Mortgage and Market Tidbits

  • Local Area Trends- According to the latest RMLS Market Action Report, comparing November 2010 with December 2010, a few interesting facts emerge-  Average Sales Price increased in the Portland Metro area by 2.2%, and Closed Sales increased by 14.3% which is the highest monthly level since June.
  • Rates- There is some indication that this increase was due to interest rate swings which may have persuaded uncertain buyers to take action. After remaining for weeks at historic lows, rates jumped for a short time to over 5%. They have since gone back down again to about 4.75% but the temporary increase may  have  convinced  buyers that low rates won’t be around forever.  According to MBS  Quoteline, the volatility of rates which has surfaced in the first weeks of the new year is of course due to shifting economic factors. Prior to Friday’s Employment report, nearly all the economic data was stronger than expected which impacted mortgage rates negatively.  Rates improved after the employment data though, and ended the week nearly unchanged.
  • Pat Goodell of Academy Mortgage says:
  • The Monthly Inflation reports and Retail Sales reports  were not as strong as hoped so rates have stabilized below 5%.  But all indications are that there will be stronger economic data coming out in the next few months which will impact rates negatively again.  There is no reason to expect that rates will continue to be as low as they currently are and most expectations are that by the 2nd half of the year, they will have increased to over 5% again.

  • Portland Metro’s “Grade” To Improve?- The mortgage insurance companies identify cities according to their “risk” of declining values. One mortgage insurance company just upgraded 18  cities nationwide (and downgraded 3). They made no change to Portland yet but it’s a positive sign that they are seeing stronger values in 18 cities nationwide and one mortgage insurance rep did say he expects to see Portland upgraded in the near future.