When you start looking for your dream home, you need to know how much mortgage you will qualify for. Your real estate agent might ask you to get a pre-qualification letter. However, just because you are pre-qualified doesn’t mean that you will get the loan. You need a pre-approval for that, and even then, the mortgage company might not approve your application.
A pre-qualification letter just tells you how much loan you can afford. The lender does not check your credit, your debt-to-income ratio or other factors before issuing a pre-qualification letter. Additionally, a pre-qualification letter is dependent on the information you provide to the lender. The pre-qualification essentially gives you an estimate of how much home you are able to afford so that you do not look at homes that are not within your range.
To get a pre-qualification, you supply the lender with your assets, debt and income. Because the lender bases its decision on the information you provide, rather than information from outside sources, a pre-qualification is not a guarantee that you will get the loan. (more…)
This week’s drop below 3% – again – reminded me that the only one thing more fraught than commenting on mortgage rates is trying to predict where rates are headed. (see below for some of my posts about mortgage rates.)
After rising steadily from 2.65% at the beginning of the year to 3.18% by the end of March, the 30-year Fixed Rate Mortgage (FRM) has backed off again and this week the rate dropped back under 3%.
Former Federal Reserve Chair William McChesney Martin, Jr famously said: “The Federal Reserve…is in the position of the chaperone who has ordered the punch bowl removed just when the party was really warming up.”
This week, current Fed Chair Jerome Powell in effect said “party on, dude.” As the New York Times commented: “The official view of the central bank’s leaders now is that it has been an overly stingy host, taking away the punch bowl so quickly that parties were dreary, disappointing affairs.
The job now is to persuade the world that it really will leave the punch bowl out long enough, and spiked adequately — that it will be a party worth attending. They insist punch bowl removal will be based on actual realized inebriation of the guests, not on forecasts of potential future problematic levels of drunkenness.”
Chairman Powell’s comments
“We will continue to provide the economy the support that it needs for as long as it takes.” (more…)
It was only last July that the 30-year Fixed Rate Mortgage (FRM) dropped below 3% for the first time and this week it moved back above 3% again, following the direction of the 10-year Treasury Note (10T).
As I read this New York Times article: Where have all the houses gone? my mind went to Yogi Berra’s line of “it’s deja vu all over again” as I checked my files and discovered that this will be my 5th article with this title – and the first was written in 2013.
Let’s look at the what and the why.
First, the what. This chart shows that inventory has plummeted across the country:
Following the Georgia Senate election results, which gave control of the Senate to the Democrats, along with the House of Representatives and the White House, the yield on the 10-year Treasury Note (10T) – the most sensitive to increased Government spending – jumped from 0.93% on Monday to 1.13% on Friday, based upon the expectation that increased Government spending would lead to more borrowing which would need higher interest rates to attract investors.
Why does this matter for mortgage rates? Because the rate on the 30-year Fixed Rate Mortgage (FRM) is based upon an extra yield – spread – that investors require over that available on 10T. The national average reported on Thursday ( based on rates from Monday-Wednesday) was a record low of 2.65%, but next week will almost certainly see an increase. (more…)