Real Estate News_10.5.20-10.9.20

Real Estate News Online

Headline Real Estate News
 October 5th  –  October 9th


Third extension will allow FHA-insured homeowners economically impacted by COVID-19 to focus on financial recovery

WASHINGTON – Today, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced the third extension of its foreclosure and eviction moratorium through December 31, 2020, for homeowners with FHA-insured single family mortgages covered under the Coronavirus Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This extension provides an additional four months of housing security to homeowners, as they will not fear losing their homes as they work to recover financially from the adverse impacts of the pandemic. With this third extension, FHA has now provided more than nine months of foreclosure and eviction relief to FHA-insured homeowners

“President Trump is taking unprecedented measures to ensure American homeowners have the resources and support they need to get back to financial stability during the economic recovery,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “Because homeownership is the largest wealth builder for the majority of the nation’s families, providing relief from foreclosure and eviction to those who are in jeopardy of losing their hard-earned wealth, through no fault of their own, is a priority.”

FHA’s Single Family foreclosure and eviction moratorium has been in place since March 18, 2020, and continues to apply to homeowners with FHA-insured Title II Single Family forward and Home Equity Conversion (reverse) mortgages.

“For so many first-time homebuyers and others who relied on FHA insurance to achieve homeownership, this extension provides an additional measure of peace-of-mind and security, along with the fact that we do not require a lump sum payment at the end of any forbearance period,” said Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner Dana Wade. “Right now, it’s important that those affected by COVID-19 focus on the immediate priorities of regaining their financial footing, without the additional stress of dealing with a foreclosure action.”

The moratorium continues to direct mortgage servicers to:

  • Halt all new foreclosure actions and suspend all foreclosure actions currently in process for FHA-insured single family properties, excluding legally vacant or abandoned properties; and
  • Cease all evictions of persons from FHA-insured single family properties, excluding actions to evict occupants of legally vacant or abandoned properties.

Homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages should continue to make their mortgage payments during the foreclosure and eviction moratorium if they are able to do so, or seek mortgage payment forbearance pursuant to the CARES Act from their mortgage servicer, if needed.

Pursuant to the CARES Act, FHA requires mortgage servicers to:

  • Offer borrowers with FHA-insured mortgages delayed mortgage payment forbearance when the borrower requests it, with the option to extend the forbearance for up to a year. FHA does not require a lump sum payment at the end of the forbearance period.
  • Assess borrowers who receive COVID-19 forbearance for its special COVID-19 National Emergency Standalone Partial Claim before the end of the forbearance period. The COVID-19 National Emergency Standalone Partial Claim puts all deferred mortgage payment amounts owed into a junior lien which is only repaid when the borrower sells the home, refinances the mortgage, or the mortgage is otherwise extinguished.
  • Assess borrowers who are not eligible for the COVID-19 National Emergency Standalone Partial Claim for one of FHA’s COVID-19 expanded home retention solutions announced on July 8, 2020.

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10/7/20 Mortgage applications rise 4.6%”     Alex Roha

Purchase applications hit 20 straight weeks of year-over-year gains

After faltering 4.8% the week prior, mortgage applications almost completely rebounded last week, gaining 4.6%, according to a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The refinance index also jumped 8% — hitting its highest level since mid-August. Refinances continued to hover around two-thirds share of mortgage activity as they increased to 65.4% of total applications from 63.3% the week prior.

According to Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, mortgage rates declined across the board last week – with most falling to record lows – and borrowers responded as refis remained 50% higher than the same week one year ago when rates hovered near 3.64%.

Purchase applications gained 21% from a year ago — hitting a milestone of 20 straight weeks of year-over-year gains. Purchase applications were also 2% higher than the week prior.

“Continuing the trend seen in recent months, the purchase market is growing at a strong clip,” Kan said. “The average loan size increased again to a new record at $371,500, as activity in the higher loan size categories continues to lead growth.”

According to Kan, signs are beginning to show that demand is waning at the entry-level portion of the market, most likely caused by supply and affordability hurdles. The adverse economic impact of the pandemic is also having an effect.

“As a result, the lower price tiers are seeing slower growth, which is contributing to the rising trend in average loan balances,” Kan said.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity remained unchanged at 2.2% of total applications.

Here is a more detailed breakdown of this week’s mortgage application data:

  • The FHA’s share of mortgage apps fell to 11% from 11.4%.
  • The VA share of applications rose to 12.2% from 11.9%.
  • The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.5% the week before.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($510,400 or less) fell to 3.01% from 3.05%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $510,400) fell to 3.31% from 3.33%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA fell to 3.12% from 3.15%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 2.59% from 2.65%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs fell to 2.8% from 2.95%.

10/8/20 Washington Post “Mortgage rates stay steady amid economic and political turmoil”     Michele Lerner

The average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage reached 2.87 percent, down from 2.88 percent, with an average 0.8 point, according to a Freddie Mac survey released Thursday. (Steve Helber/AP)

Mortgage rates stayed steady despite a roller-coaster week in the stock market, largely calmed by Federal Reserve policies stabilizing the housing market the past few months.

The average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage reached 2.87 percent, down from 2.88 percent, with an average 0.8 point, according to a Freddie Mac survey released Thursday. (A point is a fee borrowers pay, in addition to the interest rate, that equals 1 percent of the loan.) The average rate is at a nearly historic low, well below the 3.57 percent level a year ago.

The 15-year fixed-rate average reached 2.37 percent, ticking up from 2.36 percent, with an average 0.7 point. The five-year adjustable-rate average of 2.89 percent, with an average 0.2 point, was down from the 2.90 percent of the previous week. The 15-year rate was 3.05 percent and the five-year was 3.35 percent a year ago.
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10/9/20  Top Ten Reviews  “Mortgage rush continues as rates fall to new record lows – here’s how to secure your new mortgage deal”     Tim Leonard

Americans target mortgage payment savings as refinance applications surge 50% higher year-over-year.

Ever greater numbers of Americans are continuing to pursue their home buying dreams spurred on by mortgage rates that fell back to record lows last week. According to the latest Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) data, the volume of mortgage applications for the week ending October 2 increased by 4.6% from a week earlier, and was also up 21% on the same week in 2019.

At the same time, the number of homeowners approaching the best refinance mortgage companies for a new mortgage deal was up 8% from the previous week and a remarkable 50% higher than the same week one year ago. As a result, refinance volumes hit their highest mark since mid-August.

“Mortgage rates declined across the board last week – with most falling to record lows – and borrowers responded,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting

How far did mortgage rates drop?
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances of $510,400 or less decreased to 3.01% from 3.05%, the MBA revealed, while points decreased to 0.37 from 0.52 for mortgage loans with a 20% down payment. Similarly, the 30-year rate for jumbo loan balances (above $510,400) slipped to 3.31% from 3.33%, with points decreasing to 0.3 from 0.39, and for FHA backed loans dropped to 3.12% from 3.15%, as points fell to 0.32 from 0.43.

Perhaps helping to explain the additional surge in refinance applications, even larger decreases were seen among 15-year fixed rates, which fell to 2.59% from 2.65%, as points dropped to 0.36 from 0.49.
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The above article,“Headline Real Estate News”, was compiled and prepared by David Fialk, Realtor Emeritus, and regularly posts real estate articles of interest for home buyers, home sellers and home owners.

Licensed Since 1971, David Fialk is Licensed Real Estate Broker Salesperson in North Carolina (Intracoastal Realty, Wilmington 28411) & New Jersey (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Metuchen 08840) and has helped more than 1800 Families Move across Town… Throughout the State… and Across the Country!

Planning on purchasing real estate? Thinking of selling your home? For real estate information You Can Rely On, Contact the REALTOR You Can Rely On”.
David can be reached via email or by phone at 910-859-0200 or at

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