Monthly Archives: May 2015

U.S. Lenders “Loosen” Mortgage Guidelines, Approve More Applications

img-2102 MORTGAGE REQUIREMENTS LOOSENING As current mortgage rates fall, it's becoming a whole lot easier for buyers and refinancing households to get mortgage-approved. For the fourth straight quarter last quarter, more U.S. lenders eased loan approval standards as compared to the number of banks tightening up. And, with interest rates dropping, mortgage payments have been more affordable than during any period of the last two years. It's an excellent time to refinance a home or to buy one. BANKS ISSUING MORE MORTGAGE APPROVALS Once per quarter, the Federal Reserve conducts a survey in which it asks its member banks about the current lending environment. The survey covers a wide-range of loan types, both commercial and residential. The Fed survey's purpose is to uncover consumer and business demand for bank loans, and the banks' willingness to make such loans to customers. Among the questions is one in which the Fed inquires on mortgage lending guidelines...
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Weekly mortgage applications fall 3.5% as rates rise

img-2101 Getty Images A for sale sign is shown in front of a home in Miami. Home loan borrowers moved to the sidelines amid a sharp rise in interest rates last week. Total mortgage application volume fell 3.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ending May 8th from one week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Volume is still 14 percent higher than a year earlier, but that annual comparison has been shrinking for several weeks. Applications to refinance, which are the most rate-sensitive, fell 6 percent week-to-week and have dropped 16 percent in the past four weeks; they are still 15 percent higher than a year earlier as interest rates were slightly higher in May of 2014. The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 51 percent of total applications, its lowest level since May 2014. That comes as the average...
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Mortgage Rates Set Another 2015 High

Mortgage rates can't catch a break.  They're not much higher than yesterday, but yesterday was already the worst of 2015.  Actually, it's the broader bond market that can't catch a break.  European and US sovereign debt rates are moving higher at an alarming pace.  Mortgage rates are holding firmer by comparison, but being dragged higher just the same.  Little has changed since yesterday about the bigger picture problems facing rates.  If you're looking for a general recap of those problems, it would be worthwhile to revisit yesterday's coverage. On a specific note, we had several events today that should--by all rights--have helped rates recover a bit.  At almost any other time in history, the types of events seen today would indeed have resulted in rates moving lower.  These included significantly weaker economic data in the morning, and an exceptionally strong Treasury auction in the afternoon.  Weaker economic data creates more demand for less risky...
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