What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 11, 2023

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This WeekThis will be another light week before the next large releases of the CPI and PPI data. The overall unemployment numbers have been trending lower which will likely leave the Federal Reserve board in a state of suspension. They have made many assertive statements they do not intend to cut rates soon, but the signs of a soft landing for the economy are numerous, leading to much speculation about impending rate cuts. As a general indicator, lending partners have seen a near 6 week-to-week decline in lending rates. The largest data releases this week are the U.S. Unemployment Reports and Non-Farm Payroll data releases.

Non-farm Payrolls & Unemployment Rate

Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 199,000 in November, and the unemployment rate
edged down to 3.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in
health care and government. Employment also increased in manufacturing, reflecting the return of
workers from a strike. Employment in retail trade declined.

ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI

The numbers: An ISM barometer of business conditions at service companies such as restaurants and hotels rebounded to 52.7% in November from a five-month low of 51.8% in the prior month.

Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal had expected the index to rise to 52.4%. Numbers over 50% indicate expansion in the economy.

Primary Mortgage Market Survey Index

Last 6 weeks have seen a week-to-week decline in rates.

  • 15-Yr FRM rates seeing a week-to-week decrease by -0.27% with the current rate at 6.29%
  • 30-Yr FRM rates seeing a week-to-week decrease by -0.19% with the current rate at 7.03%

MND Rate Index

  • 30-Yr FHA rates seeing a week-to-week decrease by -0.07% for this week. Current rates at 6.43%
  • 30-Yr VA rates rates seeing a week-to-week decrease by -0.05% for this week. Current rates at 6.45%

Jobless Claims

Initial claims have increased to 220,000 compared to the expected claims of 223,000. The prior week was 219,000.

What’s Ahead

Next week is an important release schedule with the final CPI and PPI reports, released on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively. With this final release along with the final GDP release cycle, it should give the Federal Reserve the final numbers to move ahead with a plan for next year, which seems likely to include rate cuts.

Understanding the Jumbo Mortgage and Why Refinancing is Different

The contemporary trend towards expansive dimensions is palpable in various aspects of modern life. Oversized soft drinks, large fast-food meals, and expansive smartphones have become ubiquitous. However, one unlikely sector experiencing a similar trend is the realm of mortgages.

Delving into the specifics, what exactly constitutes a jumbo mortgage? How does it differ from its conventional counterpart, and what implications does it hold for potential refinancing? Here’s a comprehensive overview.

Jumbo Mortgages

As the name suggests, the primary distinguishing factor of jumbo mortgages lies in the loan limit. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac administer mortgage limits nationwide, contingent upon the cost of living in individual states. In scenarios involving high-value real estate, such as luxury properties and commercial holdings, standard mortgages may prove insufficient, thus necessitating the flexibility afforded by jumbo mortgages.

Jumbo mortgages are particularly prevalent in regions characterized by elevated living costs, where real estate values routinely exceed the standard loan limits applicable to high-cost areas.

Qualifying for a Jumbo Mortgage 

Given the higher financial stakes, eligibility requirements for jumbo mortgages are markedly more stringent than those for traditional mortgages. Notably, jumbo mortgages do not fall under private insurance coverage, resulting in a substantially larger down payment compared to standard mortgages. Prospective applicants must convincingly demonstrate to lenders their financial capacity to meet the obligations associated with a jumbo mortgage.

Additionally, a higher credit score is imperative for those seeking a jumbo mortgage. While a credit score of 660 or higher suffices for conventional mortgages, a minimum score of 700 is typically required for consideration by most lenders when applying for a jumbo mortgage.

Jumbo mortgage lenders may mandate that borrowers set aside a minimum of six months’ worth of payments in a dedicated bank account at the time of closing, a requirement that typically stands at two months for standard mortgages. Applicants must also prove to their lenders that their debt-to-income ratio is below 45 percent to qualify for a jumbo mortgage.

Refinancing Complexities

Refinancing a jumbo mortgage introduces heightened complexities compared to standard mortgages. Considerable home equity is a prerequisite for refinancing, and individuals looking to include Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) debt in the refinancing plan must adhere to stringent conditions, including the absence of any deductions against home equity in the preceding 12 months.

Specific lenders may impose additional requisites for refinancing jumbo mortgages. For example, homeowners with less than a year of ownership may be directed toward a Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae loan. Regardless of the fair market value at the time of mortgage filing, properties owned for less than a year are typically assessed at their original purchase price.

While jumbo mortgages provide an avenue for acquiring luxury residences or commercial properties, securing one demands meticulous adherence to a stringent set of prerequisites. Prospective applicants are advised to seek guidance from professional advisors to navigate the intricate qualification process successfully.

For those contemplating a jumbo mortgage, engaging with a seasoned mortgage professional is crucial to gaining insights into refinancing alternatives and understanding the qualification criteria. Reach out to your trusted mortgage professional to explore refinancing options and ascertain your eligibility for a jumbo mortgage.

How Do Mortgage Points Cut Your Interest Costs?

Those who are involved in the real estate industry likely know that mortgage rates are at an all-time low. At the same time, nobody wants to pay more for a house than they have to. Some of the most important factors that dictate how much someone is going to pay for a house include points and interest rates.

While interest rates are incredibly low, there is a way to make them lower. This comes in the form of points. This is additional money that is paid upfront to get a better deal over the life of the loan. Even though this sounds great in theory this might not be the best option for everyone. There are a few important points to keep in mind.

What Are Points?

Often, the lender is going to offer someone the option of paying points when the mortgage is created. This should be viewed as paying interest on the loan in advance. In exchange for paying interest upfront, the lender should offer to lock in a lower interest rate over the life of the loan. The more points someone purchases, the better the rate.

For example, paying one point of interest may reduce the interest rate on the loan by 0.25 percent. This is standard. Take, for example, a $200,000 home. One point on this loan would cost someone about $2,000. In exchange, the interest rate on the loan is going to drop by 0.25 percent. This might be worth it in the long run.

Discount Points

Other people might have heard about something called discount points. This is another term for mortgage points. The two terms can be used interchangeably. Typically, people can purchase as many discount points as they want, up to the limit of the lender. 

An Overview Of Origination Points

Another type of point that people might have heard about is origination points or origination fees usually expressed by a percentage of the loan amount. These are points that are charged to the borrower to cover the processing, or originating fees for the mortgage loan. These fees are included in the total closing costs disclosed when you apply for your home loan.

Origination points are almost always negotiable. The number of origination points that a lender is going to charge can vary from place to place. Therefore, always be sure to ask about origination points. There might be a way to get these points waived, saving the borrower a significant amount of money.

As always, your trusted mortgage financing professional is the best source of information for your personal mortgage situation.