Mortgage credit availability up in May
It was slightly easier to obtain a mortgage in May than it was in April. The Mortgage Bankers Association index of credit availability increased by 0.5 per cent to 122.6. "Credit availability eased somewhat in May, largely as a result of increased availability of cash out refinance loans and greater availability of FHA
203K home improvement loans," said Mike Fratantoni, MBA's chief economist. Of the four component indexes conventional and conforming mortgage credit availability increased by 1.2 per cent, the government index increased by 0.1 per cent and the jumbo index was down by 0.1 per cent.
Mortgage rates at 2015 highs says Freddie
New figures from Freddie Mac show that mortgage rates were already at near the 2015 high before bond yields moved higher Wednesday. The primary mortgage market survey reveals that averaged 30-year fixed rate mortgages were unchanged from the week before at 3.87 per cent; 15 year FRM’s were down slightly to 3.08 per cent; 5 year ARM’s were up to 2.96 per cent; and 1 year ARM’s increased to 2.59 per cent.
Technology removes realtor from viewings
A new service using smartphone technology allows homebuyers to enter homes for a viewing without the seller or realtor being present. Buyers simply enter a code on the door of the property, receive a text message with an access code and enter the property. This is just the viewing element of the Opendoor offer which aims to shake up how property is bought and sold, capitalizing on the boom in shopping using mobile technology. Sellers register their homes online and the company decides if it will buy it from them. If it does it markets the home online to prospective buyers, who view the home at a time convenient to them using the code entry system. Offers to buy are also made online. While it may be some time before a significant sector of home buyers are ready to make such an important purchase without physically dealing with realtors, it could provide a glimpse into the future of the industry.
Brooklyn townhouse sets new record
A townhouse in New York’s Brooklyn has set a new record for the most expensive home ever sold in the borough. The NY Daily News says that the Cobble Hill home at 177 Pacific Street sold for $15.5 million, beating the previous record by $3 million. The 27-foot wide home has a movie theater, gym, wine cellar, 2,600 sq. ft. roof garden and 4 parking spots. Although a record-breaker for Brooklyn, it still falls well short of the Manhattan record of $100.47 million!