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With The Turkey Digested: Mortgage Apps Rebound After Thanksgiving

December 8, 2005 | 9:19 am |

Mortgage rates peaked in early November and generally trended downward since then, which probably accounts for the uptick in volume and relatively stable overall app volume for the past several weeks.

The Mortgage Bankers Association released its [weekly mortgage survey [MBA]]( and reported that mortgage volume was up 5.2% on a seasonally adjusted basis.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Purchase Index increased by 4% and the Refinance Index increased by 7% over the previous week.

[30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgages were 6.32%, up from 6.20% last week [ABC News].](

Source: Calculated Risk

Note: The left and right axis are at significantly different scales. The refinance index is characterized by much higher volume and much more volatility. This infers that rising mortgage rates could have a significant impact on mortgage-related employment.


Home Closing Costs Vary Widely By State: Allowing Wyoming Tourists To Afford A Visit To New York

November 18, 2005 | 10:23 pm |

[A study was recently completed that shows the wide range in closing costs by state [].](

Wyoming had the lowest mortgage-related fees and New York had the highest in’s 2005 survey. That’s without taking taxes into account.

Bankrate surveyed nine to 15 lenders in each state, plus Washington, D.C., and asked them to estimate the closing costs on a $180,000 loan to a buyer with an excellent credit history who had made a down payment of at least 20 percent on a single-family home in the state’s largest city. The survey showed that:

*The biggest differences among states came from the wildly varying costs for title insurance;
*fees for settlement services and title searches accounted for much of the rest of the disparities;
*origination costs — the fees that lenders control — didn’t vary much from state to state (but they did differ from lender to lender).

[Closing Costs Listed By State []](
[Hawaii’s Closing Costs Second Highest In U.S. [Star Bulletin (Hawaii)]](

[Closing Costs Mapped By State []](
![Alt text](/wp-content/closingcostmap.jpg)


Week-ending Stats Fest Linkage

November 12, 2005 | 11:26 am |

  • [Weekly Mortgage Rate Trend Index (50/50 expectation for rising rates) []](

  • [30-Year Mortgage Rate Trend (Rates seemed to crest this week) []](

  • [Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey (Apps increase 2.3%) [MBA]](

  • [Key Economic Indicators (a whole bunch of them) [EconEdLink]](

  • [Charting Common National Data Series (Serious charting) [Economagic]](

  • [Pending Home Sales Index (pdf) [NAR]]($FILE/PHSI.pdf)

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Thursday’s Matrix Links

November 2, 2005 | 11:46 pm | |

  • [Weekly Mortgage Rate Trend Index (Rates may fall) []](

  • [30-Year Mortgage Rate Trend (Rates are rising) []](

  • [Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey (Apps are down) [MBA]](

  • [The National Debt To The Penny (Its rising) [Bureau of Public Debt]](

  • [Ernst & Young Housing Authority (Normal cyclical slowdown) [Marketwatch]](

  • [Realtors® Raise Alarms Over Real Estate Tax Proposal [NAR]](

  • [Key Economic Indicators (a whole bunch of them) [EconEdLink]](

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To Muslims, Alternatives to riba

August 21, 2005 | 1:06 pm |


With a growing Muslin population in the US and interest in housing, an age-old dilemma come to the forefront. [Purchasing a home with a mortgage is not religiously acceptable.]( This is because interest is seen as [effortless profit](

Without mortgage, [the purchase of a home for cash for many Muslims is not possible]( In recent years, banks have come up with different [solutions that are compliant under Islamic Law](

[Avoiding riba or interest payments [Note: Subscription]]( has made home ownership difficult. One solution has been the lease-to-own model. Another way has been to [form a housing coop.](

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Bond Market Likes Core Inflation Stats

August 17, 2005 | 7:49 am |

The US Labor Department released their CPI report which indicated that U.S. CPI was up 0.5% in July, largely on energy costs. CPI (Inflation) is up 3.2% over the past year, as compared to 2.5% over the prior year. Still historically low but a cause for concern. Housing accounts for 40% of overall CPI.


It is interesting to note that the previous [table from the site] the year over year change in CPI was actually much higher in February through March.


[Core inflation](, which excludes food and energy costs however, was virtually flat at 0.1%. With core inflation rates so low, the bond market now seems to view rising energy costs as [predictive of softer future spending](, and less of a red flag for inflation.

This may influence long-term mortgage rates to stay at low levels since bond investors still don’t appear to be overly concerned about inflation at this point. Mortgage rates have actually trended down since the end of the first week of August.

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Some Sellers Cut Prices On Their Luxury Homes

August 8, 2005 | 9:39 am | |

According to a article, some sellers are cutting prices on their luxury homes. Since this sector has been the target of new development for several years, it follows that the luxury market would see less of a “froth” than the balance. Unfortunately for developers, the luxury sector sees the highest margins.

Anecdotally, I think that media coverage of high end sales has probably induced sellers to out price the market. In other words, list prices saw greater appreciation than sales prices. I would expect to see an increase in negotiability and an expansion in marketing times in this sector until supply is absorbed.

However, I don’t hold out much hope for that as mortgage rates saw steady gains over the past 6 weeks.


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