Teresa Larson, Village Real Estate, Murray, UT
20+ years real estate experience
It is safe to say that financial market data and other variables affect housing sales and interest rates. The July monthly Mortgage Bankers Association report provides commentary stating that the first quarter of 2014 reported a steep contraction from 2013 gross domestic product. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the value of all goods and services produced in the U.S. The GDP figure is released quarterly. GDP is closely evaluated by the Federal Reserve to determine whether the economy is growing too slowly, or too quickly. Recessions are often defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction in GDP. Bounce Back in Economic Growth of the GDP is expected for remainder of 2014. International events pose downside risks to the bounce back in the economic growth forecast. The MBA forecast states that the origination of mortgages are expected to be down 42%. The report did note that a big percentage of the decline would be due to less refinancing of current mortgages. Mortgage credit availability increased in June. Credit loosened somewhat as a result of a small loosening in lender criteria regarding (FHA) and (VA) loans with respect to minimum credit scores and maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratios. Even though the standards eased up a bit reports show a decline in mortgage availability indicating that the credit standards actually tightened. Mortgage interest rates are still expected to remain around the 5% mark. The unemployment rate decreased to 6.1 percent in June from 6.3 percent in May, and was at the lowest level since August 2008. Nationally 288,000 new jobs were added in June. Existing home sales pace was the highest since October 2013, although, on a year over year basis, existing home sales have shown declines for seven consecutive months. The census bureau reported that home sales were up in May and June. Higher numbers have not been reported since May of 2008. The Mortgage Bankers Association is national group which lenders look to for support and information. National market data affects the decision of banks and lenders which in turn has an effect on us as consumers. July 2014 Wasatch Front and greater Salt Lake Utah housing data will be available in a few days.
Bankrate.com 28 July 2014.
Mortgagebankers.org 28 July 2014.