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Mortgage Update 1.4.16 and Upgrade Joy Scores

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Blog by Doug Ingersoll | January 4th, 2016

Neighbor Sam passed along an article on Joy Scores "Replacing roof may be remodeling project that yields the most in resale value". Thinking this may be an east coast thing. Here in paradise (Arizona) most roofs are concrete and should last 30-50 years. I would venture that bathrooms and kitchens would get your best return here. Thanks Sam.

Weekly mortgage update from Stuart Crawford with VIP Mortgage: "Over the past week, economic events have had very little effect on mortgage rates.  Typical year-end volatility due to light trading volume has been the more significant influence in the market lately.  As of the end of last week, mortgage rates ended just slightly higher. 

The last batch of data on housing activity released for the year showed that we are ending 2015 at better levels than in 2014, but below the best levels of the year.  There was a surprising 11% drop in existing home sales in November.  This can be partially attributed to longer closing times resulting from new closing disclosure regulations that the industry is experiencing (TRID).  While existing home sales dropped sharply, the National Association of Realtor’s Pending Home Sales Index for November was nearly unchanged. This index measures contracts signed during the month to buy existing homes and would not have been affected by the new regulations.  Fannie Mae projects the improvement in housing activity seen in 2015 will continue in 2016 with a 3.9% increase in total homes sales.

The most recent inflation reading showed that in November inflation remained well contained, at an annual rate of just 1.3%.  Both low commodity prices and a stronger dollar have helped keep inflation low in 2015.  However, the effect these have on inflation is transitory.  Unless commodity prices continue to fall or the value of the dollar continues to rise, future readings will not reflect these benefits.  The Fed's effectiveness at keeping expectations for future inflation low will influence mortgage rates in 2016. 

This week we start to see the market come alive again with economic data, and the important monthly Employment report will be released on Friday.  As usual, this data on the number of jobs, the unemployment rate, and wage inflation will be the most highly anticipated economic data of the month and CAN cause the most rate movement."

Stuart can be reached at 480-776-2954