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Mark Hemingway

Mortgage Market Update for February 5th

Thursday, February 7, 2019 - Article by: Mark Hemingway - Security Financial Services, LLC - Message

CoreLogic reports that home prices, including distressed sales, rose 4.7% from December 2017 to December 2018. It was the slowest year-over-year growth since August 2012 as price gains fall back down to more normal levels. Looking ahead, CoreLogic is forecasting a 4.6% gain in prices from December 2018 to December 2019. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist at CoreLogic said, "Higher mortgage rates slowed home sales and price growth during the second half of 2018. Annual price growth peaked in March and averaged 6.4% during the first six months of the year. In the second half of 2018, growth moderated to 5.2%."

The recent decline in mortgage rates has set up some homeowners for refinancing in the months to come. Black Knight reports that there are now 2.9 million homeowners with mortgages that could qualify for a refinance by at least 0.75%, the largest number since January 2018. Within the report it also revealed that delinquencies, serious delinquencies and active foreclosures ended 2018 below 2000-2005 pre-recession averages for the first time since the financial crisis.

The service sector of the U.S. economy grew for the 108th consecutive month in January, reports the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). The ISM Service Index registered 56.7 last month versus the 57 expected. The government shutdown did cause a bit of slowdown in certain areas, but on the whole the report was positive. A reading above 50 indicates the non-manufacturing sector economy is generally expanding; below 50 indicates the non-manufacturing sector is generally contracting.

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