Today is the 8-year anniversary since the USA was downgraded on 8/05/11 by S&P from a top credit rating.  Since 8/05/11, the yield on the US 10-year Treasury note has fallen from 2.57% to 1.85% and the S&P 500 has gained +189% (total return), equal to +14.2% per year.  The S&P 500 consists of 500 stocks chosen for market size, liquidity and industry group representation.  It is a market value weighted index with each stock’s weight in the index proportionate to its market value (source: BTN Research).
*The views, articles, postings and other information listed on this website are personal and do not necessarily represent the opinion or the position of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation.

08-09-2019

ASCENDING AFFORDABILITY

Housing affordability has reached an 18-month high. Commenting on the release of the latest Mortgage Monitor Report, Black Knight Financial Services Data & Analytics President Ben Graboske said, “The decline in 30-year rates has been equivalent to a 15% increase in buying power, meaning that prospective homebuyers shopping for the average-priced home could now purchase $45,000 more than last fall while keeping monthly payments the same.”

STILL STEADY

Mortgage interest rates remained stable according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending August 1. Regarding the absence of movement, Freddie analysts said, “The combination of low mortgage rates, tight labor market and high consumer confidence should set up the housing market for continued improvement in home sales heading into the late summer and early fall.”

MONITORING VS. MONEY

Data breach victims hoping to get a $125 check from Equifax will be disappointed. Equifax’s settlement with the Federal Trade Commission for the security breach that exposed private information of nearly half the U.S. population included a choice between cash and a combination of free credit monitoring and identity theft insurance for affected consumers. So many people have chosen the cash option that the anticipated $125 amount will be drastically lower. The FTC says the monitoring and other protections are a far better value.

CAMARADERIE COST?

What would you pay for the ability to choose your neighbors? Quite a bit according to a survey by rent.com. Single-family home dwellers are willing to pay an additional $157/month for the privilege of choosing their neighbors, while those in multi-family properties would go to $179/month. The “neighbor premium” also varies by area. Urban residents are willing to pay an extra $187/month to select neighbors, while those in rural and suburban communities said they would pay $161 and $158/month respectively.

*The views, articles, postings and other information listed on this website are personal and do not necessarily represent the opinion or the position of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation.

08-02-2019

DECREASED INCREASES

There’s been a dip in home price gains. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price NSA Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, reported a 3.4% annual gain in May, down from 3.5% in the previous month. S&P Dow Jones Indices’ Philip Murphy said, “Nationally, year-over-year home price gains were lower in May than in April, but not dramatically so. Among 20 major U.S. city home price indices, the average YOY gain has been declining for the past year or so and now stands at the moderate nominal YOY rate of 3.1%.”

LONGER LISTINGS?

It took longer to sell a home in June than it did in May. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) reported that the average time on market in June was 27 days, up from 26 in May and June of 2018. More than half of homes sold in June (56%) were on the market for less than a month.

PURCHASE POWER

Mortgage interest rates took a slight downward turn, giving a boost to home buyers’ purchasing power. Rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage are still hovering near three-year lows according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending July 25. NAR® President John Smaby said, “Securing and locking in on a mortgage now – given the current, favorable conditions – is a decision that will pay off for years to come.”

FIN FEARS

A national real estate brand is trying to ride the Discovery Channel’s wave. Century 21 is hitting social media to promote “Shark-free Listings” as Discovery kicked off its 31st season of Shark Week. All week, Century 21 will be responding in real-time to anyone on social media that expresses their fear of sharks with home listings located in the farthest spot from the coasts: Northern Kansas.

*The views, articles, postings and other information listed on this website are personal and do not necessarily represent the opinion or the position of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation.

07-26-2019

OWNER ACCUMULATION

Equity news keeps getting better: Average profit margins for homeowners who sold in the second quarter rose to nearly 34%, up from 31% in Q1 according to ATTOM Data Solutions. ATTOM’s Q2 2019 U.S. Home Sales Report (HSR) also showed average dollar gains over purchase price reached $67,500 during the same time period. The HSR also reported that the median sales price for homes sold in Q2 was up 10.8% from Q1 and 6.4% year-over-year.

AGENT ANGLES

The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) reports that the median existing-home price for all housing types in June reached an all-time high of $285,700, up 4.3% from June 2018 ($273,800). June’s price increase marks the 88th straight month of year-over-year gains, according to NAR’s latest Existing Home Sales report.

RATE RETURN

Mortgage interest rates trended upward after hovering at nearly the same levels for three weeks according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) for the week ending July 18. Freddie Mac attributes the uptick to increased consumer spending in the wake of hints that the Fed may cut short term interest rates.

COLLECTIVE DEBT?

One in four Americans with a credit report has at least one debt in collection according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The information is from the CFPB’s Market Snapshot: Third-Party Debt Collections Tradeline Reporting, which covered 2004-18. The majority of collections were for medical and telecommunications/utilities debt, at 58% and 20% respectively.

*The views, articles, postings and other information listed on this website are personal and do not necessarily represent the opinion or the position of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation.

07-19-2019

MARKET MOOD

It’s still a seller’s market according to the latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) from Fannie Mae. Fannie’s June data release showed that 67% of Americans think it’s a good time to sell a home, while 56% say it’s a good time to buy one. Still, 63% of respondents said they would buy a home instead of renting one if they were going to move. The overall HPSI dropped one-half percent between May and June, but still hovers near the survey’s all-time high.

PURCHASE PREPARATION

Renters planning to purchase a home are doing more looking than saving. In its latest Profile of Today’s Renter & Homeowner, Freddie Mac asked 403 renters, “Which of the following activities, if any, have you done in preparation for purchasing your next home?” The top three responses were “Looked at homes in person” at 30%, “Decided what neighborhood I want to live in,” also at 30% and “Saving/Saved for a down payment,” at 29%.

FAVORABLE FED?

Rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage stayed stable according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending July 11. Freddie analysts attribute last week’s lack of rate movement to “modestly improving U.S. economic data and a more accommodative tone from the Federal Reserve.”

INSPECTION INTEL

Most homes need repairs according to a survey conducted by online consumer and contractor networking site porch.com. A whopping 86% of one thousand adults said their home inspection uncovered issues. The top three areas requiring repair were roofs at 20%, electrical at 18.7%, followed closely by windows at 18.4%. Ninety percent of Porch’s survey respondents said the home inspection led to an average savings of $14,000 off the seller’s listing price.

*The views, articles, postings and other information listed on this website are personal and do not necessarily represent the opinion or the position of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation.

07-12-2019

REAL REBOUND

The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) says existing-home sales rebounded in May, recording an increase in sales for the first time in two months. Noting that each of the four major U.S. regions saw sales growth, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said, “The purchasing power to buy a home has been bolstered by falling mortgage rates, and buyers are responding.”

MINIMAL MOVEMENT

Rates for the 30-year fixed rate mortgage trended almost negligibly upward for the week ending July 3 according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Freddie attributes recent rate activity to a tug of war as “the fixed income market flashes warning signs while the equities market continues to march higher with optimism.”

SHORT-SIGHTED?

The latest version of Freddie Mac’s Profile of Today’s Renter & Homeowner released last month revealed that 82% of renters view renting as more affordable than homeownership. But the survey also showed that 34% of renters spend more than a third of their monthly household income on housing, compared to 25% of homeowners. Renters cited costs of getting into a home as reasons for their perceptions, suggesting education about mortgage qualification and requirements could help them budget and get in position to become homeowners.

TWO DECADE DROP

The majority of Americans are making their mortgage payments on time according to the latest CoreLogic Loan Performance Insights report. CoreLogic Chief Economist Dr. Frank Nothaft said, “Thanks to a 50-year low in unemployment, rising home prices and responsible underwriting, the U.S. overall delinquency rate is the lowest in more than 20 years.” Mortgages categorized as seriously delinquent (90 days or more past due) also dropped to a 14-year low in April.

*The views, articles, postings and other information listed on this website are personal and do not necessarily represent the opinion or the position of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation.

07-05-2019

UP AGAIN

Home prices were up month-over-month .9% and 3.6% year-over-year according to CoreLogic’s May Home Price Insights report. CoreLogic Chief Economist Dr. Frank Nothaft describes the latest numbers saying, “Interest rates on fixed rate mortgages fell by nearly one percentage point between November 2018 and May. This has been a shot-in-the-arm for home sales. Sales gained momentum in May and annual home price growth accelerated for the first time since March 2018.”

EYE-OPENING EQUITY

Along with home prices, home equity continues to grow nationwide with the exception of North Dakota. CoreLogic reports that Idaho and Nevada gained the most home equity in Q119 with an average of $21K. Wyoming followed with a $20K average gain, Utah at $19K and Hawaii with $16K. Home prices in North Dakota plunged -$16K during the same period.

FIXED RATE FLASHBACK

Mortgage interest rates dove to their lowest level in over 30 months according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending June 27. Freddie analysts expect near-term market improvement in home sales and prices.

COMMUTE CALCULATOR?

How important is drive time? According to a realtor.com® user survey, 85% of respondents said they would sacrifice home features like square footage for a shorter commute. Another 40% are seeking to reduce their commutes by up to 45 minutes. The survey was conducted in advance of the home search site’s release of its Commute Time Filter for iOS. Realtor.com® also plans to release an Android version of the new app that allows users to evaluate commute times during rush-hour and off-peak times.

*The views, articles, postings and other information listed on this website are personal and do not necessarily represent the opinion or the position of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation.

06-28-2019

PERPLEXING PRICES

It might be hard to tell if home prices are up or down, depending on the source and the measures used. The latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index shows that while home prices grew by 3.5% in April, it was the 13th consecutive month-over-month decline in growth. Regional numbers showed a big change between March and April: Eighteen of the top 20 metropolitan areas showed price drops in March, while April brought price increases in 10 of the same top 20.

SALES SPEED UP

Home sales picked up nationwide in May according to figures released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). All four regions tracked by NAR had sales increases in May, led by the Northeast. Explaining the 2.5% nationwide increase, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said, “The purchasing power to buy a home has been bolstered by falling mortgage rates, and buyers are responding.” NAR also reported that the nationwide median home price was up 4.8% last month to $277,700, marking the 87th straight month of year-over-year gains.

ADVANTAGEOUS INTEREST

Mortgage interest rates have stabilized over the last few weeks, with a pause in the downward trend that began last November according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending June 20. All the ingredients for a strong home purchase market are in place: low interest rates, strong job market, wage growth and consumer confidence.

CREDIT CONFIDENCE

More Americans think their credit scores are “good” or “excellent” than they did in 2015 according to Fannie Mae (FNMA). Fannie’s 2019 “Understanding of Mortgage Survey” shows that 75% of consumers believe they have good scores, compared to 69% when the first survey was conducted.

*The views, articles, postings and other information listed on this website are personal and do not necessarily represent the opinion or the position of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation.

06-21-2019

HELPFUL HOUSING

Fannie Mae’s (FNMA) Economic and Strategic Research (ESR) Group downgraded its projections for full-year 2019 and 2020 U.S. economic growth to 2.1 percent and 1.5 percent respectively, due to expected weakness in business investment and global economic conditions. The previous forecast was 2.3% growth for 2019 and 1.8% for 2020. Housing remains healthy according to FNMA Chief Economist Doug Duncan who said, “We expect housing to add to growth for the foreseeable future.”

INTEREST UNCHANGED

Rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage held steady last week on news of a deal that would suspend imposition of tariffs on Mexico was being negotiated. In the Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ending June 13, analysts at Freddie Mac said, “These historically low rates should provide continued opportunities for current homeowners to refinance their mortgages – which combined with new homebuyer activity – will help sustain the momentum in the housing market in 2019.”

FEWER FORECLOSURES

May marked the 11th consecutive month of declines in foreclosure filings according to ATTOM Data Solutions. ATTOM’s May U.S. Foreclosure Market Report also said that completed foreclosures were down 50% year-over-year. The top three states with the highest foreclosure rates were New Jersey, Maryland and Florida.

HOLD OR FOLD?

Las Vegas is the most over-valued real estate market in the U.S. according to the latest quarterly sustainable home price report from Fitch Ratings. The report estimates that real estate values in Vegas are overvalued by 20-25%. Fitch Managing Director Grant Bailey says prices are still growing, just at a slower rate. “Annual home price growth is now at the slowest rate in seven years,” Bailey said. “But the slowdown should plateau due to the recent drop in interest rates and the limited supply of new homes.”

*The views, articles, postings and other information listed on this website are personal and do not necessarily represent the opinion or the position of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation.

05-17-2019

GOOD GAINS?

There’s good news for homeowners and potential home buyers according to the latest Existing Home Sales data released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The median sales price nationwide was up 3.8% year-over-year in March with more homes for sale. There was 3.9 months’ worth of inventory on the market in March, compared to 3.6 months’ worth at the same time last year. The increase is welcome even though NAR considers six months of inventory to be a balanced market.

STRUGGLING SOUTH

The number of seriously underwater homes rose 25% year-over-year in the first quarter, totaling 5.2 million according to ATTOM Data Solutions. ATTOM defines “underwater homes” as those where “the combined balance of loans secured by the property are at least 25 percent higher than the property’s estimated market value.” The highest numbers of underwater homes are in the south: Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and West Virginia. Illinois rounds out the top five.

BOLSTERED BONDS

Tariff jitters diverted investors to the bond market last week, decreasing the 10-year treasury yields and triggering mortgage interest rates to trend slightly downward according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS). The PMMS for the week ending May 9 also showed interest rates are down almost one-half percent year-over-year.

REMODEL REGRETS

Remorse runs high among U.S. do-it-yourselfers according to improvenet.com. In a survey of 2000 Americans, the online project resource site found that 63% of respondents regretted at least one project, while one in three called in professionals to redo their work.

*The views, articles, postings and other information listed on this website are personal and do not necessarily represent the opinion or the position of American Pacific Mortgage Corporation.