Mortgage rates fall to another record low — but home buyers shouldn’t cheer just yet

Record-low mortgage rates aren’t providing the boost they once did to home buyers, thanks to rising home prices.

Getty Images/iStock

Mortgage rates, yet again, fell to the lowest level on record. But the boost home buyers are seeing from low interest rates has nevertheless faded.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.71% for the week ending Dec. 3, down a basis point from the week prior, Freddie Mac

reported Thursday. This represents the 14th record low that Freddie Mac has reported in 2020.

A year ago, the 30-year’s rate was nearly a full percentage
point lower. During this same time in 2019, these loans had an average rate of

The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell two basis points to an
average of 2.26%, while the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate
mortgage fell by 30 basis points to 2.86%.

The drop in mortgage rates over the past week came in spite

Read More

CT nursing homes must increase staff testing as COVID rates rise. But state only pays for half.

As COVID-19 positivity rates creep up in communities across the state, nursing homes – whose fatalities represent 63 percent of the state’s overall coronavirus deaths – are under pressure again to test staff more frequently.

a person standing in front of a window: Kathy Moore, left, talks to her sister-in-law Ann Marie Lagrange, of Windsor Locks, through the window at Manchester Manor Health Care Center.

© Provided by Connecticut Post

Kathy Moore, left, talks to her sister-in-law Ann Marie Lagrange, of Windsor Locks, through the window at Manchester Manor Health Care Center.

In counties with positivity rates of 10 percent or higher, the facilities are required to test staff twice per week, according to rules outlined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The state currently is paying for every home to test its workers once a week.

State leaders have not said whether they plan to foot the bill for a second weekly PCR test for nursing homes in high positivity areas. Officials at the public health department and Gov. Ned Lamont’s office did not respond to

Read More

B.C. insurers agree to end practice linked to rising condo insurance rates – BC

B.C. insurers have agreed to end “best terms pricing,” a practice that has contributed to skyrocketing condo insurance rates by year’s end.

Best terms pricing developed when multiple insurers would each agree to submit their own bid to carry a portion of the total risk related to insuring a strata property — but the final premium paid by strata owners would usually be based on the highest of those bids, even if the majority of quotes were lower.

Click to play video 'Province announces changes to strata insurance'

Province announces changes to strata insurance

Province announces changes to strata insurance – Sep 14, 2020

The practice led to higher rates for as many as 94 per cent of strata properties, according to data collected by the B.C. Financial Services Authority.

Story continues below advertisement

Read more:
Amid rising strata insurance costs, one East Vancouver building faces enormous bill

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson said rising strata insurance premiums have

Read More

Australia home prices heat up as super-low rates stoke demand

By Wayne Cole

SYDNEY, Dec 1 (Reuters)Australian home prices sped higher across all the major cities in November as record-low interest rates fuelled demand from first-time buyers, providing a welcome windfall to consumer wealth and confidence.

Regional prices also boasted sizable gains as city dwellers still smarting from coronavirus lockdowns sought more living space and houses with gardens.

“If housing values continue to rise at the current pace we could see a recovery from the COVID downturn as early as January or February next year,” said CoreLogic’s head of research, Tim Lawless.

That would be a remarkable turnaround from the depths of the lockdown in April when analysts were predicting price falls of 10% or more this year and next.

Data from property consultant CoreLogic out on Monday showed national home prices rose 0.8% in November, twice the gain seen in October. Values were up 3.1% on

Read More

Home Values Are Up, but Mortgage Rates Are Low. Should You Invest in Residential Properties Now?

Making money as a real estate investor often boils down to buying properties at the right price and either flipping them at a profit, holding them until they appreciate in value, or renting them out. But these days, finding an underpriced home is a difficult task.

Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, home listings have declined substantially in 2020, to the point they’ve been down 32.5% compared to the previous year. This limited supply has helped drive up prices, but that’s not the only reason it’s been a seller’s market this year.

Mortgage rates have been unbelievably low in the wake of the pandemic. Since summertime, the 30-year fixed mortgage has averaged well under 3%, and in mid-November, it dropped to 2.72% — the lowest level on record in almost 50 years, according to Freddie Mac (OTCMKTS: FMCC). As a result, buyers have been clamoring for homes, driving up values even

Read More

Home Prices Gain Most on Record as Low Rates Drive Demand

(Bloomberg) — Home prices surged the most on the record in the third quarter, according to a report Tuesday from the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

a dog sitting on a chair in front of a window: A worker at a home under construction in Dublin, Ohio.

© Photographer: Bloomberg/Bloomberg
A worker at a home under construction in Dublin, Ohio.

With record-low mortgage rates fueling demand for housing, prices jumped 3.1% compared to the prior quarter. That was the biggest gain in records dating to 1991, according to FHFA.

Compared to 2019, prices were up 7.8% in the three months through September, the biggest jump since 2006.

The housing market has been booming during the pandemic in the U.S., with cheaper borrowing costs and the desire for more space to spread out fueling a surge in purchases.

Prices for homes have soared across the U.S. despite the economic uncertainty from Covid-19. The gains have been driven in part by low inventory of houses for sales.

Video: The real turning point for markets

Read More

US home prices climb record 3.1% as low mortgage rates fuel housing-market boom

  • US home prices gained a record 3.1% in the third quarter as historically low mortgage rates boosted demand through the summer, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said in a Tuesday report.
  • Prices jumped 7.8% from their year-ago period. A seasonally adjusted index of prices rose 1.7% in September from the prior month.
  • The Federal Reserve’s lowering of interest rates in March has pushed mortgage rates to several record lows throughout the pandemic and fueled a housing boom.
  • Robust demand and low borrowing costs “will remain important tailwinds” and signal the housing market’s strength will continue through the end of the year, Barclays economist Blerina Uruçi said.
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

US home prices climbed the most on record in the third quarter as historically low mortgage rates drove outsized demand, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said in a Tuesday

Read More

San Diego home prices going up 3rd fastest in nation at rates not seen since 2014

San Diego home prices went up the third fastest in the nation in September and appreciated at a pace not seen in more than six years.

Prices in the San Diego metropolitan area were up 9.5 percent annually, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices reported Tuesday. The acceleration is still not near housing boom levels when, in July 2004, prices were up 33.37 percent in a year.

Only Phoenix, up 11.4 percent, and Seattle, up 10.1 percent, saw prices go up faster in September. But all markets covered in the 19-city index were up, even places like New York and San Francisco, that saw price gains slow considerably since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Zillow economist Matthew Speakman said price gains are the result of mortgage rates at record lows and a lack of homes for sale nationwide. He said competition for homes has put upward pressure on prices for

Read More

Bryn Mawr Bank: A High Exposure To Commercial Real Estate, But Low Default Rates (NASDAQ:BMTC)


After having a closer look at the 5.8% dividend yield offered by Citizens & Northern (CZNC), I wanted to check out the other Pennsylvania regional bank Bryn Mawr Trust (BMTC). This bank is over 130 years old and has a respectable balance sheet with in excess of $5B in assets.

ChartData by YCharts

The bank clearly remains profitable

Bryn Mawr was one of the few banks that decided to report record-high loan loss provisions in the first quarter of this year. This ‘short pain’ method seems to have helped as the bank was able to sharply reduce its provisions in the subsequent two quarters. BMTC recorded $4.3M in loan loss provisions in Q2 and this decreased further to $3.6M in Q3.

Source: company presentation

The lower loan loss provisions definitely helped Bryn Mawr to report a very decent net income. In the third quarter of 2020, the

Read More

Home Sales, Prices Continue Spiking as Mortgage Rates Hit New Low

The “best of times and worst of times” scenario continues in the American residential real estate market, with sales surging amidst an epic pandemic that’s surging itself.

We all know about the pandemic, so let’s focus on the good news here: The National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced home sales and prices continue to soar, with gains posted in every region of the country. And Freddie Mac (OTCMKTS: FMCC) said mortgage rates have hit a record low once again.

All that was after earlier this week, the Census Bureau reported single-family starts at their highest rates since 2007, and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) reported record-high builder confidence.

Sales and prices keep rising as supply meets demand

The NAR said October’s existing-home sales grew for the fifth straight month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.85 million. That’s 4.3% higher than September and a sharp 26.6% up

Read More