months. The 10-City and 20-City appreciation was also faster than in November at 9.8 percent and 10.1 percent compared to 8.9 percent and 9.2 percent, respectively.  ...(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Existing Home Sales Rise, But Inventories Hamper Results
Fri, 19 Feb 2021 16:42:27 GMT
Existing home sales started the 2021 with a small increase from the December sale levels, the second consecutive monthly gain. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) said transactions that include pre-owned single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops, increased 0.6 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.69 million units compared to 6.76 million in December. The month's results are up 23.7 percent from the annual rate of 5.41 million sales in January 2020. Existing home sales have increased in seven of the last eight months, even though pending sales, generally considered a leading indicator for the following one or two existing sales reports, have posted four straight monthly losses.  ...(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Prevention Measures and Increased Borrower Equity Lower Foreclosure Risk
Fri, 19 Feb 2021 16:38:03 GMT
The Urban Institute (UI) says the surge in foreclosures predicted as the COVID-19 pandemic drove unemployment to the highest level since the Great Depression may not materialize, even when the current forbearances end. Two UI researchers, Michael Neal and Laurie Goodman, say that even vulnerable homeowners may be spared, and they think they have identified the reasons. Mortgage forbearance rates peaked at 8.55 percent of active mortgage in June 2020 and began to fall when unemployment rates did. Since October, however, both unemployment and forbearance rates have flattened. This has heightened concern that many homeowners could face foreclosure later this year....(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Forbearances Post Unsuprising Mid-Month Increase
Fri, 19 Feb 2021 14:36:27 GMT
There was a 15,000 loan or 0.06 percent increase in the overall number of forbearances last week.  Black Knight says that the gain was somewhat typical of the mid-month performance of the program, with the largest declines at the beginning of the month, tapering off as the previous month's plan expirations are processed. Only one out of every 77 homeowners who were in forbearance at the beginning of the week had exited by the end, one of the lowest removal rates. However new plan entries hit a post-pandemic low.  ...(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Refi Share of Closed Loans Rose 7 bp in January
Fri, 19 Feb 2021 14:32:48 GMT
Ice Mortgage Technology (formerly Ellie Mae) said that closed loans continued show declining note rates in January, dropping from an average of 2.93 percent in December to 2.88 percent. The decline occurred across all loan types. The 30-year rate on conventional loans dropped to 2.91 percent from 2.96 percent and the 30-year rate on FHA loans declined by 8 basis points to 2.86 percent. The VA rate averaged 2.60 percent compared to 2.66 percent the prior month. As rates retreated, the percentage of refinances continued to increase, the ICE Mortgage Origination Report said, representing 67 percent of closed loans, up from 60 percent in December 2020. The refinance share varied among lenders, from 74 percent for conventional loans, to 36 percent for VA loans, and 24 percent for FHA. The FHA refi share was up 5 basis points month-over-month while the refi share for each of the other two increased 6 basis points.  ...(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Permitting Soars as Builders Prep for Spring
Thu, 18 Feb 2021 15:46:14 GMT
Builders appear to be prepping for a huge spring. While the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development report that housing starts were down in January, typically the case in winter, housing permits were issued at what is probably a post housing crisis high. The seasonally adjusted rate of permitting during the month was at an annualized 1,881,000 units, a 10.4 percent jump from December's rate of 1,704,000, itself a more than 4 percent monthly increase, up 22.5 percent from the 1,536,000 permits issued in January 2020.  ...(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Buyer Demand Shores Up Builder Confidence
Wed, 17 Feb 2021 16:40:11 GMT
After dropping from record high levels by a total of 7 points over the last two months, the index that measures home builder confidence has stabilized. The Housing Market Index (HMI), produced by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo, rose 1 point in February to 84. "Demand conditions remain solid due to demographics, low mortgage rates and the suburban shift to lower cost markets, but we expect to see some cooling in growth rates for residential construction in 2021 due to cost factors, supply chain issues and regulatory risks," said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. "Some builders are at capacity and may not be able to expand production due to these headwinds."  ...(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Forbearance Relief Extended Through June
Wed, 17 Feb 2021 14:33:26 GMT
The White House announced on Tuesday that the various COVID-19 relief programs available through The Department of Housing and Urban Development, Veterans Administration, and the Department of Agriculture will be extended. The forbearance program, which allowed homeowners to postpone or reduce mortgage payments, was due to reach the final 12-month mark for many borrowers on March 31. 2021. That has been extended until June 30, 2021.  There will also be a provision to allow homeowners who have been impacted by the pandemic to apply to enter the program until June 30, 2021. President Joseph Biden had already extended the foreclosure moratoriums for federally guaranteed mortgages to June 30, 2021 the day after his inauguration.  ...(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Mortgage Volumes Resume Downward Trend as Rates Rise
Wed, 17 Feb 2021 13:15:23 GMT
The volume of mortgage applications declined again last week, the fourth loss out of the six full weeks since the year began. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA says that its Market Composite Index, a measure of application volume, has lost an aggregate of 9.6 percent since the week ended January 1. In the most recent week, which ended February 12, the index was down 5.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis and 4.0 percent before adjustment. The Refinance Index decreased 5 percent from the previous week although it remains 51 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 69.3 percent of total applications, from 70.2 percent during the week ended February 5.  ...(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Fannie/Freddie Report Record Growth for 2020
Tue, 16 Feb 2021 14:41:12 GMT
Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs) reported strong financial results in the fourth quarter of 2020 and significant growth in their net worth which, for the first time in their 12 years in conservatorship, they have an unlimited capacity to grow. Fannie Mae's net and comprehensive income was $4.6 billion in the fourth quarter and $11.8 billion for the entire year. The quarterly net and comprehensive incomes were both about $300 million higher than in Q3, but the full year fell well short of the 2019 total net of $14.2 billion and comprehensive of $14 billion.  ...(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.

Home Buyers Frustrated by More Competitive Bidding
Tue, 16 Feb 2021 14:31:59 GMT
The quarterly Housing Trends Survey conducted by the National Association of Homebuilders found that 69 percent of those actively seeking to buy a home have spent as much as three months searching without success. Rose Quint, writing in NAHB's Eye on Housing blog, says that for the first time in the survey's history, the number one reason for the protracted timeframe wasn't because the potential buyers couldn't find an affordably priced home, although that was the reason cited by a third of them. Forty percent, however, said they continue to be outbid by other buyers.  ...(read more)Forward this article via email:  Send a copy of this story to someone you know that may want to read it.