by Laura Matiz
The most recent report (February 11. 2016) from Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows 30-year-fixed mortgage rates hitting 3.65%, near the 2015 low of 3.59%. Experts expect the rate to continue south, but whether we approach the 2012 historical lows (3.3%) is to be seen.
The lower cost of financing homes along with an improving labor market will offset home price increases expected this spring. Assuming global instability doesn't turn for the worse, I expect a robust spring in the Manhattan and Brooklyn apartment sales, especially in the $1M-5M market.
The best way to shop for a mortgage loan is via a mortgage banker. Please contact me if you need a referral.
Related market outlook reports from Freddie Mac:
by Laura Matiz
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Know Before You Owe mortgage initiative aims to help consumers make informed mortgage choices and reduce confusion by providing easy to compare loan options and costs. The initiative simplifies and consolidates some of the required loan disclosures while changing the timing of some activities in the mortgage process. The new rules took effect on October 3, 2015 and applies to purchase and refinance mortgages from all lenders. It is important for consumers to question the preparedness of any lender they are considering in meeting all the new regulations. These new procedures should help consumers make one of the most important financial decisions of their life an informed decision.
A key simplification is that the CFPB has combined four disclosure documents into two while redesigning the application and closing pages to mirror each other for easier comparison.
Diagram source: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
The CFPB provides an interactive detailed, section-by-section explanations for the Loan Estimate Explainer and the Closing Disclosure Explainer. It has also created this video explaining the new process.
The Loan Estimate
Lenders must provide a loan estimate within three business days once the consumer triggers the request by providing a required set of personal information, including the loan amount and property being considered. Lenders can no longer require additional documentation, making it easier to get multiple loan estimates. Lenders can't charges fees other than reasonable fees for credit checks. A loan estimate can be used by the consumer to understand the loan parameters, but doesn't imply an approved loan. Once the consumer is ready to proceed, he/she must inform the lender, at which point the lender can begin the process and charge fees. In fact, the lender can only request payment information after the intent to proceed is given.
The Closing Disclosure
Under the new rule, lenders must provide the new closing disclosure three business days before the scheduled closing. Much of this information used to be provided for the first time at the closing, a time not conducive to deliberate and careful examination of the figures and fees. It is important to note that most changes, as long as they don't alter the basic terms of the deal, will not require a new three-day review period. The only changes that require a new disclosure and a new three-day review period are:
Download a copy of the CFPB's step-by-step guides with interactive worksheets and conversation starters designed to deepen understanding of the mortgage market.
I am happy to help any of my customers understand and take advantage of some of the consumer-friendly changes to the process. Please reach out.
by Laura Matiz
Last fall I wrote (Rates: How Low Can They Go?, Oct 19, 2014) about the downward movement in mortgage rates as 30-year, fixed loans crossed the 4% barrier. Rates eventually bottomed out in April 2015 at a monthly average rate of 3.67%, but have been on the rise since then and have recently crossed above 4% as shown in the latest data from Freddie Mac.
The per month difference from the bottom rate (3.6%) to 4% is about +$23 per $100,000. The rising cost of financing homes might affect some sales in the second half of the year, but other factors such as the improving labor market and a strong housing sales will trump the effects of the rising rates leading to more home purchasers. It is important to note that mortgage rates are still near historical lows. With the rates inching upward, the mortgage refinancing market is likely to slow down. The best way to shop for a mortgage loan is via a mortgage banker. Please contact me if you need a referral.
Market outlook reports:
by Laura Matiz
Next weekend begins Daylight Savings Time. On Sunday, March 8th, we spring forward one hour. This calendar event has been my reminder that we are about to begin the busy spring real estate season. For many, the longer days and warmer weather act as catalyst to begin searching for a new home. And, given the inclement weather this winter, there is likely a pent up interest awaiting for sunnier days. If you are getting ready to buy or sell your New York City property, here are some things to keep in mind:
If you are considering jumping into the market this spring make sure you review the following reports:
I urge my former clients to please reach out to me for conversations on what has changed since our last transaction. For new clients, call me to help you think about whether this is the right time for you to jump into the real estate market. To learn more about me, read my bio on this site.
by Laura Matiz
As anyone in the market for real estate knows, mortgage rates have been dropping, reaching their lowest levels in 16 months. The last time rates crossed the psychological barrier of 4% for fixed rates was in June 2013. These new low rates are likely to generate a lot of activity in the refinancing market, with current owners looking to trim their monthly costs, especially if they missed the opportunity because unemployment or other factors disqualified them last time rates were this low.
For new buyers needing to finance their purchase, watching the rates board will become a sport as they try to lock in at the bottom of the market. These low rates might fuel new activity, especially with the Financial Times and others publications expecting rates to fall even further because of the skittish financial outlook, with global issues, such as the Ebola crisis, the new cold war with Russia, and the rise of ISIS in the middle east, taking hold.