Sales and rates up, delinquencies down



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.”


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.”


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.


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.

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