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US sees surge in mortgage applications

Property Here - Thursday, July 18, 2013

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The overall number of housing loan applications filed in the US soared 22 percent last week compared to the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly survey, which covers more than 75 percent of all residential loan applications in the country.

However, the market composite index slid by 2.6 percent on a seasonally-adjusted basis, which included an adjustment for the Independence Day holiday. At the same time, the refinance index fell 4.2 percent, while the seasonally adjusted purchasing index edged up by one percent.

Refinancing of existing loans accounted for 63 percent of all mortgage applications, down from 64 percent from the previous week, or the weakest level since April 2011. On the other hand, Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) comprised 7.2 percent of the total applications, while refinances under the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) made up 34 percent of all applications, down from 35 previously.

The average rate for 30-year fixed loans with conforming balances remains the same at 4.68 percent, while the average rate for mortgages with jumbo balances fell to 4.81 percent from 4.86 percent a week earlier.

The rate on the 30-year fixed loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) rose to 4.38 percent from 4.37 percent, the average rate for 15-year fixed mortgages declined to 3.7 percent from 3.76 percent, while the 5/1 ARM average fell to 3.39 percent from 3.4 percent previously.

US mortgage rates remain volatile

Property Here - Wednesday, July 10, 2013

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Mortgage rates in the US have reached their highest level in two years after jumping more than 20 points last week, according to data from US real estate portal Zillow.

The data showed 30-year fixed mortgages in the US increased from 4.17 to 4.41 percent, the highest since July 2011.

The figures were based on real-time pricing of custom mortgage quotes submitted daily to anonymous borrowers on Zillow's Mortgage Marketplace site.

Zillow noted that rates were volatile all week, hovering between 4.2 percent and 4.3 percent earlier in the week, before jumping to 4.6 percent on Friday then dropping to nearer the current rate early this week.

“Rates surged on Friday after a stronger than expected jobs report and upward revisions to prior months’ unemployment levels,” said Erin Lantz, Director of Zillow Mortgage Marketplace.

“This week, rate movement will depend on whether Wednesday’s release of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's speech reinforce or depress market expectations of a September start of easing federal stimulus,” she said.

The current rate for a 15-year fixed home loan is 3.41 percent and 3.38 percent for a 5-1 adjustable-rate mortgage.

US US mortgage rates dip

Property Here - Friday, April 05, 2013

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By Nikki De Guzman:

US mortgage rates dipped this week, cutting borrowing costs as the country's residential property market heads into its second year of recovery, reportedBloomberg.

Average 30-year fixed loans fell to 3.54 percent this week ended April 4 from 3.57 percent previously, while its 15-year counterpart slipped to 2.74 percent from 2.76 percent, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac.  

Mortgage applications dropped four percent in the week ended 29 March after recording a 7.7 percent gain in the previous week, said the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Its home loan index declined 5.6 percent, while its gauge of purchases rose by 1.4 percent. 

Meanwhile, US home prices climbed 10.2 percent in February compared to the same period a year ago — its highest increase since March 2006. It was also the 12th straight month of year-on-year gains, fuelled by tight inventory of homes and low borrowing costs, noted analytics firm CoreLogic.

“The house-price rebound shows no sign of spluttering out. Nor should it. After all, supply conditions are still very tight,” said Paul Diggle, property economist at London-based Capital Economics.

Notably, the National Association of Realtors said that supply of homes for sale climbed in February after falling to a 12-year low in January.


Nikki De Guzman, Junior Reporter at PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact her about this or other stories email nikki@allproperty.com.sg