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Mark Hemingway

Mortgage Market Update for May 17th

Friday, May 18, 2018 - Article by: Mark Hemingway - Security Financial Services, LLC - Message

Mortgage rates continued their trek higher this week due in part to the continued growth in the U.S. economy and a tight labor market. Positive economic data usually pushes Bond prices lower, which leads to higher rates. Freddie Mac reports that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose five basis points to 4.66%, the highest level since May 19, 2011. That rate does carry an average 0.4 in points and fees. Freddie Mac says while this year's higher mortgage rates have not caused much of a ripple in the strong demand for buying a home that is seen in most markets, inflationary pressures and the prospect of rates approaching 5% could begin to hit the psyche of some prospective buyers.

HousingWire reports that Ellie Mae's April Origination Insight data shows that the share of closed purchase loans jumped to its highest level since the company began tracking originations, while the time to close a loan continues to shrink. Ellie Mae expects to see a strong purchase market during the peak summer buying months, despite low inventories of homes for sale on the market.

Redfin reports that the national median home price increased 7.6% in April 2018 from April 2017 to $302,200 across the 174 markets that it tracks. This was the first time in history that the national median home price rose above the $300,000 level. The online real estate brokerage firm also reported that home sales were up 5.2% from last year and were higher by 1.5% from January to April this year from the same period last year. "Despite rising prices and low inventory, sales in 2018 so far are slightly higher than last year, which was the best year on record since the 2006 housing boom," said Redfin Chief Economist Nela Richardson.

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