News & Opinions
The latest news and insights from Hanley Wood’s outspoken experts and key thought-leaders throughout the residential and commercial design and construction industry.
Diana Olick / CNBC.com / January 15, 2013
Mortgage applications jumped sharply last week, as a weaker-than-expected December employment report sent interest rates lower.
Total application volume on a seasonally adjusted basis rose 11.9 percent on the week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Applications to refinance rose 11 percent and applications to purchase a home increased 12 percent, both seasonally adjusted.
The average contract rate for 30-year fixed mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) dropped to 4.66 percent from 4.72 percent. Rates had been rising after the Federal Reserve announcedRead More
Les Christie / CNNMoney.com / December4, 2013
Beginning Jan. 10, banks have to ensure that monthly mortgage payments are affordable, a result of the Dodd Frank law passed in 2010. The failure to do so carries strict penalties.
“My concern is that we’re going to be in an environment where some lenders are too small to comply,” said David Stevens, CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association.
During the housing bubble, some banks issued loans without even checking applicants’ income or assets.
Under the new rules, lenders must carefully determine that borrowers have the ability to repay their loans. That means, forRead More
Eye on Housing / NAHB / November 14, 2013
Strengthening house prices and increased interest rates in metros across the country contributed to lower housing affordability in the third quarter, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI).
In all, 64.5 percent of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of July and end of September were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $64,400. This is down from the 69.3 percent of homes sold that were affordable to median-income earners in the second quarter, and the biggest HOI decline since the second quarterRead More
Shayndi Raice / WSJ.com / November 6, 2013
Bank of America Chief Executive Brian Moynihan said the U.S. housing market is “fairly stable” at a Wall Street Journal event in New York Wednesday.
Big banks have seen their mortgage banking income decline in recent quarters as refinancing activity fizzles. But Mr. Moynihan said that a decrease in refinancing activity is not indicative of the strength of the overall U.S. housing market. Instead, he said that home purchases, which have grown slightly since the beginning of the year, are what spurs broader economic growth.
The head of second-largest U.S. bank by assets also saidRead More
BUILDER / October 30, 2013
In September, interest rates on conventional mortgages used to purchase newly built homes increased for the fourth month in a row, according to data released today by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).
During the month, the average contract interest rate increased by 10 basis points to 4.30 percent, while initial fees increased to 1.14 percent (from an average of 1.06 percent the previous month). The combination drove FHFA’s key measure of the average effective interest rate on new home loans (which amortizes the initial fees and incorporates them into the rate) up by 11 basisRead More