It was reported last week that Pending Home Sales (contracts on existing homes) fell 16% in November, not at all surprising since buyers expected the $8,000 tax credit to expire at the end of October. This artificially boosted contract signings for August-October and artificially depressed them for November. Still, November pending sales were higher than at any time from mid-2007 to mid-2009.
Big news for the housing market came Friday when the President signed a bill extending and broadening tax credits for homebuyers. Major points were first reported in an Inside Lending Bulletin last Thursday. The tax credits apply to contracts signed by April 30, 2010, that close by June 30. Income limits for eligibility have been increased to $125,000 per year for individuals and up to $225,000 per year for couples. Credits up to $8,000 continue for first-time buyers but there is now a $6,500 tax credit for buyers who've owned their current home at least five of the last eight years. However, homes selling for more than $800,000 are not eligible.
For the third week in a row, rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages remained below 5% in Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey. The average for conforming mortgages was 4.92% with an average of 0.7 point (including the origination fee) for 80% loan-to-value ratio loans to borrowers with good credit.
Austin Mortgage Market Update - At the end of September, the supply of homes for sale was reported down 1.8% from the previous month in 27 major metropolitan areas. We all know the factors. Home prices are very affordable, mortgage rates and very favorable and first-time homebuyers are taking advantage of the $8,000 tax credit set to expire at the end of November, now just seven weeks away. The Mortgage Bankers Association saw loan applications for home purchases rise 13.2% last week, as the MBA's Purchase Index hit its highest level since last January. The average rate on 30-year fixed rate mortgage slid to 4.89% with an average 1.13 points (including the origination fee) for 80% loan-to-value ratio loans to borrowers with good credit. Freddie Mac's weekly survey of conforming mortgage rates put the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage at 4.87% with an average 0.7 point for 80% loan-to-value ratio loans to borrowers with good credit.
Both Weekly Unemployment Claims and Retails sales missed expectations as [...]
Program Overview In an effort to monetize the $8,000 tax [...]
Effective 6/22/09 , the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit can [...]