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Pending Home Sales Squeezed by Changing Mortgage Rates

Written by on Tuesday, 30 July 2013 7:00 pm
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Pending home sales were squeezed by changing mortgage rates during the month of June.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the pending home sales index dropped 0.4% to 110.9. June numbers were still 10.9% higher than those reached in 2012. The May index was revised downward to 111.3 and represents the highest level since December of 2006.

According to the most recent survey of wholesale and direct lenders performed by FreeRateUpdate.com,  current conforming 30 year fixed mortgage rates are as low as 3.875% (APR 4.052%), 15 year fixed mortgage interest rates are as low as 2.875% (APR 3.442%) and 5/1 adjustable mortgage rates are as low as 2.375% (APR 2.628%). Having good credit is essential in order to be offered low rates. However, it is also necessary to have the qualifications required for approval.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Application Survey for the week ending July 19th, the Purchase Index fell 2% on a seasonally adjusted basis. The survey showed that the Refinance Index dropped 1% with a 12% decrease in the Government Refinance index. Conventional refinance applications increased by 2%. Application activity for HARP loan refinances dropped by 12% for the week. The HARP loan program remains in effect until the end of 2015 for borrowers who have loans that were sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac prior to June 1, 2009.

Current FHA 30 year fixed mortgage rates are as low as 3.750% (APR 4.000%), FHA 15 year fixed rates are as low as 3.250% (APR 3.514%) and FHA 5/1 adjustable mortgage rates are as low as 2.500% (APR 2.925%). FHA loans continue to offer borrowers a variety of benefits that include a low down payment of 3.5% with a credit score as low as 620 and a maximum debt to income ratio of 43%. In addition, FHA loans are assumable when the homeowner decides to sell the property. Despite the benefits, many borrowers dislike the higher FHA closing costs (APR) which is due to the upfront mortgage insurance premium and other FHA fees.

However, seller concessions up to 6% can be used for this purpose. Borrowers who look ahead will find that the FHA streamline refinance is a quick way to move to a better mortgage without the need of any documentation or an appraisal. At this time and until the end of 2013, the streamline is being offered with reduced upfront and annual mortgage insurance premiums to those who have loans that were endorsed prior to June 1, 2009.

Jumbo 30 year fixed mortgage rates are as low as 4.000% (APR 4.209%), jumbo 15 year fixed rates are as low as 3.125% (APR 3.501%) and jumbo 5/1 adjustable mortgage rates are as low as 2.750% (APR 2.908%). Excellent credit is required in order to be offered low jumbo rates available. Borrowers must also have strong qualifications for employment, income and assets to receive approval. Substantial assets should be available in order to cover the larger down payment and additional months of reserves that are usually required with jumbo loans. Lenders tend to be very competitive when it comes to jumbo mortgages. For this reason, borrowers should be ready to shop around for a good deal.

Mortgage rates are affected by MBS (mortgage backed securities) prices and move in the opposite direction. Last week’s big news was the release of the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s final index of consumer sentiment. The index rose to 85.1 in July from 84.1 at the end of June and reached the highest level since 2007. However, the index of expectation for six months into the future fell to 76.5 in July from 77.8 in June.

FreeRateUpdate.com researches and reports advertised rates of active lenders within the FreeRateUpdate.com network.

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  About the author, Ed Ferrara

Individual news stories are based upon the opinions of the writer and does not reflect the opinion of Realty Times.
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