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 / August 5, 2013
As mortgage rates rise and refinancings fall dramatically, banks are in search of new business. That, in turn, has them easing lending standards for some borrowers, according to a new monthly survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Credit availability rose 2 percent in July and is up 3 percent from May, when interest rates began their climb, according to the MBA index.
“The increase was primarily driven by increases in product offerings that allow cash-out refinancing, and some increase in offerings for borrowers with higher LTVs, or lower credit scores,” according to
Michael Neal / NAHB / August 5, 2013
According to Freddie Mac, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage rose by 8 basis points over the week to 4.39%. Since the beginning of the year, mortgage rates have risen by about 1 percentage point and are now at a level last seen in August 2011.
The rapid rise in mortgage interest rates could affect housing affordability through higher monthly mortgage payments. However, monthly mortgage payments are not the only path by which rising interest rates can affect affordability. Homebuyers can instead decide to raise their downpayment amount in order to maintain an otherwiseRead More
Paul Emrath / NAHB / July 30, 2013
In June, interest rates on conventional mortgages used to purchase newly built homes increased slightly while the size of the loans declined, according to data released today by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). The new FHFA data show that the average contract interest rate on conventional loans for newly built homes increased 11 basis points to 3.52 percent, back to where it had been in April. Initial fees on the loans declined (from 1.30 to 1.12 percent), but the effective rate after amortizing the fees was still up 9 basis points, to 3.64 percent.Read More
Kyle Stock / Bloomberg/BusinessWeek / July 26, 2013
What a difference a percentage point makes. A slight rise in U.S. mortgage rates—the average for a 30-year fixed mortgage inched from about 3.3 percent in May to 4.3 percent this week—is spooking would-be home buyers and complicating forecasts for builders. Much to the agony of those builders, younger consumers appear transfixed by the shockingly low rates of recent years without paying any mind to historical mortgage norms.
Skittish buyers have become more worried about rising rates than they are about surging home prices, according to a new survey from real-estate data company Trulia.Read More
Frank Anton / BUILDER / July 24, 2013
Some analysts are all aflutter about rising mortgage rates and a decline in existing home sales. Builders and buyers, not so much.
Yes, rates are up, and higher rates make housing less affordable. Couple that with housing price increases in many markets, and affordability is taking the old one, two.
Nonetheless, just last week the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index jumped 6 points to 57, the highest reading since January 2006. On top of that, the component of the Index that gauges builders’ sales expectations for the next 6 months gained 7 points to 67, the strongest reading since…2005!Read More