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Mortgage rates were unchanged during the past week as easing trade tensions helped to stabilize markets, Freddie Mac reported June 13 in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Freddie noted that since rates are at historic lows, many homeowners have refinanced their mortgages, which helped maintain housing market momentum.
Mortgage applications during the past week jumped sharply, buoyed by low interest rates, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported June 12. The Market Composite Index recorded a weekly increase of 38% for purchase applications (on an unadjusted basis) while the Refinance Index increased 47% (unadjusted) — its highest level since 2016.
Local municipalities need to reduce the number of regulations and the costs associated with them in order to spur homebuilding, Mark Calabria, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, told attendees June 3 at a conference in Washington, HousingWire reported. Calabria said the supply of homes under construction is not enough to keep up with demand.
Forty percent of economists who responded to Bankrate’s Second-Quarter Economic Indicator survey released June 6 said they believe that the Federal Reserve will lower interest rates in the next year. Respondents cited escalating U.S. tensions with China, slowing international growth and depleting fiscal stimulus as key factors.
The office sector vacancy rate held steady in April at 13.7%, despite a steady stream of new office supply coming online, according to analytics firm Yardi Matrix, MBA NewsLink reported June 4. Office rents in April were up 1.1% percent to an average $36.40 per square foot.
Residential real estate and construction activity both grew across most Fed districts during the past month, the Federal Reserve reported June 5 in its latest Beige Book. Commercial real estate activity was steady in some districts, while others reported declining activity.
Home flipping accounted for 7.2% of all homes sold during the first quarter, the highest home-flipping sales rate since the first quarter 2010, analytics firm ATTOM Data Solutions reported June 4. Flipped homes sold for an average gross profit of $60,000, a 38.7% return on investment.
Mortgage rates fell last week for the sixth consecutive week, dropping to their lowest level since September 2017, Freddie Mac reported June 6 in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Freddie noted that low rates can benefit current homeowners who are eligible to refinance conventional mortgages.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on June 3 launched the Uniform Mortgage-Backed Security, completing the their single-security initiative, MReport reported. The government-sponsored enterprises expect more efficiency and liquidity in the housing market, but critics argue that the UMBS won’t lower mortgage rates as touted.
The flex office space/co-working concept is one of the biggest drivers in the office sector, with New York City; Los Angeles; and Washington, D.C., among the top markets, according to the MarketFlash report from real estate firm CBRE, National Real Estate Investor reported June 6. The top 10 markets account for more than 70% of the nation’s flexible-office inventory.
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