Friday, July 26, 2013

The Time Is Now! Low Mortgage Rates Won't Last!

If your clients have been waiting for the right time to buy, that time is NOW! Mortgage rates are on the rise, in fact they are rising at an unprecedented rate. During the crisis of 2008 rates dropped dramatically, at this time last year rates were around 3.5%. At the end of June of this year, rates jumped .5 percent, from 4% to 4.5%, the largest week over week rate increase in over 25 years! These jumps can largely be attributed to the housing recovery, and the steps set in motion by the Federal Government to pave the way for the housing boom. My Rate Mailer provides loan officers with the best online mortgage marketing mailer, allowing your clients to always be informed, no matter what the change in rates may be.


Information provided by CBS News

(MoneyWatch) Although mortgage rates are famously hard to predict, there is consensus that they are moving in only one direction: up.

"Interest rates will probably fluctuate throughout the year but generally will follow an upward trend line," said Grant Moon, president of VA Loan Captain, a mortgage firm targeted to veterans. "Interest rates as a whole will rise a lot faster than they fall."

At this time last year, interest rates on benchmark 30-year fixed-rate loans were hovering around record lows at 3.5 percent, or even less. They bottomed out at the end of November, when rates hit 3.31 percent, according to the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey. And until recently rates had generally remained well below the 4 percent mark.

But in just the past month rates have jumped to more than 4.5 percent, a mark we haven't surpassed in more than two years. At the end of June, rates jumped nearly 0.5 percent, the largest week-over-week increase in more than a quarter century.

"The degree that interest rates have gone up in such a short period of time is really second to no other time, so I think that has gotten people's attention, but I am really not concerned about it," said Hale Walker, co-founder and senior vice president of residential mortgage lender Michigan Mutual. "I personally would be surprised if we saw interest rates over 4.5 percent by the end of the year."

Rates have been on a bit of a rollercoaster ride, charging up and down from week-to-week or even day-to-day.

"I think volatility will be the norm for the rest of the year," said Josh Moffit, president of Silverton Mortgage Specialists, a direct mortgage lender in Atlanta. "However I don't feel we'll have the large moves we've seen in the past 30 days or so."

He believes that mortgage rates will remain in the low 4 percent to low 5 percent range.

Brian Koss, executive vice president of Mortgage Network, a mortgage banker with branches throughout the eastern U.S., agrees. "The consensus seems to be that we can expect any changes in rates to range between an increase of 0.5 percent and a decrease in .25 percent," he said.

The big jumps in interest rates in recent months have largely been driven by the housing market's strong recovery. That has led the Federal Reserve to start scaling back its monthly purchases of Treasury on mortgage bonds sooner than expected. The central bank launched the bond-purchasing program during the worst of the financial crisis in 2008 to help lower long-term interest rates and stimulate economic activity.

The wild card in forecasting mortgage rates? Jobs. Although the labor market has picked up speed this year, averaging roughly 200,000 monthly job gains, the Fed has pledged to maintain its low-interest policy until the economy strengthens and unemployment falls significantly from its current level of 7.6 percent.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke reiterated last week that it would not automatically raise the benchmark federal funds rate, the rate for intrabank loans, once the jobless rate fell to 6.5 percent and inflation topped 2.5 percent. Rather, the bank will merely consider these thresholds in exploring whether to push rates up.

"With the job market still being very tough, it will be hard for rates to really jump up into 5 or 6 percent," Moffit said. "In my opinion, the unemployment rate will need to dip below 7 percent for that to happen; and while that is possible, it seems unlikely by year-end."

That means homebuyers still have time to capitalize on low rates. They may not return to historic lows, but they're pretty close.

"We always say, there's nothing to worry about below 8 percent," Walker said.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Three Social Media Tips for Loan Officers

While the mortgage rate roller coaster is still causing major ups and downs, we can always rely on one constant, THE INTERNET! My Rate Mailer provides loan officers with the best online mortgage marketing mailer, allowing your clients to always be informed, no matter what the change in rates may be. You are also able to post your mailer up on ANY SOCIAL MEDIA site, to spark interest and attract new clients. Here are a few tips to keep your client base engaged while the roller coaster keeps coasting!


Start Now

With Facebook membership over 500 million strong and Twitter approaching 200 million users, it is evident that the future of the Internet is geared towards its “social” aspect. However, the serious potential offered by these platforms can lead to substantial learning curves. The sooner you become acquainted, the sooner you can begin employing it to your advantage.

Integrate

When it comes to social media, consistency is king. Align organizational strategies and messages across all channels. Link your Twitter and Facebook pages, but above all, keep it constant! This will aid you in establishing a brand identity and, in turn, building brand equity – known as the “Holy Grail” to marketing specialists.

Newsletter/Mailer

Using Social Media accounts is a great way to connect with your client base, however sending out a weekly newsletter or mailer may help to set you apart from the herd. When providing consistent and effective communication directly to your buyers inbox, your clients will see you in a different light. These days everyone is using their Facebook and/or Twitter pages to communicate general information, however a personalized mailer with specific information sent directly to your client will make you their go-to lender!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Close more Loans! - What You Can Do To Keep Buyers Buying.

Reuters recently reported that the rise in mortgage rates has cut into the home buyer demand. This would be troubling news for any lender or loan officer in the industry, however there may be a simple solution to help keep your business in the green, My Rate Mailer.

"Expectations the Federal Reserve will slow its economic stimulus program by the end of the year pushed mortgage rates higher last week, sapping demand from potential home buyers, data from an industry group showed on Wednesday."

Is there anything loan officers can do in a time like this? The answer is YES, online mortgage marketing! Buyers need to feel a sense of certainty when looking to purchase a new home. The roller coaster of mortgage rates is not providing the best arena for new home buyers, because the rates are constantly up and down, giving a sense of uncertainty and discomfort to buyers. My Rate Mailer keeps your clients in the know, providing them with the rates you offer first and foremost. By providing your clients with your rates as soon as they change, keeps clients informed and feeling valued. Don't let your client get caught up in the latest mortgage news headlines, the constant ups and downs, provide them with YOUR rate first, keep them informed and feeling a sense of comfort when purchasing a new home.


Reuters - Rise in mortgage rates cuts into home buyer demand

Rates measured by the Mortgage Bankers Association jumped to the highest level since July 2011, which also cut into refinance activity. The share of refinance applications fell to the lowest level in more than two years.

Interest rates on fixed 30-year mortgage surged 12 basis points to average 4.58 percent in the week ended June 28, the MBA said.

"At these rates, many fewer homeowners have an incentive to refinance," Mike Fratantoni, MBA's vice president of research and economics, said in a statement.

"Purchase application volume also declined, but not nearly to the same extent, as affordability remains strong."

However, a separate report from mortgage financier Freddie Mac, covering the week ending July 3, showed average rates for 30-year mortgages heading slightly lower. Market concern about an early reduction of Fed stimulus eased somewhat during the period, an economist said.

Rates have been rising since early May, with the increase accelerated by comments from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke last month that the central bank expects to wind down the pace of its quantitative easing program later this year if the economy improves as expected.

The Fed has been buying $85 billion a month in bonds and mortgage-backed assets to keep borrowing costs low and stimulate economic growth. The historically low mortgage rates have helped lure in buyers as the housing market gets back on its feet.

The recent higher cost of mortgages has raised concerns that the increase could dampen demand and slow the housing recovery, though most economists do not expect it to be derailed. Even with the increase, rates remain historically low.

While the rise in rates had appeared to cause some potential buyers to get into the market earlier in June, MBA's seasonally adjusted index of loan requests for home purchases decreased 3.1 percent last week.

Refinancing activity was hit much harder and the index tumbled 15.6 percent last week. The refinance share of total mortgage activity slumped to 64 percent of applications from 67 percent the week before. It was the lowest level since May 2011.

The overall index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, slid 11.7 percent.

The survey covers over 75 percent of U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, according to MBA.

The Freddie Mac report showed average 30-year fixed rate mortgages for the week ending July 3 falling to 4.29 percent from 4.46 percent last week. At this time last year the rate averaged 3.62 percent.

The Primary Mortgage Market Survey also showed that the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.39 percent this week, down from last week's average of 3.50 percent.

"Fixed mortgage rates fell over the holiday week as market concerns over the timing of the Federal Reserve's pullback in bond purchases eased somewhat," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac.