For October, 2011

Rate on 30-year fixed mortgage falls to 4.10 pct.


WASHINGTON (AP) — The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage was nearly unchanged for a second straight week after rising from a record low.

Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan fell to 4.10 percent from 4.11 percent last week. Three weeks ago, it dropped to 3.94 percent. The National Bureau of Economic Research says that’s the lowest rate ever.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage was unchanged at 3.38 percent. Three weeks ago, it hit a record low of 3.26 percent.

The average rate on the five-year adjustable loan rose to 3.08 percent from 3.01 percent. It hit a record low of 2.96 percent three weeks ago.

Low rates have done little to jolt the struggling housing market. Sales remain depressed, and home prices are still dropping in many markets.

Seattle home prices slip in August, Case-Shiller survey shows


Seattle-area home prices slipped in August, ending five straight months of increases, according to the closely watched Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index.

Prices were down 0.3 percent from July. Of the 20 metropolitan areas tracked by Case-Shiller, only Atlanta and Los Angeles saw steeper month-over-month declines. Prices in Las Vegas and Miami also fell 0.3 percent.

While the composite, 20-city index rose 0.2 percent, Seattle was one of 10 cities where prices dropped.

The Seattle metropolitan area includes King, Snohomish and Pierce counties.

Home prices were down 3.8 percent nationally and 6.1 percent in Seattle from August 2010. But the rate of year-over-year decline in 16 of the 20 cities tracked — including Seattle — was less steep than in July.

Rate on 30-year fixed mortgage falls to 4.11 pct.


The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage was nearly unchanged this week after rising sharply last week.

Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year loan edged down to 4.11 percent from 4.12 percent last week. The week before, it fell to 3.94 percent. That’s the lowest rate ever, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. Rates have edged up since then.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed mortgage ticked up to 3.38 percent from 3.37 percent. It hit a record-low of 3.26 percent two weeks ago.

The average rate on a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage fell to 3.01 percent from 3.06 percent. It hit a record-low of 2.96 percent two weeks ago.

The low rates being offered don’t include extra fees, known as points, which many borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount. The average fees for the 30-year and 15-year loans were unchanged at 0.8 point.

The Federal Reserve has been trying to reduce long-term rates by buying longer-dated Treasurys. Mortgage rates tend to track the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. Buying by the Fed pulls the yield lower.

Lending picks up at big banks


Despite all the bleak economic news, a funny thing has been happening in the financial industry: The banks have quietly turned on the lending spigot.

Loan growth is still modest and weighted toward the strongest borrowers. But after several quarters of flat or plunging loan balances, several of the nation’s biggest banks are reporting increases.

On Monday, Citigroup officials said the bank recorded loan growth, compared with a year ago, in almost every one of its businesses during the third quarter, and in almost every corner of the globe. Its profit in the third quarter rose 74 percent.

Wells Fargo, which saw its third-quarter profit jump 21 percent, said new loan commitments to small businesses rose 8 percent, while lending to bigger companies has been growing for 14 months in a row.

But the new lending numbers suggest that while the economy remains extremely fragile, the confidence of consumers and businesses may be more resilient than many experts had believed.

Most banks have ratcheted up the underwriting criteria so that fewer new borrowers qualify for a loan, especially in the housing markets hit hard by the recession. As existing loans end, they are less likely to replace them with a new one.

But there has been a modest increase in lending elsewhere. Overall, corporate lending has rebounded 7.2 percent after bottoming out in October 2010.

Some of the growth was due to foreign lenders ceding some ground to Wells and other large U.S. banks, rather than an overall increase in demand.

Even its mortgage business, which reported more than a 50 percent jump in home-loan applications, owed some of the lending growth to consumers refinancing existing loans — not people obtaining new ones.



根据Freddie Mac每周利率跟踪调查数据显示,30年固定利率上周达到了历史最低的3.94%,本周开始回升至4.12%。15年固定利率也从上周的历史最低点反弹,从3.26%升至3.37%。

详细历史记录请参看:Rates History

Rate on 30-year mortgage falls to record 3.94 pct.



The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.94 percent this week, the lowest rate ever. For those who can qualify, it’s an extraordinary opportunity to buy or refinance.

Mortgage rates could fall even further now that the Federal Reserve plans to reshuffle its portfolio of securities to try and lower long-term rates.

On Thursday, Freddie Mac said the average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage dropped from 4.01 percent last week, the previous low. The average rate on a 15-year fixed loan, a popular refinancing option, dipped to 3.26 percent, also a record.

The average rate on a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage fell to 2.96 percent. The average for the one-year adjustable-rate mortgage ticked up to 2.95 percent.

A drop in mortgage rates could provide some help to the economy if more people could refinance. When people refinance at lower rates, they pay less interest on their loans and have more money to spend.

King County home sales up, median price down 8% from year ago


Buyers closed on 37% more houses in King County in September than in the same month last year, according to statistics released Wednesday by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Last month’s sales were down 2% from September 2009 — a month when the tax credit helped fuel sales — but up 12% from September 2008.

Fewer houses sold in September than August, but that is the typical seasonal pattern.

The median price of all King County houses that sold last month was $349,550, down 8 percent from the same month in 2010, but almost unchanged from August.

The median price has hovered between $345,000 and $350,000 since March. It fell to that level as sales of lower-priced “distressed” properties — bank-repossessed homes and “short sales” for less than the seller owes lenders — began to increase.

About one in five houses sold in King County in September was bank-owned, according to an analysis of listing-service data done for Washington Property Solutions, a short-sale negotiating firm.

Another one in 10 sales was a short sale.

But the stability in median prices since spring is a positive sign and shouldn’t expect another big drop anytime soon.

In September sales increased — and prices fell — most precipitously year-over-year in Southwest and Southeast King County, where distressed properties are most prevalent.

Both areas saw double-digit declines in the median single-family home-sale price from September 2010. In Seattle and on the Eastside, in contrast, the drop was less than 5 percent.

The number of single-family listings was down 24 percent from last September countywide. “It’s the sellers that are sitting on the sidelines, thinking it may make more sense to wait,” Gardner said.

Inventory fell more steeply in Seattle and North King County, less steeply in Southwest King County, Southeast King County and on the Eastside.

In Seattle, the priciest neighborhoods — Queen Anne, Magnolia, Madison Park, Capitol Hill — also saw the steepest year-over-year drops in the number of listings. Lack of inventory is influencing the market in such close-in neighborhoods, brokers say.

On Queen Anne, “the price point between $600,000 and $700,000 — that price point seems to just absolutely fly off the shelf if the home has been priced right,” said Chris Cooley, a broker at Windermere Real Estate’s Queen Anne office.

“We’ve even seen multiple offers in that price range.”

King County condo sales were up 33 percent from the same month last year, according to the listing service. But the median sale price, $195,000, was down nearly 19 percent year-over-year.

Single-family home sales in Snohomish County also rose nearly 30 percent in September from September 2010. The median price was $242,310, down 11 percent.

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