Consumer confidence in the housing market slipped slightly according to the latest Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI). Fannie Mae’s Chief Economist Doug Duncan says, “HPSI remains flat this month as perceptions of high home prices and expectations for rising mortgage rates continue to weigh on potential homebuyers. In September, the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate increased for the second consecutive month to its highest level since May 2011.” Even though the net share of Americans who said it’s a good time to sell remained the same, the number who said it’s a good time to buy rose by 5%.
Mortgage interest rates mellowed out after several weeks of rapid increases. The U.S. weekly average for the 30-year fixed rate mortgage dropped .05 for the week ending October 18 according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.
A new scoring method could help consumers who are trying to establish their credit for the first time or repair damage from financial distress. Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO), Experian and API provider Finicity will debut the UltraFICO™ Score pilot program early next year and widespread availability is expected by mid-2019. The new credit scoring method requires consumers to grant permission to gather information from banking statements, including the length of time accounts have been open, frequency of activity, and evidence of saving.
For the second time this year, Fannie Mae has issued a warning to lenders to help them identify an increasing number of companies that appear to be fake being used on mortgage applications. So far this year, Fannie Mae has identified 40 companies alleged to be spread throughout California, including the Los Angeles and Silicon Valley areas.
Sources: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Fair Isaac Corporation, Experian, Finicity
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