Fixed Mortgage Rates Hover Under 4%

Freddie Mac recently released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates moving down for the third week in a row as uncertainty about the economy pushed Treasury yields lower earlier last week.

“All eyes are on the upcoming July employment report, as the Fed has made it clear developments in the labor market will affect the timing of any potential rate hike,” says Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac. “The employment cost index rose 0.2 percent in the second quarter, the lowest quarterly increase in its 33-year history and ADP’s Private Employment Report missed expectations for private jobs in July. Uncertainty about the economy helped drive down Treasury yields early in the week, and thus mortgage rates fell 7 basis points to 3.91 percent, the lowest level since June 4th.”

Survey results show that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.91 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending August 6, 2015, down from the last week when it averaged 3.98 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.14 percent.

Additionally, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.13 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from the last week when it averaged 3.17 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.27 percent.

The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.95 percent with an average 0.4 point, unchanged from the week prior. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.27 percent.

Results show that the 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.54 percent this week with an average 0.3 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.52 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.98 percent.

For more information, visit www.freddiemac.com.

Realtor.com reports Housing Market Remains Strong

housing_market_strongWhether to buy or sell may not seem as black or white following recent housing indicators, which offered contradictory points of view, but Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at realtor.com® says the residential real estate market continues to show strong signs of health in July.

According to realtor.com®’s ‘Advance Read of July Trends’, which draws on residential inventory and demand trends over the first three weeks of the month, the prevailing positive price trend continues with the national median list price increasing to $234,000, up 7 percent year-over-year and 1 percent over June. Median days on market increased to 69 days, down 7 percent year-over-year, but up 5 percent month-over-month.

“It’s typical to see a slackening in the pace of market activity during this time of year, due to back to school and the dog days of summer,” Smoke says. “Increasing median days-on-market suggests the market is finding more of a balance, but demand is still strong. This bodes well for more moderate price appreciation in the months ahead.”

Over the last couple weeks, there have been reports that existing home sales are up (3.2 percent month-over-month), new home sales are down (-6.8 percent month-over-month), and pending home sales are down (-1.8 percent month-over-month) and up (8 percent year-over-year) – which has resulted in a lot of confusion.

“We have reviewed the data and taking into account less than perfect seasonal adjustment techniques at a very seasonal time for housing and the differing baseline metrics used in the various indicators, we’re comfortable that the market remains strong despite of these recent mixed signals,” states Smoke.

realtor.com® Hotness Index
The 20 hottest markets in the country, ranked by number of views per listing on realtor.com and the median age of inventory in each market, in July 2015 are:

July_housing_market_chart_RDC

According to the Hotness Index, California’s tight supply and economic-powered growth in demand continues to dominate the hottest markets. In particular, California’s Yuba City benefited from the strength of Northern California’s housing market, making its first showing in the top 20 coming in at number 14 this month, up from number 23 in June.

Yuba City looks like a classic California “spill over market” story, Smoke says, adding “The city stands out with one attribute most of California lacks —affordability.” According to realtor.com data, it is the fifth-least expensive market out of California’s 23 metros analyzed, with a strong supply of affordable housing.

Texas also remains strong for hottest markets again with four of the country’s most searched MSAs. Midland continues to gain strength, ascent, rising 10 spots to number 7 from June to July and up from number 34 in May.

Midland is still benefiting from years of economic growth driven by oil industry. However, new construction has declined and the median list price trends are negative. The market’s sudden rise could be fueled by sellers becoming eager to move inventory, leading to a faster-moving market, says Smoke.

For more information, visit www.realtor.com.