Foreign Homebuyers Surge into U.S. Market

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Our neighbors to the north seem to think the grass is pretty green on this side of the fence. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) says that foreign investment in the U.S. residential market skyrocketed to a new high during the 12 months that ended in March. Those sales were fueled by a substantial increase from Canadian buyers. NAR released results from its 2017 survey of international residential buyers on Tuesday. It shows buyers from each of the top five home countries increased their activity from 2016, and that nearly half of all foreign sales were in Florida, California and Texas. Between April 2016 and March 2017, foreign buyers and recent immigrants purchased $153.0 billion of residential property. This is 49 percent more than was indicated in the 2016 survey ($102.6 billion…(read more)

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Source: Mortgage News

Price Concerns Constrain Builder Confidence

Posted To: MND NewsWire

Home builder confidence continues backing down from its post-crisis peak earlier this year, although the National Association of Realtors (NAHB) calls results of its July survey “solid.” The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) dropped 2 points to 64, its lowest reading since last November . The June composite index was also revised down, from an original reading of 67. NAHB attributes the slippage to concerns over the costs of construction. “Our members are telling us they are growing increasingly concerned over rising material prices, particularly lumber,” said NAHB Chairman Granger MacDonald. “This is hurting housing affordability even as consumer interest in the new-home market remains strong.” “The HMI measure of current sales conditions has been at 70 or higher for eight straight…(read more)

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Source: Mortgage News

Current Lending Environment; FHA, VA News; HELOC Resets Doing Well

Posted To: Pipeline Press

How much would you pay to keep your job, or find a new one? Political analysts forecast that two wealthy contenders for the 2018 Illinois governor spot (yes, that Illinois, with its financial difficulties) will spend more than $300 million trying to be elected. Fiscal intelligence? What’s the environment like out there? Jeff Babcock , who heads up STRATMOR’s M&A effort, writes, “In conversations with various lenders, I’m detecting a growing degree of pessimism about mortgage origination performance for the full year 2017. It seems that even the best-managed lenders are maintaining volumes at 2016 levels, but with lower margins. The average performers’ volume is down 10% to maybe even 20%. While 2nd Quarter production accelerated after a slow 1st Quarter, several executives expressed concern…(read more)

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Source: Mortgage News

MBS Day Ahead: Bonds Thinking About a "Lead-Off" Ahead of Thursday

Posted To: MBS Commentary

It remains the case that Thursday is the focal point of the week, with European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi set to tell reporters how far away we are from a tapering announcement. Tapering is understandably a highly-charged topic, given how it played out in the US in 2013. Draghi is aware of the damage to financial markets and financial markets are aware that Draghi's aware. As such, they aren't expecting him to carelessly obliterate global bond markets. In fact, they're not expecting him to make much of a firm indication about what's going to happen in the future just yet–at least not in terms of actual dates or dollar (Euro amounts). In other words, he's increasingly seen as threading the needle that keeps tapering on the table, but that causes minimal panic…(read more)

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Source: Mortgage News

Mortgage Rates Higher Despite Friendly Market Movement

Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

Mortgage rates are largely dictated by movements in bond markets–specifically mortgage-backed securities (MBS). When bonds improve, prices rise and investors are willing to pay more to buy loans. This results in rates moving lower. In other words, bond market improvement = lower rates. With all of that in mind, today is a bit of a paradox as the average lender is quoting slightly higher rates today, despite general improvements in bond markets. Nothing too terribly mysterious is at work here though. The inconsistency has more to do with the timing of Friday’s market movements and the generally narrow range over the past four days. Specifically, bonds weakened progressively into Friday afternoon and most lenders never fully adjusted rate sheets to account for that weakness. This left the average…(read more)

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Source: Mortgage News