We’ll add more market news briefs throughout the day. Check back to read the latest.Most recent market news:
Wednesday, March 29
Nationally the affordability index in the first quarter of 2017 was 103, down from 108 in the previous quarter and down from 119 a year ago to the lowest level since Q4 2008 — a more than eight-year low. The index of 103 translates to 33.6 percent of average weekly wages needed to buy a median-priced home nationwide, below the historic average of 34.6 percent but the highest share of wages needed since Q4 2008, according to Attom Data Solutions.<a href=’#’><img alt=’Home Affordability Heat Map Q1 2017 ‘ src=’https://public.tableau.com/static/images/Ho/HomeAffordabilityHeatMapQ12017/Dashboard1/1_rss.png’ style=’border: none’ /></a>
“Home affordability continued to worsen in the first quarter, not surprising given the continued strong growth in home prices combined with the recent rise in mortgage rates,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “Stronger wage growth is the silver lining in this report, outpacing home price growth in more than half of the markets for the first time since Q1 2012, when median home prices were still falling nationwide. If that pattern continues, it will help turn the tide in the eroding home affordability trend.”Kings County (Brooklyn), New York (121.4 percent) Santa Cruz County, California (111.9 percent) Marin County, California (109.9 percent) New York County (Manhattan), New York (100.5 percent) Maui County, Hawaii (100.2 percent).
12 counties where buying a home requires less than 15 percent of average wages Average wage earners would need to spend less than 15 percent of their income to buy a median-priced home in 12 of the 379 counties analyzed:Clayton County, Georgia, in the Atlanta metro area (10.8 percent) Baltimore City, Maryland (11.8 percent) Bibb County, Georgia, in the Macon metro area (12.2 percent) Saginaw County, Michigan, in the Saginaw metro area (12.4 percent) Trumbull County, Ohio, in the Youngstown metro area (12.5 percent) Wayne County, Michigan, in the Detroit metro area (12.6 percent) Richmond County, Georgia, in the Augusta metro area (14.2 percent) Cuyahoga County, Ohio in the Cleveland metro area (14.4 percent) Saint Lawrence County, New York, in the Ogdensburg-Massena metro area (14.6 percent) Summit County, Ohio, in the Akron metro area (14.7 percent) Greene County, Ohio, in the Dayton metro area (14.7 percent) Milwaukee County, Wisconsin (14.8 percent).
“The strong RMMI in the fourth quarter of last year shows that home equity continues to be a valuable asset for homeowners 62 and older,” said NRMLA President and CEO Peter Bell, in a press release. “It’s time for consumers to study what it means to have home equity and to learn about its strategic uses, including how it can be used to support retirement goals.”Home equity rates: Average Home Equity Loan Bank Rates by State | Credio Average Home Equity Loan Bank Rates by State | Credio Average Home Equity Loan Credit Union Rates by State | Credio Mortgage rates: 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Rates for the Past 6 Months | Credio 15-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Rates for the Past 6 Months | Credio News from earlier this week:
Tuesday, March 28
U.S. home prices at the start of 2017 continued the trend of incremental monthly gains, rising 0.1 percent from December New York continues to lead the states on a monthly basis, with prices rising 1.3 percent there in January, more than double the rate of appreciation of the next best-performing state The New York City metro area was the month’s best-performing metro, with prices rising 1.3 percent, followed by Seattle and San Jose, each up 0.8 percent from December After home prices fell 3.2 percent last month, Tuscaloosa, Ala., was once again the worst-performing metro area in January; with prices falling another 4 percent in January, Alabama became the worst-performing state for the month Home prices in three of the nation’s 20 largest states and nine of the 40 largest metros hit new peaks
Analysis from Cheryl Young, Trulia’s Senior Economist:There is little sign of relief from high home prices as we enter the spring home buying season. The tough buying market is characterized by competition driven by low inventory and challenges for first-time home buyers as prices outpace income growth. Hot markets remain hot: Denver, Portland, Ore., and Seattle reached their highest index values ever. Mortgage rates are lower than expected, so the anticipated cooling of home prices as a result of higher rates is likely delayed. Spring homebuyers will be eager to lock in rates that remain low.
Monday, March 27
Purchase mortgage demand
Purchase mortgage demand growth over the prior three months has steadily declined for all loan types, when compared with Q1 2016 and Q1 2015, reaching the lowest reading for any first quarter since Q1 2014.
The near-term outlook showed a similar trend, with the net share expecting increased demand over the next three months declining to the lowest level for any first quarter since the survey’s inception in Q1 2014.
Refinance mortgage demand
For refinance mortgages, the net share of lenders reporting rising demand over the prior three months fell to the lowest level since Q1 2014. On net, lenders reporting demand growth expectations for the next three months rose from survey lows last quarter (Q4 2016).
Easing of credit standards
Lenders continued to report modest net easing of credit standards across all loan types for the prior three months and continued to report expectations to modestly ease credit standards over the next three months, with the majority of lenders expecting their credit standards to stay about the same.
On net, lenders continued reporting expectations to grow GSE (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) and Ginnie Mae shares and reduce portfolio retention and whole loan sales shares, although to a lesser extent.
Mortgage servicing rights execution
This quarter, slightly more lenders reported expectations to increase rather than decrease their share of MSR sold and to decrease rather than increase the share of MSR retained that is serviced by a sub-servicer. The majority of lenders continue reporting expectations to maintain their MSR execution strategy.
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