Mortgage rates moved lower today at their fastest pace since January 14th. Rates sheets moved well past recent lows and back to levels not seen since May 10th 2013. That was the day that the Wall Street Journal’s Hilsenrath suggested the Fed was mapping an exit from stimulus, which sent markets into the tailspin that was effectively the prologue to the taper tantrum.
It’s amazing, or at least interesting to consider that asset purchases have now been fully phased and that a rate hike is a much more immediate threat, yet rates are back to where they were before markets really began adjusting for all that “stuff.” That’s the power of global economic turmoil and a troubling lack of inflation for core economies.
The specific result today is the greatly-increased prevalence of 3.5% as a conforming 30yr fixed quote for top tier scenarios. 3.625% is ubiquitously available, but again, keep in mind that these rates refer to top tier scenarios with 25% equity or more, and high credit scores among other things.
For the knife-catchers out there, today is the best day in more than 20 months.
No one could fault you for locking. Combine that with the fact that the end of the month tends to be a slightly better time for bond markets (which affect mortgage rates), and you can make a perfectly fine case for catching that knife–especially if you have a shorter term time horizon.
This story is humbling, but these folks could have short-sold this house years ago and gone back to living in their townhouse. How many people are not paying their mortgage, and not getting foreclosed? Hat tip to Nathan for sending this in from the wapo:
A decade ago, Comfort and Kofi were at the apex of an astonishing journey they had made from Ghana in 1997, when they had won a visa lottery to come to America. They did not know it at the time, but they were also at the midpoint in their odyssey from American Dream to American Nightmare.
Today, they struggle under nearly $1 million in debt that they will never be able to repay on the 3,292-square-foot, six-bedroom, red-brick Colonial they bought for $617,055 in 2005. The Boatengs have not made a mortgage payment in 2,322 days — more than six years — according to their most recent mortgage statement. Their plight illustrates how some of the people swallowed up by the easy credit era of the previous decade have yet to reemerge years later.
I took in a good portion of the big realtor conference this morning via livestream. They had some big hitters on stage too.
Rupert Murdoch delivered a 7-minute speech, and did some Q&A. He comes off as a proper gentleman, and he’s a good speaker for a guy who is 83 years old. But he didn’t deliver any bombshells, or make any big promises about taking on Zillow/Trulia:
He was asked about his experience with Zillow, and he said they did spend some advertising money, but found little benefit.
The average sales price in his Beverly Hills office is $2,800,000. At that price point, he surmised that buyers and sellers would get referred to a top agent, rather than selecting a realtor who advertised on Zillow.
His office does all marketing in-house (he has 20 people in his marketing division), and agents in his office can pay an extra 5% from their split to have the company produce the marketing for their listings.
Tom and Mike Ferry were both there too, on stage together for the first time in eleven years. Tom is Mike’s son, and the two of them worked together for 16 years in building Mike’s realtor training company.
Tom recalled the time he came to Mike with a multiple-choice proposal; to either a) sell the company to Tom (for a good price), b) create a partnership together, or c) Tom to leave the company to go start his own. Mike chose c), and they have been competitors ever since – and you can sense that it’s still a little chippy between them.
If you are new in the business, check out both trainings – they’re good.
Zillow and Trulia were brought into many of the discussions, but no new insights really. Realtor.com will be working hard to put out a better product, and a group of major brokers back east are secretly creating their own portal.
I think the consumers use the portals to get free information about homes, not to hire a realtor.
It’s why Zillow will likely create their own set of ‘preferred agents’ and heavily advertise the benefits of hiring them. The realtors will gladly pay to receive those warmer leads – throw in some special ‘listing enhancement’ kits and Zillow will have the complete package to sell to agents.
Romney, whose last presidential bid was hampered by his image of excessive privilege and insensitivity, may recognize the trouble his real estate holdings could cause in another campaign.
He is taking steps to shed some of his property, including retaining a broker who is currently showing the La Jolla home to potential buyers, according to a Romney aide. The aide would not disclose the asking price or explain why the former Massachusetts governor and his wife, Ann, want to sell the home after more than four years of city permitting, hearings, and construction.
You’ve heard me say that I think it is my job to conduct a proper bidding war between all buyers and push for top dollar – and I will give them ample opportunity to pay it! In this case, it was 10% over list price.
But the houses that need work are more prone to falling out of escrow once the scope of the project starts to sink in. It is part of the business, and you have to be able to bounce back quickly to maintain momentum.
The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas gained 4.3 percent in November from the prior year, the slowest since October 2007 although it matched analyst expectations. This compared with a 4.5 percent annual increase in October.
“With the spring home buying season, and spring training, still a month or two away, the housing recovery is barely on first base,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in a statement.
“Prospects for a home run in 2015 aren’t good,” he added.
Want to see more inventory? Just go up in price! Of the NSDCC houses for sale, 81% are listed at $1,000,000 or higher, and 48% are over $2,000,000!
The stats will be slightly skewed due to this property coming up for auction. They priced it on the range $10,000 – $36,500,000 so it affects all categories, and the MLS doesn’t allow for a property to be removed prior to running stats: