post-thumb

Housing market may show signs of cooling

, by

A new report from Zillow says many homes in San Diego County are selling in just under a week, but experts say the housing market is showing a few signs of cooling.

San Diego loan officer Mark Goldman says low supply and high demand are continuing to push home prices up in our region. That’s despite interest rates jumping in the last year to about 5 percent for a 30-year-fixed loan.

For the full article click here.

post-thumb

San Diego home prices continue to grow as Federal Reserve rates rise

, by

The Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates has many wondering if San Diego’s sky-high housing prices will finally come down, but analysts say the Fed’s move can only do so much in our supply-strained county.

“I get text messages, I get emails, I get calls,” said Loan Officer Mark Goldman, of C2 Financial.

“Not only do I get them for my private residence, but I also get calls because my company has the name realty in it.”

For the full article click here.

post-thumb

Mortgage Rates Approach 5% As Fed Tightens And Inflation Rattles Bond Markets

, by

U.S. mortgage rates approached 5% on Friday, the highest daily average in more than four years, as war-worsened inflation fears spooked financial markets and the Federal Reserve ended a two-year emergency program that boosted demand for bonds containing home loans.

The average locked rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage eligible to be backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – the most common form of home financing – rose to 4.87% on Friday, the highest since late 2018, after rising a third of a percentage point in a week, according to data from Optimal Blue. The average 30-year jumbo rate increased to 4.4%, the highest since 2019.

For the full article click here.

post-thumb

Historically Low Mortgage Rates May Continue

, by

I recently spoke with Kathleen Howley and Forbes about the expectation that rates may remain low, as we have seen over the past year.

Just recently the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City canceled their Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium due to the rising spread of the delta-variant. How does this point to low rates?

Well, when shutdowns across the country began occurring last year the Fed cut rates and they have remained low throughout this year as well. In January, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage reached 2.65%, an all-time low according to data from Freddie Mac. The recent cancellation of this in-person event may signal to investors that the pandemic is not truly over. Despite the vaccine rollout cases continue to increase in many places across the country.

“The Fed has been reassuring markets since last year that they will keep buying bonds as long as there’s a concern that the pandemic is going to slow the economy,” said Mark Goldman, a mortgage broker with C2 Financial Corp. in San Diego. “Now, we’re hearing every day that hospitals are full, and that’s not a sign that the economy is about to take off.”

For the full article, click here.

post-thumb

Should buyers pay more than the appraised value?

, by

In this aggressive seller’s market, many successful bidders are waiving appraisal contingencies. Agents must be equipped to address their buyer-clients’ concerns about paying more than the appraised value for a property.

An appraised value less than the contract price will increase the loan to value. This can require additional cash down payment and/or mortgage insurance.

Should a buyer pay more than appraised value? Tough question. But, in this market, the answer is often “yes”.  There are many competing buyers willing to waive appraisal contingencies. However, home prices are moving up at a brisk pace. The appreciation in value will likely help home values catch up to price in a year or so.

The strongest buyers prevail – Successful bidders for homes are making cash offers with no contingencies for the appraised value. Move up buyers are confronted with the challenge to buy a new home before selling their departure residence. One concern is to sell first and not get a new home in time for the move. Such buyers may need to qualify for their purchase while carrying their departure residence because sellers may not consider a contingency for the sale of the departure residence.

Do bidding wars create a bubble in prices? I do not believe that the current trend to higher prices will create a bubble that will burst because the buyers are purchasing for their use, not speculation. Price bubbles in stocks, tulips, and real estate are the result of investors simply speculating that some fool will be willing to pay more for an asset in the near term. I have not observed investors buying homes on speculation to flip at a higher price.

Many sectors of the market have prospered during Covid. As we return to normalcy, the economy will improve even more. So, the upward pressure on home pricing will continue. Higher interest rates in the next 6-12 months may moderate the rate of appreciation unless inflation becomes an additional influence to even greater price increases.

Millennials are entering the home market. We will see more millennials become home buyers in the next few years created even stronger demand for the limited housing supply in San Diego. 

Conclusion – This is a tough market for home buyers with prices rising rapidly and fierce completion for limited inventory. I expect pricing to continue upward in the next year. However, I believe the rate of appreciation will slow later this year as the fear of Covid subsides and more home sellers are willing to list their property.

post-thumb

Changes to Refinances in 2020

, by

Recently Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced that they are raising fees on refinances. The new fee will add 0.5% of the loan amount to the borrowers’ cost. The fee was originally planned to be put in effect starting September 1st, but is currently being charged by lenders.. This fee will cause a slight increase of approximately 1/8th to the rate on many refinances

This fee was put in place to protect against risk of default or forebearance, since many borrowers have been taking the opportunity to refinance their home loans. Rates have remained low, and we can expect them to stay low going into next year. Fannie and Freddie state that this fee will not cause monthly payments to increase. Most borrowers who refinance do achieve a lower monthly payment; and this fee would only reduce those savings by about $15 a month.  

The fee will apply to most refinances, with some exclusions being:

  • Mortgages to purchase a home
  • Refinances with loan amount below $125,000
  • Refinance loan amounts above $510,400, or your conforming local limit (Jumbo Loan)
  • Home Ready refinance loans
  • Home Possible refinance loans

My mortgage interest outlook is that rates could increase due to expectations of greater inflation. The Federal Reserve has announced that they will keep the Fed Funds Rate low into 2023. However, that is an overnight borrowing rate to banks. Rates on long term fixed rate loans will reflect the inflation risk. Another factor that will put upward pressure on rates is economic recovery. In general, mortgage interest rates are very low now by historic comparisons. I see more factors motivating higher rates than lower rates at this time. One other factor that can push rates up is good news on a Covid Vaccine. Of course we all want an effective vaccine. But, I expect news of a vaccine will push rates up.

Bottom line – Rates are great now. Take advantage if you have need.

Let me know when I can help.

post-thumb

San Diego Home Prices Reach New Record

, by

I spoke with The San Diego Union-Tribune recently about the new record high prices we have seen in San Diego. This year there are a lot less homes on the market, meaning a lot more competition for buyers and therefore higher home prices. Many sellers are receiving multiple offers, some even over asking price and selling in a few days.

The Union-Tribune reports “the county has seen prices rise more than 8 percent since the pandemic took effect in March” which is something we have seen across major cities in the country. Low interest rates have incentivized many to buy now, so more buyers have entered the market. I believe rates will stay like this for some time, so it’s a good time to buy for those who can.

For more information, read the full article here.

post-thumb

San Diego Real Estate Market Update-September 2020

, by

Over the last few months we have continued to see record-low rates. The average 30 year fixed rate is currently 3.010% which is good news for buyers looking to purchase a home. If you have thought about taking advantage of low rates to refinance, you may want to act fast due to the 0.50% fee* that will be imposed on most refinances. This news comes from Fannie and Freddie and will be in effect for conforming loans delivered after December 1, 2020. This is most likely a response to the large amount of refinances that have occurred due to the low rates. Many conforming lenders are already pricing this fee into their loan locks.

In San Diego we continue to see a low inventory of available homes, meaning more competition for buyers. Inventory for detached homes is 52% lower compared to last year; and attached is 30.2% lower. Low inventory has been a problem for some time now, and it continues to drive up prices. This is good news for sellers who can expect to receive multiple offers on their home and sell it quickly. On average, marketing times are down to 24 and 25 days for detached and attached homes respectively, but we have all seen those homes that sell in a matter of days. If you’re working with buyers, make sure they are prepared to act fast. Get your buyers pre-approved for their financing. Be aware that many lenders have slow turn times these days due to very high refinance volume. Some lenders are running two weeks for underwriting purchases. After loan approval, it can take 10 days to clear conditions for loan documents. There are still lenders who can close purchases in 3 weeks. Get realistic turn times from your lender to meet contingency periods.

Good news on non-conforming loans. The jumbo lenders are returning to the market with competitive pricing. However, underwriting guidelines are still strict with requirements for higher credit scores, lower debt-to-income ratios and higher reserve requirements. Also, self-employed borrowers are scrutinized with more conservative underwriting of income. Also, bank statement loans for self-employed borrowers and debt service coverage loans for investment properties are slowly returning to the market. Rates are higher for these Non-QM loans, but they are coming back. Non-QM loans can also be useful for borrowers with credit events.

The Federal Reserve has announced a more aggressive policy to allow higher inflation before raising their overnight discount rate. According to the Fed, their long-term strategy is to keep rates low for the upcoming years. This is an effort to boost spending. However, long term lenders who make 15 and 30 year fixed rate loans may raise rates in anticipation of inflation. In my opinion, this indicates that mortgage interest rates are more likely to go up from here than down.

Let me know when I can help.

*The fee will apply to most refinances, with some exemptions being:

  • Mortgages to purchase a home
  • Refinances with loan amount below $125,000
  • Refinance loan amounts above $510,400, or your conforming local limit (Jumbo Loans)
  • HomeReady refinance loans
  • Home Possible refinance loans

How to Choose A Mortgage Broker

, by

When choosing a mortgage broker don’t just look at who is promising the best and lowest rate. It’s important to work with someone who has your best interest in mind and will help you make the right choice for your loan. The mortgage process can be long and you may hit some bumps in the road, so it’s important your broker is experienced and can help you navigate your different options and any difficulties that may come along. Here are some of the things you can expect from your mortgage broker:

1. Form a mortgage plan

You need someone who will not simply get you a loan, but a mortgage plan. This can include knowing the basics like what you will pay now and down the road for the life of the loan. Remember that a mortgage can last many years so you want to know what to expect during that time. A mortgage plan can also include evaluating investment options for you down the road. Mortgages are not one size fits all so your mortgage broker should help you put together a plan just for you.

2. Inform and educate

We truly believe there are no bad questions when it comes to your mortgage. You should expect to have all your questions answered in a timely manner and to make sure you are really understanding what is going on. A home is a large investment so we want to make sure you are in control and aware of what’s happening every step of the way.

3. Personalized service

We make sure that when you have questions or need assistance you are speaking directly to us and don’t have to go through a large phone tree with getting no help. That can be a big difference between working with an independent mortgage broker and choosing a loan with a big bank. Make sure that your mortgage broker gives your loan the attention it deserves to make sure you are getting the best possible option.

4. Experience and expertise

Sometimes we will hit bumps in the road with your mortgage, so make sure you are working with someone who has the experience and expertise to navigate any issues that may come up. The difference between an experience broker and one that is not, could cost you your loan so be aware of this.

5. Have your best interest in mind

You may encounter brokers who simply want to close a loan, no matter what it is. This could result in you getting a loan that is not right for you and could lead to problems down the road. In my many years of working with borrowers, there have been time where I’ve simply had to present the available options and if they were not right then borrowers had to walk away. I was always understand of this, but also ready to help when more favorable options were available.

6. Doesn’t forget you after one loan

A good broker will make sure you are aware of how market changes are affecting you and when a possible opportunity comes your way. This can mean refinancing your home for a lower payment or investing in property. Your mortgage broker should remain in contact with you about these options and will work with you again when the time is right.