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  • Thu, Nov 20 2014
  • 2:14 PM » Fannie-Freddie Clarify Buyback Rules in Effort to Spur Lending - Bloomberg
    Published Thu, Nov 20 2014 2:14 PM by Bloomberg
    Fannie-Freddie Clarify Buyback Rules in Effort to Spur Lending Bloomberg As part of a broader U.S. effort to persuade banks to make more home loans, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (FMCC) have released rules clarifying the types of practices that would trigger penalties for lenders. The changes announced today by the ... and more »
  • 2:13 PM » A Few Comments on October Existing Home Sales
    Published Thu, Nov 20 2014 2:13 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    • Once again housing economist Tom Lawler's forecast of 5.31 million SAAR was closer than the consensus (5.15 million) to the NAR reported sales (5.26 million). • The most important number in the NAR report each month is inventory.   This morning the NAR reported that inventory was up 5.2% year-over-year in October.   It is important to note that the NAR inventory data is "noisy" and difficult to forecast based on other data.  However this increase in inventory has slowed price increases. The headline NAR inventory number is not seasonally adjusted, even though there is a clear seasonal pattern. Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko has sent me the seasonally adjusted inventory. NOTE: The NAR does provide a seasonally adjusted months-of-supply, although that is in the supplemental data. Click on graph for larger image. This shows that inventory bottomed in January 2013 (on a seasonally adjusted basis), and inventory is now up about 11.7% from the bottom. On a seasonally adjusted basis, inventory was up 0.1% in October compared to September. Important: The NAR reports active listings, and although there is some variability across the country in what is considered active, many "contingent short sales" are not included. "Contingent short sales" are strange listings since the listings were frequently NEVER on the market (they were listed as contingent), and they hang around for a long time - they are probably more closely related to shadow inventory than active inventory. However when we compare inventory to 2005, we need to remember there were no "short sale contingent" listings in 2005. In the areas I track, the number of "short sale contingent" listings is also down sharply year-over-year. And another key point: The NAR reported total sales were up 2.5% from October 2013, however normal equity sales were even more, and distressed sales down sharply.  From the...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 12:22 PM » Bond market volatility: There's a VIX for that
    Published Thu, Nov 20 2014 12:22 PM by CNBC
    As the Federal Reserve gets set to chart a future course off zero interest rates, investors now have a chance to play along.
  • 11:57 AM » Bond market ignores improving data
    Published Thu, Nov 20 2014 11:57 AM by CNBC
    Despite strong data on housing and from the Philadelphia Fed, the bond market was largely nonchalant. Blame Alibaba.
  • 11:57 AM » $1 million-plus home sales up 16%
    Published Thu, Nov 20 2014 11:57 AM by CNBC
    Million-dollar homes outshone every other price category in October as wealthy buyers are feeling increasingly confident.
  • 10:58 AM » Wells Fargo and Discover to offer student loan modifications
    Published Thu, Nov 20 2014 10:58 AM by Washington Post
    If you're having a hard time paying off your private students loans, you could catch a break soon as two of the biggest private lenders are gearing up to relax repayment terms. On Wednesday, Wells Fargo said it would lower interest rates for eligible borrowers starting this month and extend repayment periods starting in February. The bank, which has $11.9 billion worth of private student loans, anticipates the move will save borrowers thousands of dollars in interest payments over the course of the loan. Read full article >>
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 10:58 AM » Rental Apartment Construction Is At a 27-Year High
    Published Thu, Nov 20 2014 10:58 AM by WSJ
    New figures offer the latest reminder of an apartment boom.
  • 10:58 AM » Will 2015 be the Turnaround Year for First-Time Home Buyers?
    Published Thu, Nov 20 2014 10:58 AM by WSJ
    NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said 2015 could mark a turnaround.
  • 10:58 AM » U.S. existing home sales hit one-year high in October
    Published Thu, Nov 20 2014 10:58 AM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. home resales jumped to their highest level in more than a year in October and outpaced the sales level a year ago for the first time in 2014, further evidence the housing market is on a recovery path.
  • 10:58 AM » After Recession, Home-Remodeling Is Back On the Rise
    Published Thu, Nov 20 2014 10:58 AM by WSJ
    Wednesday's report on housing starts suggested a steady trend for construction. But new houses aren't the only support to economic growth. Updating a bathroom or adding a deck also contributes.
  • 10:57 AM » Fixed Mortgage Rates Dip Just Below Four Percent
    Published Thu, Nov 20 2014 10:57 AM by
    Fixed Mortgage Rates Dip Just Below Four Percent
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 9:08 AM » Fed Staff Whispering Caution in Officials' Ears
    Published Thu, Nov 20 2014 9:08 AM by WSJ
    The Wall Street Journal's Daily Report on Global Central Banks for Thursday, November 20, 2014. Jon Hilsenrath examines the views of staff economists at the Fed, and finds them in no hurry to be advising policy makers to start a cycle of interest rate increases.
  • 9:06 AM » Bond Record in Sight as Sales Near $4 Trillion: Credit Markets - Bloomberg
    Published Thu, Nov 20 2014 9:06 AM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg Bond Record in Sight as Sales Near $4 Trillion: Credit Markets Bloomberg Global corporate bond issuance has surpassed all of 2013, with the annual record now in sight as investors reap the biggest gains since 2002. Led by Apple Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc., companies have fueled debt sales worldwide of $3.8 trillion ...
  • 8:41 AM » US jobless claims lowest since 2000; CPI stalls
    Published Thu, Nov 20 2014 8:41 AM by CNBC
    Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell more than expected, while a reading on consumer prices came in unexpectedly flat.
  • Wed, Nov 19 2014
  • 11:12 PM » Consumer inflation could be wild card
    Published Wed, Nov 19 2014 11:12 PM by CNBC
    Markets will hone in on consumer inflation Thursday, a report that will likely show a decline in part because of falling gasoline prices.
  • 9:58 PM » Principal reduction for underwater homeowners not off table, official testifies
    Published Wed, Nov 19 2014 9:58 PM by Washington Post
    One of the mortgage industry's most influential regulators told a Senate panel Wednesday that a controversial form of debt relief for borrowers who have no equity left in their homes is "not off the table." Read full article >>
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 9:47 PM » Thursday: Existing Home Sales, Inflation, Unemployment Claims, Philly Fed Mfg Survey
    Published Wed, Nov 19 2014 9:47 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Goldman Sachs has a model that divides the business cycle into four stages: early-cycle, mid-cycle, late-cycle and recession.  According to Goldman economist Kris Dawsey, the economy appears to be transitioning from early to mid-cycle (but not late-cycle or worse): The likelihood of the economy showing late-cycle behavior or being in recession by the middle of 2015 is very low, according to the model. However, we expect a transition from early- to mid-cycle over the next half year. ... since early 2010 the model has characterized the economy as "early-cycle." This reflects the high degree of slack, a solid growth rate of activity, subdued inflationary pressure, and financial market outcomes consistent with an easy stance of monetary policy. ... Over the past year, the signal strength has declined considerably, showing that the choice between early- and mid-cycle has become more difficult. While mid-cycle behavior is qualitatively similar in many ways to early-cycle behavior, key differences include (1) smaller output and employment gaps, (2) slightly firmer inflation outcomes, (3) a trough in credit spreads and stock market volatility, and (4) a higher fed funds rate and related flattening in the yield curve led by the front end. emphasis added Thursday: • At 8:30 AM ET, the initial weekly unemployment claims report will be released. The consensus is for claims to decrease to 281 thousand from 290 thousand. • Also at 8:30 AM, the Consumer Price Index for October . The consensus is for a 0.1% decrease in CPI in October, and for core CPI to increase 0.1%. • At 10:00 AM, Existing Home Sales for October from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The consensus is for sales of 5.15 million on seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) basis. Sales in September were at a 5.17 million SAAR. Economist Tom Lawler estimates the NAR will report sales of 5.31 million SAAR. • Also at 10:00 AM, the Philly Fed manufacturing survey for November. The consensus...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 9:47 PM » Lawler: Updated Read on Existing Home Sales, Table of Distressed Sales in October
    Published Wed, Nov 19 2014 9:47 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From housing economist Tom Lawler: Based on state and local realtor/MLS reports released through today, I have increased my estimate of October existing home sales as measured by the National Association of Realtors to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.31 million ( my estimate in last Friday's report was 5.28 million ). I also now "guesstimate" that the NAR's existing home inventory number for October will be down 3.5% from September, and up 5.2% from last October. Finally, I project that the NAR's median existing SF home sales price for October will be about 4% higher than last October. CR Note: Existing home sales will be released tomorrow, and the consensus has moved up since Friday, and is now at 5.15 million. Lawler also sent me the updated table below of short sales, foreclosures and cash buyers for selected cities in October. On distressed: Total "distressed" share is down in these markets mostly due to a decline in short sales. Short sales are down significantly in these areas. Foreclosures are up in several of these areas. The All Cash Share (last two columns) is mostly declining year-over-year. As investors pull back, the share of all cash buyers will probably continue to decline.   Short Sales Share Foreclosure Sales Share Total "Distressed" Share All Cash Share Oct-14 Oct-13 Oct-14 Oct-13 Oct-14 Oct-13 Oct-14 Oct-13 Las Vegas 10.6% 21.0% 8.9% 6.0% 19.5% 27.0% 35.1% 44.9% Reno** 6.0% 16.0% 4.0% 4.0% 10.0% 20.0%     Phoenix 3.7% 8.4% 6.2% 6.9% 9.9% 15.3% 27.7% 31.6% Sacramento 6.1% 13.7% 6.3% 5.9% 12.4% 19.6% 20.6% 23.9% Minneapolis 2.7% 5.1% 9.8% 16.4% 12.5% 21.5%     Mid-Atlantic 4.8% 8.2% 10.0% 7.9% 14.9% 16.1% 19.2% 19.9% Orlando 5.2% 15.5% 26.7% 20.7% 31.8% 36.2% 41.8% 47.8% California * 6.1% 10.3% 5.3% 6.7% 11.4% 17.0%     Bay Area CA* 3.5% 7.3% 2.7% 3.7% 6.2% 11.0%     So. California* 5.9% 10.8% 4.8% 6.3% 10...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 9:47 PM » NYC considers mansion tax hike to raise funds
    Published Wed, Nov 19 2014 9:47 PM by CNBC
    In order to raise revenue for May Bill de Blasio's affordable housing plan, the city is considering a raise on the tax rate for high end real estate.
  • 5:03 PM » Comments on October Housing Starts
    Published Wed, Nov 19 2014 5:03 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    A few key points: • Housing permits in October were at the highest level since 2008. Last year, in 2013, there was a surge in multi-family permits in October - and that was followed by an increase for starts in November. It looks like that might happen again this year. • Multi-family completions have increased sharply (2nd graph below). Completions are what matter for apartment market supply, and with more completions it appears that the apartment vacancy rate has reached bottom and even increased a little (but still low). More apartments on the market will probably mean higher vacancy rates and less upward pressure on rents. • Single family starts are increasing, but are still extremely low (last graph below). As we've been discussing for several years, demographics have been very favorable for apartments (and the housing bust boosted apartments too).  However, looking forward, the demographics will become more favorable for home ownership. This is a positive for single family housing and for the overall economy. On starts: There were 848 thousand total housing starts during the first ten months of 2014 (not seasonally adjusted, NSA), up 9.6% from the 774 thousand during the same period of 2013.  Single family starts are up 5%, and multifamily starts up 20%.  The key weakness has been in single family starts. The following table shows the annual housing starts since 2005, and the percent change from the previous year (estimates for 2014). The housing recovery has slowed in 2014, especially for single family starts.  However I expect further growth in starts over the next several years. Housing Starts (000s) and Annual Change   Total Total % Change Single Single % Change 2005 2,068.3 5.8% 1,715.8 6.5% 2006 1,800.9 -12.9% 1,465.4 -14.6% 2007 1,355.0 -24.8% 1,046.0 -28.6% 2008 905.5 -33.2% 622.0 -40.5% 2009 554.0 -38.8% 445.1 -28.4% 2010 586.9 5.9% 471.2 5.9% 2011 608.8 3.7% 430.6 -8.6% 2012 780.6 28.2% 535.3 24.3% 2013...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 4:02 PM » Fannie-Freddie Overseer Urged to Seek Conservatorships Exit - Bloomberg
    Published Wed, Nov 19 2014 4:02 PM by Bloomberg
    Fannie-Freddie Overseer Urged to Seek Conservatorships Exit Bloomberg The U.S. Treasury and the federal overseer for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (FMCC) should consider ending government control of the two companies if Congress fails to reform the housing-finance system, Senator Tim Johnson said. "Everyone agrees that ... and more »
  • 2:37 PM » Fed Officials Saw Need to Watch for Drop in Inflation Expectations - Bloomberg
    Published Wed, Nov 19 2014 2:37 PM by Bloomberg
    Fed Officials Saw Need to Watch for Drop in Inflation Expectations Bloomberg Many Federal Reserve policy makers last month said they should be on the lookout for signs of a decline in the public's expectations for inflation, minutes of their meeting show. "Many participants observed the committee should remain attentive to evidence of ...
  • 2:37 PM » U.S. housing regulator to unveil mortgage fees framework in 2015
    Published Wed, Nov 19 2014 2:37 PM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top U.S. housing finance regulator said on Wednesday his agency would unveil a new framework in early 2015 for how government-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will set mortgage guarantee fees.
  • 2:36 PM » Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee, October 28-29, 2014
    Published Wed, Nov 19 2014 2:36 PM by Federal Reserve
    Minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee, October 28-29, 2014
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Federal Reserve
  • 1:35 PM » No bubble with NY luxury condo boom
    Published Wed, Nov 19 2014 1:35 PM by CNBC
    Harry Macklowe and Will Zeckendorf say there will be "no dark windows" in the towers they are building in Manhattan.
  • 1:34 PM » Could Decline in Median New-Home Size Herald Return of Entry-Level Buyers?
    Published Wed, Nov 19 2014 1:34 PM by WSJ
    Newly built, single-family homes in the U.S. finally are getting smaller, a sign that a long-awaited shift of builders to slightly smaller, more affordable homes likely has started.
  • 12:09 PM » America voted: This is the bank we dislike most
    Published Wed, Nov 19 2014 12:09 PM by Market Watch
    People are less satisfied with their banks.
  • 12:08 PM » AIA: Architecture Billings Index shows slower expansion in October
    Published Wed, Nov 19 2014 12:08 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Note: This index is a leading indicator primarily for new Commercial Real Estate (CRE) investment. From AIA: Pace of Demand Slows Slightly, but Positive Outlook for Architecture Billings Index Continues Headed by the continued strength in the multi-family residential market and the emerging growth for institutional projects, demand for design services continues to be healthy as exhibited in the latest Architecture Billings Index (ABI). As a leading economic indicator of construction activity, the ABI reflects the approximate nine to twelve month lead time between architecture billings and construction spending. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported the October ABI score was 53.7, down from a mark of 55.2 in September . This score reflects an increase in design activity (any score above 50 indicates an increase in billings). The new projects inquiry index was 62.7, following a mark of 64.8 the previous month. The AIA has added a new indicator measuring the trends in new design contracts at architecture firms that can provide a strong signal of the direction of future architecture billings. The score for design contracts in October was 56.4. " Though it has been slow in emerging, we're finally seeing some momentum develop in design activity for nonprofits and municipal governments, and as such we're seeing a new round of activity in the institutional sector ," said AIA Chief Economist Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD. "It will be interesting to see if and how the results of the mid-term Congressional and gubernatorial elections impact this developing momentum." • Regional averages: South (58.4), West (56.1), Midwest (54.4), Northeast (47.0) [three month average] emphasis added Click on graph for larger image. This graph shows the Architecture Billings Index since 1996. The index was at 53.7 in October, down from 55.2 in September. Anything above 50 indicates expansion in demand for architects' services. Note: This includes commercial...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 11:26 AM » FDIC Releases Technical Assistance Video on CFPB Mortgage Rules
    Published Wed, Nov 19 2014 11:26 AM by
    Press Release FDIC Releases Technical Assistance Video on CFPB Mortgage Rules FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 19, 2014 Media Contact: Greg Hernandez (202) 898-6984 Cell: (202) 340-4922 Email: The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) today announced the release of the first in a series of three new technical assistance videos developed to assist bank employees in meeting regulatory requirements. These new videos will address compliance with certain mortgage rules issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The first video, released today, covers the Ability to Repay and Qualified Mortgage Rule. This video is intended for compliance officers and staff involved in ensuring the bank's mortgage lending operations comply with CFPB rules. "The release of this video is part of the FDIC's ongoing efforts to inform supervised institutions about important regulatory issues," said Mark Pearce, Director of the Division of Depositor and Consumer Protection. "The FDIC is committed to providing technical assistance to help community banks comply with recent regulatory changes." Two additional videos in this series will be released in the upcoming months. They will focus on the rules concerning mortgage servicing and loan originator compensation. The FDIC's technical assistance videos and additional information can be accessed at . # # # Congress created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1933 to restore public confidence in the nation's banking system. The FDIC insures deposits at the nation's banks and savings associations, 6,656 as of June 30, 2014. It promotes the safety and soundness of these institutions by identifying, monitoring and addressing risks to which they are exposed. The FDIC receives no federal tax dollars — insured financial institutions fund its operations. FDIC press releases and other information are available...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 11:00 AM » Millennials want to save, many can't
    Published Wed, Nov 19 2014 11:00 AM by CNBC
    Millennials' financial goals versus their financial reality do not match up, reports USA Today.
  • 9:18 AM » How Does an HOA Affect Your Home Purchase?
    Published Wed, Nov 19 2014 9:18 AM by
    For many prospective homebuyers, a homeowners association (HOA) is not top of mind. Certainly, it's less sexy than floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a skyline, or a master bathroom with a built-in Jacuzzi. But an HOA is an important feature of a home that deserves careful evaluation. Read More The post How Does an HOA Affect Your Home Purchase? appeared first on Redfin Real Estate Blog .
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 9:17 AM » U.S. housing starts slip, but permits near six-and-a-half-year high
    Published Wed, Nov 19 2014 9:17 AM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON, Nov 19 (Reuters) - U.S. housing starts unexpectedly fell in October, but a jump in permits to near a 6-1/2-year high suggested the housing market was steadily regaining strength.
  • 9:05 AM » Weekly mortgage applications jump unexpectedly
    Published Wed, Nov 19 2014 9:05 AM by CNBC
    Despite a relatively quiet week for interest rates, mortgage applications took an unexpected turn higher, driven by home buyers.
  • Tue, Nov 18 2014
  • 10:38 PM » Why Larry Summers sees danger ahead for the economy
    Published Tue, Nov 18 2014 10:38 PM by Washington Post
    Like British Prime Minister David Cameron, Larry Summers sees warning lights flashing on the world's economic dashboard. Summers, who served through 2010 as President Obama's top economic adviser and was Treasury Secretary under Bill Clinton, said America should be acting now to shore up its economy, instead of celebrating its status as the healthiest patient in the global economic sick ward. Read full article >>
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 10:38 PM » Amid The Stereotypes, Some Facts About Millennials
    Published Tue, Nov 18 2014 10:38 PM by
    "Millennial" is the demographic buzzword of the moment. But are young adults today really so different from previous generations? We charted some numbers to find out - and spotted interesting trends.
  • 10:33 PM » Fed minutes back on Wall Street's radar
    Published Tue, Nov 18 2014 10:33 PM by CNBC
    Fed watchers are looking for elaboration on employment and inflation, and some speculate there may be a more dovish tone this time around.
  • 10:22 PM » Wednesday: Housing Starts, FOMC Minutes
    Published Tue, Nov 18 2014 10:22 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    An excerpt from a research piece by Goldman Sachs economist Alec Phillips: Fiscal Effects on Growth Should Be Neutral over the Coming Year • As 2015 approaches, we take a look at our fiscal policy assumptions for the coming year. Overall, we estimate the effect of federal fiscal policy on growth to be very slightly positive in 2014, at about +0.1pp, and roughly neutral in 2015. • Tax policy looks fairly stable. We do not expect any significant changes in tax policy, assuming Congress extends a number of tax benefits that expired at the start of 2014. • On the spending side, we see modest downside risk to our projection of federal spending, offset to some extent by the possibility that federal funding, particularly for defense, could be increased by Congress in 2015. Spending on subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) poses modest downside risk: enrollment estimates for 2015 have been reduced, and an upcoming Supreme Court decision could reduce them further. Less fiscal drag in 2015 will be a positive for the economy! Wednesday: • At 7:00 AM, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index . • At 8:30 AM ET, Housing Starts for October . The consensus is for total housing starts to increase to 1.025 million (SAAR) in October. • During the day: The AIA's Architecture Billings Index for October (a leading indicator for commercial real estate). • At 2:00 PM, the the FOMC Minutes for the Meeting of October 28-29, 2014
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 4:38 PM » U.S., Wells Fargo not as 'optimistic' about lawsuit settlement: lawyer
    Published Tue, Nov 18 2014 4:38 PM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co and the U.S. Department of Justice are "no longer as optimistic" about settling a lawsuit accusing the country's largest mortgage lender of fraud, a lawyer for the bank said on Tuesday.
  • 4:38 PM » U.S. Posts Record Inflow of Portfolio Investments in September - Bloomberg
    Published Tue, Nov 18 2014 4:38 PM by Bloomberg
    U.S. Posts Record Inflow of Portfolio Investments in September Bloomberg The U.S. posted a record inflow of long-term portfolio investments in September as the dollar strengthened and foreign buyers accumulated corporate debt, Treasuries and agency securities. The net long-term portfolio investment inflow was $164.3 billion after ... and more »
  • 4:38 PM » Economists Call October Inflation Measure ‘Distorted,' a ‘Statistical Quirk'
    Published Tue, Nov 18 2014 4:38 PM by WSJ
    The Labor Department this year revamped its producer-price index to capture a wider swath of the economy. They succeeded, though perhaps a little too well.
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Mortgage Rates:
  • 30 Yr FRM 3.89%
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  • 15 Yr FRM 3.11%
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  • Jumbo 30 Year Fixed 3.73%
MBS Prices:
  • 30YR FNMA 4.5 108-18 (-0-03)
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  • 30YR FNMA 5.0 110-27 (-0-02)
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  • 30YR FNMA 5.5 111-29 (-0-01)
Recent Housing Data:
  • Mortgage Apps 4.93%
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  • Refinance Index 0.90%
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  • FHFA Home Price Index 0.67%