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What is a Mortgage?

A mortgage represents a loan or lien on a property/house that has to be paid over a specified period of time. Think of it as your personal guarantee that you'll repay the money you've borrowed to buy your home.

Mortgages come in many different shapes and sizes, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Make sure you select the mortgage that is right for you, your future plans, and your financial picture.

Mortgage News
New Home Sales Post Small Decline
July 24 2024
Interest rates and prices continued to curtail home sales in June. The Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported on Wednesday that new home sales declined again last month, although the decline was far less severe than the 5.4 percent drop reported for pre-owned homes on Tuesday. Sales of newly constructed single-family homes were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 617,000 units , down 0.6 percent from the previous month’s rate of 621,000. The May figure was revised upward from the original 619,000 estimate. June sales in 2023 were at the rate of 666,000. This is  7.4 percent higher than the current figure. [newhomesall] On an unadjusted basis, sales in June totaled an estimated 53,000 units, down from 56,000 the prior month. Year-to-date sales total 356,000, only 0.5 percent of the total during the first six months of 2023. At the end of June, there were 475,000 new homes available for sale. This supply is estimated to be sufficient for 8.9 months at the current sales pace and is the amplest inventory since November 2023.  Less than a quarter of those homes, however, are ready for occupancy. The median price of a new home sold in June was $417,300, $300 less than the median one year earlier. The average price dropped from $507,800 to $487,200. [newhomeprices] Sales in both the Northeast and Midwest moved lower in June. The Northeast was down 7.7 percent from May and 63.6 percent year-over-year and the Midwest lagged the two prior periods by 6.9 percent and 32.8 percent, respectively.
Mortgage App Volume in a Wait and See Mood?
July 24 2024
Home buyers remained on the sidelines as interest rates drifted lower, perhaps paying attention to the Federal Reserve’s musings about future cuts. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reports its Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 2.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis last week and 2.0 percent before adjustment.     There was a tiny increase in the Refinance Index from the prior week, 0.3 percent, and refinancing accounted for 39.7 percent of applications compared to 38.8 percent a week earlier. The Index was 38 percent higher than the same week in 2023. [refiappschart] The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 4.0 percent from one week earlier on both an adjusted and unadjusted basis and was 15 percent lower than the same week one year ago. [purchaseappschart] “Mortgage rates continued to ease, with the 30-year fixed rate dipping to 6.82 percent, the lowest level since February 2024,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist. “Refinance applications were up, driven by conventional and FHA application activity, as some borrowers took the opportunity to act. Furthermore, the conventional refi index was at its highest level since September 2022 .” Added Kan, “Purchase applications decreased as ongoing affordability challenges persist with rates at their current levels and with home-price appreciation still strong in many markets.”
Existing Home Sales: Is the Market Shifting Toward Buyers?
July 23 2024
Existing home sales fell in June, but the median sales price hit a record high as it had also done in May . The National Association of Realtors® said sales of previously owned single-family houses, townhouses, condominiums, and cooperative apartments receded by 5.4 percent compared both to May and sales in June 2023. Total sales were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.89 million units. Annual sales in the two earlier periods were at the rate of 4.11 million. Single-family home sales dropped 5.1 percent from May to a rate of 3.52 million in June and were 4.3 percent lower than a year earlier. The annual rate of existing condominium and co-op sales, estimated at 370,000 units, was 7.5 percent lower than the May number and 14 percent below the 430,000 sales posted a year earlier. [existinghomesdata] Home sales just missed the bottom of the range of forecasts from analysts polled by Econoday. Those estimates ranged from 3.90 million to 4.25 million with a consensus of 4.0 million. “We're seeing a slow shift from a seller's market to a buyer's market, ” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Homes are sitting on the market a bit longer, and sellers are receiving fewer offers. More buyers are insisting on home inspections and appraisals, and inventory is definitively rising on a national basis.” Clearly, the shift to a buyers‘ market is not yet complete as prices continue to rise. The median sales price for all housing types in June was $426,900, an all-time high and an increase of 4.1 percent from the June 2023 median of $410,100. Single-family home prices were also up 4.1 percent to $432,700. The increase in condo prices was more modest, 2.6 percent, resulting in a median of $371,700. [existinghomeprices]