Today’s Mortgage Rates Near Record Lows and Reasonible Lending Standards Would Raise Home Sales

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Today's mortgage rates just above record lows combined with reasonable lending standards would raise home sales by 500,000 to 700,000 additional homes in the coming year. The National Association of Realtors just released an interesting survey showing home sales could be significantly higher if lenders returned to reasonably safe and sound lending standards.

The Federal Reserve is doing their part to help the housing market by buying mortgage backed-securities and long term Treasuries to drive mortgage rates down to record lows. Current mortgage rates on 30 year conforming loans are around 3.50 percent. Mortgage rates today on 15 year conventional loans are just above record lows at 2.93 percent. Jumbo mortgage rates on 30 year and 15 year jumbo loans are also just above record lows.
Loan Type
Purchase    Refinance
Location
State/City    Zip Code
Loan Amt Points FICO % Down
  
$
30 yr fixed refi in 06101, All points, Credit score: 740+     Sort by:
Lender
APR
Rate
Cost & Fees
Notes
 
30 yr fixed Mortgage Loan from Garden State Home Loans
Garden State Home Loans
https://www.brimg.net/system/img/inst/7950_logo.gif
300000
Refinance
3.956
3.874
USD
Garden State Home Loans Logo
NMLS # 473163
State Lic # ML-473163
(877) 387 - 9107
at 0.100 pts
30 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,410.54
Fees in APR: $2,685
Thanks for the inquiry! 
 
30 yr fixed Mortgage Loan from Sebonic Financial
Sebonic Financial
https://www.brimg.net/system/img/inst/8420_logo.gif
300000
Refinance
4.092
3.990
USD
Sebonic Financial Logo
NMLS # 66247
State Lic # ML-66247
(877) 388 - 9170
at 0.100 pts
30 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,430.52
Fees in APR: $3,350
Thank you for your inquiry, we will be in touch shortly. 
 
30 yr fixed Mortgage Loan from Sebonic Financial
Sebonic Financial
https://www.brimg.net/system/img/inst/8420_logo.gif
300000
Refinance
4.246
4.240
USD
Sebonic Financial Logo
NMLS # 66247
State Lic # ML-66247
(877) 388 - 9170
at 0.000 pts
30 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,474.06
Fees in APR: $206
Thank you for your inquiry, we will be in touch shortly. 
 
30 yr fixed Mortgage Loan from Garden State Home Loans
Garden State Home Loans
https://www.brimg.net/system/img/inst/7950_logo.gif
300000
Refinance
4.124
4.124
USD
Garden State Home Loans Logo
NMLS # 473163
State Lic # ML-473163
(877) 387 - 9107
at 0.000 pts
30 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,453.77
Fees in APR: None
Thanks for the inquiry! 
 
30 yr fixed Mortgage Loan from Garden State Home Loans
Garden State Home Loans
https://www.brimg.net/system/img/inst/7950_logo.gif
300000
Refinance
3.880
3.749
USD
Garden State Home Loans Logo
NMLS # 473163
State Lic # ML-473163
(877) 387 - 9107
at 1.100 pts
30 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,389.18
Fees in APR: $1,467
Thanks for the inquiry! 
 
30 yr fixed Mortgage Loan from Sebonic Financial
Sebonic Financial
https://www.brimg.net/system/img/inst/8420_logo.gif
300000
Refinance
3.926
3.740
USD
Sebonic Financial Logo
NMLS # 66247
State Lic # ML-66247
(877) 388 - 9170
at 1.100 pts
30 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,387.65
Fees in APR: $3,428
Thank you for your inquiry, we will be in touch shortly. 
 
30 yr fixed mtg refi Mortgage Loan from Union Savings Bank
Union Savings Bank
300000
Refinance
4.399
4.375
USD
Union Savings Bank
4.399%
4/12/2019
4.375%
at 0.000 pts
60 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,497.86
Fees in APR: $852
 
 
30 yr fixed mtg refi Mortgage Loan from United Bank
United Bank
300000
Refinance
4.276
4.250
USD
United Bank
4.276%
4/16/2019
4.250%
at 0.000 pts
30 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,475.82
Fees in APR: $911
 
 
30 yr fixed mtg refi Mortgage Loan from Santander Bank, N.A.
Santander Bank, N.A.
300000
Refinance
4.557
4.500
USD
Santander Bank, N.A.
4.557%
4/17/2019
4.500%
at 0.000 pts
60 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,520.06
Fees in APR: $2,004
 
 
30 yr fixed mtg refi Mortgage Loan from The Guilford Savings Bank
The Guilford Savings Bank
300000
Refinance
4.166
4.125
USD
The Guilford Savings Bank
4.166%
4/12/2019
4.125%
at 0.250 pts
60 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,453.95
Fees in APR: $719
 
 
30 yr fixed mtg refi Mortgage Loan from Citizens Bank, NA
Citizens Bank, NA
300000
Refinance
4.403
4.375
USD
Citizens Bank, NA
4.403%
4/12/2019
4.375%
at 0.000 pts
60 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,497.86
Fees in APR: $998
 
 
30 yr fixed mtg refi Mortgage Loan from First National Bank of Omaha
First National Bank of Omaha
300000
Refinance
4.439
4.375
USD
First National Bank of Omaha
4.439%
4/11/2019
4.375%
at 0.500 pts
60 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,497.86
Fees in APR: $752
 
 
30 yr fixed mtg refi Mortgage Loan from Savings Bank of Danbury
Savings Bank of Danbury
300000
Refinance
4.272
4.250
USD
Savings Bank of Danbury
4.272%
4/12/2019
4.250%
at 0.000 pts
60 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,475.82
Fees in APR: $790
 
 
30 yr fixed mtg refi Mortgage Loan from TD Bank, NA
TD Bank, NA
300000
Refinance
4.154
4.125
USD
TD Bank, NA
4.154%
4/16/2019
4.125%
at 0.000 pts
45 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,453.95
Fees in APR: $1,043
 
 
30 yr fixed mtg refi Mortgage Loan from The Washington Trust Company
The Washington Trust Company
300000
Refinance
4.155
4.125
USD
The Washington Trust Company
4.155%
4/16/2019
4.125%
at 0.000 pts
30 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,453.95
Fees in APR: $1,083
 
 
30 yr fixed mtg refi Mortgage Loan from LincolnWay Community Bank
LincolnWay Community Bank
300000
Refinance
4.155
4.125
USD
LincolnWay Community Bank
4.155%
4/16/2019
4.125%
at 0.000 pts
30 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,453.95
Fees in APR: $1,085
 
 
30 yr fixed mtg refi Mortgage Loan from Liberty Bank
Liberty Bank
300000
Refinance
4.169
4.125
USD
Liberty Bank
4.169%
4/12/2019
4.125%
at 0.250 pts
60 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,453.95
Fees in APR: $814
 
 
30 yr fixed mtg refi Mortgage Loan from UniBank for Savings
UniBank for Savings
300000
Refinance
4.536
4.500
USD
UniBank for Savings
4.536%
4/12/2019
4.500%
at 0.250 pts
60 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,520.06
Fees in APR: $500
 
 
30 yr fixed mtg refi Mortgage Loan from Bank of America
Bank of America
300000
Refinance
4.365
4.250
USD
Bank of America
4.365%
4/15/2019
4.250%
at 0.903 pts
60 day lock rate
Est payment: $1,475.82
Fees in APR: $1,351
 
 

Mortage Data Provided by Bankrate.com Many lenders have different rates on their own Websites than those posted on Bankrate.com. In order to get the Bankrate.com rate, please identify yourself as a Bankrate.com customer. If you believe that you have received an inaccurate quote or are otherwise not satisfied with the services provided to you by the lender you choose, please click here.

The rates above were collected by Bankrate.com on the dates specified. Rates are subject to change without notice and may vary from branch to branch. Rate/APR and terms may vary based on the creditworthiness of the individual and the extent to which the loan differs from the one used for Bankrate.com quotes. For criteria used in surveys of rates above, click here. These quotes are from banks, thrifts, and brokers, some of whom have paid for a link to their own Web site, where you can find additional information.






The National Association of Realtors chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said if mortgage lending standards return to normal there would be tremendous benefits to the U.S. economy. There would be additional sales of 500,000 to 700,000 homes in the coming year which would add 250,000 to 350,000 jobs in related housing trades and services.

Realtors are concerned over unreasonably tight credit conditions for residential mortgages and lenders taking too long to approve mortgage applications. Lenders are requiring excessive information from borrowers and are only focusing on mortgage loans for borrowers with the highest credit scores.

Back during the housing boom lenders were offering loans without requiring borrowers to provide any information, these "no-doc" loans were handed out without concern whether or not the borrower would actually pay the loan. Since the housing bust lending standards were tightened and remain unreasonably tight.

Home prices over corrected on the down side but housing market conditions have turned the corner, prices have stablized and have gone higher in many areas of the country. Lawrence Yun said “there is an unnecessarily high level of risk aversion among mortgage lenders and regulators, although many are sitting on large volumes of cash which could go a long way toward speeding our economic recovery.  A loosening of the overly restrictive lending standards is very much in order.”

In a National Association of Realtors survey 53 percent of loans in August went to borrowers with credit scores above 740.  When you compare that number during the 2001 to 2004 time period only 41 percent of loans backed by Fannie Mae had FICO scores above 740 and 43 percent of Freddie Mac-backed loans were above 740.

Last year about 75 percent of total loans purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had credit scores of 740 or above. Freddie and Fannie don't make loans, they buy loans from lenders who make loans. So you can see from this number the majority, 75 percent, of loans these days are made to borrowers who have a credit score of 740 or above.

Homeowners defaulting on loans which peaked in 2007  at 3.0 percent for Fannie Mae loans and 2.5 percent for Freddie Mac loans. Back in 2002 and 2003 the 12 month default rate averaged 0.4 percent of mortgages, a normal percentage. Since 2009 the Fannie Mae default rates have averaged 0.2 percent while Freddie Mac’s averaged 0.1 percent, higher than the historical norm and surprisingly low since the unemployment rate has been very high the past couple of years.

Existing home sales under normal conditions, should be in the range of 5.0 to 5.5 million.  Lawrence Yun said “Sales this year are projected to rise 8 to 10 percent.  Although welcoming, this still represents a sub-par performance of about 4.6 million sales.

When lenders relax lending standards will probably depend on when the economy picks up steam and the unemployment rate moves lower. Mortgage rates and refinance rates can only go so low to help stimulate demand for housing, lenders have to start losing over stringent standards which would also help lower foreclosures and short sales because housing prices would rise further.
 
Author: Brian McKay
September 18th, 2012