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Mark Hemingway

Mortgage Market Update for January 17th

Thursday, January 18, 2018 - Article by: Mark Hemingway - Security Financial Services, LLC - Message

Home builder confidence remained at high levels in January after December registered an 18-year high: this signals housing demand should continue to grow in 2018. The National Association of Home Builders reports that its Housing Market Index came in at 72 this month, after the 74 reported in December. A strong labor market, low mortgage rates and rising consumer confidence continues to fuel the housing market.

Mortgage rates edged higher in the latest week as investors shifted out of Bonds and into more risky investments such as Stocks. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reports that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with conforming loan balances ($424,100) or less, rose to 4.33% from 4.23% in the previous week. The MBA also reported that its refinance index rose 4% while the purchase index was up 4%.

Investment banking giant Goldman Sachs is getting into lending to consumers for home improvements through Marcus, the firm's personal lending venture. Marcus will begin to offer no-fee, fixed-rate unsecured personal loans; high-yield online savings accounts; and certificates of deposit. The loans will range from $3,500 to $40,000 for periods of three to six years and does not require a home appraisal or borrowing against the borrowers' homes. This is just another way for Wall Street to tap into consumer lending.

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