Going Up! Mortgage Applications, Home Prices,
Building Costs & Inventory
May 20, 2021 | Mortgage applications went up for the second straight week. That includes loans of all types that increased to their highest levels over the past two weeks. The biggest challenge is applications are rising but low housing inventory and soaring prices limit buyers’ ability to purchase.
Another huge challenge is the shortage in lumber and building materials. Here’s the situation:
* Who and What? According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the cost of lumber has tripled over the past 12 months. That means a typical new single family home has seen an increase in price by $35,875.
* Why? Many lumber mills nationwide were forced to close or reduce production because of the pandemic.
* When will it end? No time soon. NAHB predicts prices will stay high this year.
Beyond home building specifically, the lumber and building material shortages are putting off home improvement projects for sellers preparing to list existing homes. And it is also impacting renovation loan purchases that could help the right buyers purchase and update less desirable homes.
The good news is that there is reason for hope. For existing home sales we are seeing the very early signs of increasing inventory. Zillow found that homes listed for sale rose by 30 percent between February and March.
Are You Interested in a Free Consultation? Please contact Mortgage Loan Partner Michele Anapol today at (703) 862-3033 for a free rate quote and consultation based on your personal goals and financial picture.
Two Reasons Why Housing Inventory is Set to Rise (Finally)
May 12, 2021 | Inventory, inventory, inventory – that’s the mortgage and real estate mantra now. Long lines at open houses and bidding wars are the main results of today’s low housing inventory. Of course, low inventory and high prices go together with demand pushing home prices upward.
The National Association of Realtors recently found that housing inventory nationwide was at only 1.07 million homes for sale. That’s down by more than 28% year over year and the lowest in 40 years. The median priced home for active listings in the U.S. was $375,000 last month – a staggering 17.2% annual increase.
Low interest rates and a desire for more square footage and outdoor space during the pandemic have moved some sellers to list their homes. But it’s simply not been enough. The good news is that there are two reasons why housing inventory is likely to increase soon:
1. Survey Finds Seller Hesitancy is Lifting: We know that many would be sellers haven’t listed their homes due to the pandemic. They didn’t want to invite strangers into their homes before the vaccines or make big moves given economic uncertainty. That’s all about to change based on new industry data. Specifically, a survey of aspiring sellers found that 45% plan to list their homes by the end of June and another 26% have plans to list between July and October.
2. Aspiring Sellers Want Low Rates: Mortgage interest rates are likely to remain steady at historic lows. This will no doubt offer an additional nudge to those once hesitant sellers to hit pause on Netflix and list their homes.
One thing is for sure. Low inventory never lasts forever because sellers almost always want to move-up and first-time homebuyers are waiting for their opportunity.
Are You Ready to Get Pre-Approved? Please contact Mortgage Loan Partner Michele Anapol today at (703) 862-3033 to get started and for a free mortgage rate quote. She’ll also tell you more about our full appraisal credit — and other purchase and refinance credits — that mean more money in your pocket at closing!
Washington Shows Us the 2021 Home Loan Money
January 5, 2021 | Home prices skyrocketed last year. Now, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s regulator, has taken notice.
The agency’s policy wonks have raised the 2021 national conforming home loan limit to $548,250 from $510,400 in 2020. That means eligible borrowers can qualify to purchase homes with higher price tags. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is also increasing the loan limit to $356,362 from $331,760 for most of the nation.
But did you know that FHA loan limits vary by county?
Recently, a client had an FHA pre-approval and was looking for a single-family home in Palm Beach County. Then, they fell in love with a home in St. Lucie County that has a lower FHA loan maximum. They would have had to pay the difference in a higher downpayment.
For a simple tool to bookmark for double checking this year’s Florida FHA loan limits by county click here.
Mortgage Loan Partner’s Michele Anapol on the
Value of Being a Strong Communicator in the Industry
October 7, 2020 | Michele Anapol of Mortgage Loan Partner was featured today in Mortgage Professional America magazine. She emphasizes the importance of being an effective communicator in the home loan industry.
Specifically, Michele points to consistent and reliable communication as a shared quality among successful mortgage brokers and real estate agents whose clients reach the closing table completely satisfied.
Read the full story from Mortgage Professional America
10 Tips for Getting the Best Mortgage Rate
October 5, 2020 | Mortgage interest rates ticked down yet again to near historic lows. But not everyone can take full advantage of them. Your credit and more determine how low your rate can go. Check out the top 10 tips for getting the best rate.
Read the full story from Forbes
London’s Skinniest Home Comes With a Heavy Price
September 26, 2020 | At just 6 feet wide, the skinniest house in London is on the market for $1.2 million. The slim 1,034 square foot home has two bedrooms and stands five stories.
The property is listed by Simon Waller of Winkworth. They describe the home as “quirky and charming.” The house was once a hat shop that was transformed into a home by fashion photographer Jurgen Teller.
Read the full story from House Beautiful
That’s Right: 45-Days to Close is the Industry’s New Norm
September 24, 2020 | One of the most common questions I get as a home loan officer is: “How long will it take to close on a home purchase?” Lately, clients and realtors haven’t liked my answer: Across the mortgage industry right now 45-days to close is the new norm.
This is according to top mortgage technology provider Ellie Mae, which found recently that the days of the 30-day close are gone.
Read the full story from Motley Fool
Today’s Mortgage Rates Ease
September 21, 2020 | Mortgage rates dropped again today. The recent downward trend has led to 30-year fixed rates in the low 3 percent range across the mortgage industry.
Read the full story from Bankrate
The Fed: Yes, Low Interest Rates are Likely to Continue
September 16, 2020 | Everyone is wondering how long today’s historic interest rate lows can continue. But for how long?
Read the full story from CNN Business
Trying to Decide Between a 15-Year and 30-Year Mortgage?
September 15, 2020 | The home loan process can be difficult to navigate, especially for first time home buyers. Here’s the answer to one of the most common questions from borrowers.
Read the full story from Lifehacker