Mortgage Rates Hit Highest Levels Since Mid-2012

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage interest rates have increased to the highest levels seen in the past year and are expected to continue to increase as the economy grows. Although mortgage rates still remain low, 30-year fixed rate mortgages for loans falling under $417,500 jumped 3.59%, averaging 3.9% last week. The chief economist for Quicken Loans, Bob Walters said, “mortgage rates have jumped more in the past week than they have in years.” Walters also said that many loan shoppers are adapting to rising rates by switching to 10-year-loans. More here

Foreclosure Rates Remain Low

New data released from CoreLogic shows the number of foreclosed homes has remained unchanged from March to April. Both months had approximately the same amount of completed foreclosures, averaging around 52,000. Although foreclosures have not fallen continuously from month to month, they have decreased 16% from April 2012. The chief executive officer of CoreLogic, Anand Nallathambi said, “fewer distressed properties, combined with improving home prices and a pickup in home purchases are significant signals that the ongoing recovery in the housing and mortgage markets continues to gather steam.” More here

New Home Sales Increase

New home sales jumped in April to the 2nd highest level since mid-2008. Meanwhile, the median price of  new homes hit a record high, rising 8.3% from March 2012 and averaged around $271,600. Additionally, according to the Commerce Department, new home sales increased 2.3% last month from March 2012 and averaged a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 454,000. More Americans are expected to buy new homes due to job creation and low mortgage rates. More here

Home Prices Rise In Many Vacation Areas

According to Trulia, a real estate website, home prices in popular travel and vacation areas are up. On May 1st, the recorded median asking price for homes in vacation areas increased 1% from 2012. Vacation home sales are not rebounding as quickly as homes in other areas, but are expected to continue to gain momentum over the coming year as more homebuyers take advantage of lower interest rates. Vacation areas have been defined as areas where at least 25% of homes are used seasonally or occasionally. More here

Home Prices Increase by 6.7%

Home prices continue to rise increasing 1.9% from the previous quarter. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency, May has marked the seventh consecutive quarterly price rise in the purchase-only, seasonally adjusted index rate. From the first quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013, home prices have increased by 6.7%. The principal economist of FHFA, Andrew Leventis said, “the housing market has stabilized in many areas and homebuilding activity has strengthened in recent quarters.” More here

Mortgage Rates Near This Year's High

According HSH’s Weekly Mortgage Rates Radar, mortgage rates have inched up from last week. 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose 0.07% from last week, averaging 3.68% this week while conforming 5/1 Hybrid Adjustable Rate Mortgage rates also jumped 3 basis points averaging 2.62%. The vice president of HSH.com, Keith Gumbinger said, “after reaching lows for the year just four weeks ago, and despite plenty of mixed economic signals, 30-year fixed mortgage rates have quickly moved back to near this year’s highs.” More here

Housing Market Growth Proves Profitable For Home-Improvement Stores

The housing market continues to improve, helping many home-improvement retailers gain more revenue as more consumers invest in home projects. Home Depot Inc, the largest home improvement retail store in the United States posted their first-quarter profit showing their net income had increased by 18% to $1.23 billion. As home prices rise, more homeowners and homebuyers are gaining enough confidence to begin housing projects and spend more money on home improvements. More here

Economy Expected To Accelerate As Year Continues

According to Fannie Mae’s economic outlook the economy is expected to grow as the year continues and the housing market improves. The housing market is expected to continue building the economy well into 2014, according to many experts. The chief economist for Fannie Mae, Doug Duncan said,”our May forecast predicts that the second half of 2013 will be a little stronger than the first half, despite the slowdown during the past couple of months.” More here

Mortgage Rates Increase

According to Freddie Mac, mortgage rates have increased. A recent survey reported that mortgage lenders have been offering 30-year fixed-rate loans at an average of approximately 3.51% showing signs of a more stable economy. Consumer retail sales grew in April when many experts had forecasted a decline in retail sales and  mortgage delinquencies continued to fall. Additionally, 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.69% this week and according to a study from Mortgage Grader brokerage, closed home loans used for purchase only jumped 15% from January 2013. More here

Housing Market Confidence Jumps 3 Points

According to the National Association of Home Builders index,  housing market confidence has increased 3 points from April to May averaging around 44 points. The chairman of the building association,  Rick Judson said, “builders are noting an increased sense of urgency among potential buyers as a result of thinning inventories of homes for sale, continuing affordable mortgage rates and strengthening local economies.” Additionally, the current-sales index gained 4 points this month and future expectation of home sales also increased 1 point, reaching  its highest average since early 2007. More here