Friday, October 30, 2015

Does A Mortgage Refinance Make Sense?

Does a mortgage refinance make sense? The answer to that common refinance question largely depends on your goals for your new mortgage and how long you plan to stay in your home.
Indeed, there are several benefits to refinancing:
  1. You can lower your monthly payment by taking advantage of lower mortgage rates.
  2. You can choose a different loan product.
  3. You can combine two mortgages into one.
  4. You can pay off your mortgage more quickly.
Whether you are choosing to refinance to record low mortgage rates to lower your monthly payments or you're refinancing from an ARM to a fixed rate, each refinance decision comes with its own set of questions and considerations.
Here are answers to eight of the most common refinance questions Read On...

Monday, October 26, 2015

After A Few Quiet Days

After a few relatively quiet days on the stock market, the Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 320 points on Thursday after Alphabet (Google’s parent company), Amazon and Microsoft all significantly beat profit expectations.  Investors have renewed faith for the time being that the markets are the place to put your money.

This week provided a number of housing reports that are pointing towards optimism for the future of housing.  On Monday the October Housing Market Index, which is a survey of home builders that asks them to rate the general economy and housing market conditions, came in strong with a gain of three points.  The current gain in home sales, along with the strong increase in construction permits, has builders very optimistic that housing will continue to grow in the coming months.

The housing starts index for the month of September reinforced growth in the real estate sector.  Although the increase was driven primarily by multi-family construction, the increase is still positive news for the housing market.  Multi-family construction jumped 6.5 percent while single family starts rose a meager 0.3 percent.

The strongest housing report came from the existing home sales data which bounced back very strongly in the month of September.  Sales jumped 4.7 percent which reverses the prior months drop of 5.0 percent.  Based upon the recent track record of home sales it appears that the decline in August was more an exception than a real indication of the current housing trend.  The sales report was on the high end of most analyst’s predictions and is the second best reading on existing home sales since the start of the recovery.  Compared to last year existing homes sales are up 8.8 percent.

The only housing report this week to come in with less of a bang was the FHFA House Price Index.  The index, which measures the data on single-family home prices reported by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, showed that price appreciation slowed somewhat in August.  Home prices from July to August only increased 0.3 percent.  This was on the low end of expectations and comes in less than July’s revised increase of 0.5 percent.  Year over year home prices are 5.5 percent higher.

Finally, with mortgage rates sitting at 6 month lows, applications for purchases and refinances soared for the week of October 16th.  Applications for purchases jumped 16.0 percent while refinance apps rose a strong 9.0 percent.  What is great news about the loan data is that typically when rates decline, refinance applications rise more than purchase apps.  In this case the opposite happened which reinforces that future home sales data will likely be strong.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

·        Monday October 26th – New Home Sales
·        Tuesday October 27th – Durable Goods Orders & S&P Case-Shiller HPI
·        Wednesday October 28th - MBA Mortgage Applications & FOMC Announcement
·        Thursday October 29th - First Time Jobless Claims & GDP
·        Friday October 30th – Consumer Sentiment

As your mortgage and real estate professional , I am happy to assist you with any information you may need regarding mortgage or real estate trends.  I welcome the opportunity to serve you in any way I possibly can.  Please feel free to reach me at (707) 455-7070.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Could Home Buyers In San Francisco Bay Area Catch A Break Soon?

Those looking for some signs of positive relief from the gyrations of the financial markets will be happy to know that the San Francisco Bay Area housing market is still strong and thriving. But there is change on the horizon. Read On....

Monday, October 19, 2015

Don't Try To Figure It Out

Sometimes it just does not make sense to try and figure out the movement of the stock market.  The market has limited movements on some days and major jumps or declines the next.  The market which was quiet for most of the week jumped 217 points on Thursday to the best levels since August.  The rise was related to better than expected earnings reports from companies in the financial sector.  The end of the year market rally seems to be picking up steam.  Only time will tell but for now investors are reaping the benefits of the markets upward trajectory.

The major economic reports for the week were released on Wednesday and Thursday.  In the housing sector the Mortgage Bankers Association of America reported that mortgage applications plummeted for the week ending October 9th.  You may recall that the prior week applications soared as mortgage and real estate professionals did everything possible to get applications submitted before the implementation of the new lending disclosures.  The MBA reported that purchase applications plummeted 34 percent while refinance applications declined 23 percent.  These drops essentially eliminated the previous week’s gains of 27 percent and 24 percent respectively.

Next week significant housing reports are due out which will give a more accurate perspective what is happening.  The report on housing starts will be released on Tuesday and the data on existing home sales will be reported on Thursday.

In other news, the latest data indicates that inflation continues to virtually non-existent therefore pressure for the Fed to raise rates continues to be low.  The consumer price index for the month of September showed inflation at 1.9 percent.  When you remove volatile food and energy prices inflation at the consumer level was up only 0.2 percent.  Prices on the wholesale level also confirmed that there is little upward pressure on prices.

In what may be a sign of consumer confidence deteriorating, retail sales for the month of September declined an unexpected 0.3 percent.  Analysts were expecting sales to remain flat.  With the economic uncertainty in abundance in the media, it appears that consumers are electing to keep money in their wallets for the time being.

To finish this week’s newsletter on a positive note, the first time jobless claims for the week ending October 10th, claims continue to remain at historic lows.  Claims were reported at 255K which was a drop of 7,000 from the prior week.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

·        Monday October 19th – Housing Market Index
·        Tuesday October 20th – Housing Starts
·        Wednesday October 21st - MBA Mortgage Applications
·        Thursday October 22nd - First Time Jobless Claims & Existing Home Sales
·        Friday October 23rd – PMI Manufacturing Index

As your mortgage professional, I am happy to assist you with any information you may need regarding mortgage or real estate trends.  I welcome the opportunity to serve you in any way I possibly can.  Please feel free to reach me at (707) 455-7070.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

These Are The Best Places To Raise A Family

When it comes to picking the best place to raise your family, good schools and a safe environment often top the list.
And while the best of those places are scattered across the country, many are around New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, according to  READ ON....

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Question On Wall Street Is “Are The Bulls Back?”

Despite the fact that the Fed has not raised interest rates as originally planned, which is an indication that the economy is not as strong as they would like, investors don’t seem to care much.  The stock market over the last five trading days is up over one thousand points.  The corporate profit reports for the 3rd quarter are coming out now and they are likely to set the tone for the market direction over the next couple of weeks.

This week there was little news for investors to chew on as far as economic reports.  The few reports that were available were essentially positive which further supported the recent market rally.  First time jobless claims are showing signs of moving even lower.  For quite some time the claims have been in a holding pattern at a healthy level of slightly under 300,000 per week.  The most recent report released for the week ending October 3rd show claims dropping down to 263,000.  This is the lowest point in 2-1/2 months.

The ISM Non-manufacturing Index, which measures services, construction, mining, agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting remains very strong.  Although for the months of September the index declined 1.0 point, the index overall has been at a very high level.  The recent measurements of this index have been running at or near an 18 year high.

In what is one of the largest jumps on record for mortgage loan applications, the Mortgage Bankers Association of America reported double digit increases in both purchase and refinance applications for the week of October 2nd.  Purchase applications soared 27.0 percent while refinance apps jumped 24.0 percent.  The driver of the tremendous increase is primarily due to the new lending disclosure laws that went into effect on October 2nd.  Because of the new lending disclosure requirements, lenders and loan officers pushed incredibly hard to get as many loans into the system prior to the rule implementation.

There continues to be much discussion and frustration in the mortgage industry pertaining to the implementation of the new disclosure rules.  The new rule known as TRID places even more work on lenders and loan officers to disclose information to borrowers, some of it being redundant. 

I am not suggesting that these new disclosure rules are not beneficial or necessary.  What I am saying is that the government, as they typically do, create new requirements for disclosure but do not provide adequate guidance in the implementation which creates chaos for the industry.   The mortgage industry is resourceful and we will adapt quickly to the new rules and business will resume a sense of normalcy in the coming weeks and months.

Next week’s potential market moving reports are:

·        Wednesday October 14th - MBA Mortgage Applications, Retail Sales & PPI
·        Thursday October 15th - First Time Jobless Claims & FOMC Minutes
·        Friday October 16th – Industrial Production and & Consumer Sentiment

As your mortgage professional, I am happy to assist you with any information you may need regarding mortgage or real estate trends.  I welcome the opportunity to serve you in any way I possibly can.  Please feel free to reach me at (707) 455-7070.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Mortgage rates: 'Definitely In Panic Mode'

Mortgage rates, which loosely follow the yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury, spiked Wednesday, after a brief reprieve last week. The move higher seems to signal that while rates rock back and forth every day, they are now on a trajectory to go up.
The days of 3.5 percent on the popular 30-year fixed mortgage are over.
"Definitely in panic mode," said Matt Weaver, senior mortgage loan originator with PMAC Lending Services. "A lot of refinance clients are moving to locks immediately because the Fed talk is starting to be an eye opener for everyone." Read On.....