This Week in Real Estate: Feb. 1, 2016


This Week in Real Estate Oregon and Washington top the list of strongest housing markets in 2016 as reported by Veros Real Estate Solutions. Rising mortgage applications and low rates to end the first month of 2016. Below are a few of the highlights from the final week of January that influence our business:

* The 25 Strongest and Weakest Housing Markets for 2016. A new report from Veros Real Estate Solutions, a provider of enterprise risk management, collateral valuation services and predictive analytics, show the vitality and expected market changes of the U.S. residential market for 2016. In all the top forecast markets, Veros’ report shows an appreciation in the 10% range, especially in the Pacific Northwest, such as California, Washington and Oregon. “Portland, Seattle and Bend are numbers 1, 2 and 4 in the nation, respectively. Oregon, Washington and North Carolina showed the biggest gains in one-year forecast levels from last quarter’s update,” said Eric Fox, vice president of statistical and economic modeling at Veros.
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* Mortgage Applications Rise Three Weeks Straight. For the third week in a row, mortgage application increased, rising 8.8% from one week earlier, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly mortgage applications survey for the week ending January 22, 2016. The refinance index increased 11% from the previous week, while the seasonally adjusted index increased 5% from one week earlier. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) reached its lowest level since October 2015, dropping to 4.02%, from 4.06%. Also falling, the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) decreased to 3.89% from 3.93%.
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* Mortgage Rates in Line With 8-Month Lows. Mortgage rates were at 3-month lows on Thursday and on Friday had moved in line with 8-month lows. For most lenders, there was a day or 2 in October that was just slightly better than today, but the differences are negligible. Before that, you’d have to go back to April to find anything remotely as good. At these levels, some of the most aggressive lenders are quoting 3.625% conventional 30yr fixed rates on top tier scenarios. Global financial markets came into the new year in distress. Major stock indices are plummeted around the world, and investors sought shelter in the bond market. When investor demand for bonds increases, rates fall. So we’re left with much lower mortgage rates despite the Fed having just begun its hiking cycle. This paradoxical trend can continue as long as global market turmoil fuels a demand for safer haven investments.
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Have a productive week!

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