Revisiting FMBN’s informal sector and co-operative housing scheme

As access to mortgage continues to be an exclusive preserve of the privileged few in Nigeria, good initiatives that could ease access to the facility by low income earners and those in the informal sector of the economy should be encouraged by the government and its agencies.

This is why there is need for the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) to go back to its very inspiring and commendable ‘Informal Sector Co-operative Housing Scheme’ which was launched in Lagos a few years ago with the primary aim of bringing more people into the mortgage net.

The scheme, also tagged ‘Affordable Home Ownership Through Co-operative Financing’, was launched as part of  the apex mortgage bank’s efforts at bridging the housing demand-supply gap  and giving the vast majority of  this economically-disadvantaged Nigerians, who constitute this sector, the opportunity to have decent and affordable housing.

The informal sector in Nigeria comprises low income earners struggling to earn their daily living such as artisans, the road-side mechanics, the market traders, farmers and so on. Basically, these are individuals who do not wear suits, ties or polished shoes to work in air-conditioned offices, yet they contribute immensely to the national economy.

 The National Housing Fund (NHF) scheme, whose operations are supervised by the FMBN, is accessible only to those in the formal sector, but by the launching of this new scheme, FMBN assured that Nigerians in the informal sector would be registered as bona fide contributors to NHF and become eligible for affordable loan to build, purchase or renovate residential accommodation.

The bank explained  that the loan facility under the scheme could be accessed in one of two ways, namely Cooperative Housing Development Loan (CHDL) and the Cooperative Housing Funds Loans (CNL).

The CHDL enables a cooperative society that has acquired a plot of land to develop houses for allocation to its members. The parcel of land should have title in the name of the society which would act as the facilitator on behalf of its members and in the loan transaction and would also facilitate construction of the housing units.

To qualify for this loan, the cooperative society must have been in existence for a minimum 12 months; the proposed estate must have good title that can be sub-leased to individual allottees/ purchasers of the housing units therein, and  the tenor for the loan shall be 24 months with a moratorium period of 12 months at an interest rate of 10 percent.

CNL, on the other hand, offers individual cooperative members a mortgage loan to buy a house developed through the cooperative housing development loan or to renovate an existing one. Individual cooperator shall enjoy the housing loan at 6 percent interest rate repayable over a maximum period of 25years. Cooperators shall make a down payment of 15 percent of the approved selling price/value or improvement as their personal stake in the loan.”

But like many things Nigerian, nothing is being said about the scheme at the moment after all the funfare at its launching. The federal government, at various times, has adopted strategic policies aimed at integrating the informal sector into mainstream national economy.

Such policies include the promotion of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs), directive to commercial banks to engage in rural banking , encouragement of micro- finance banking  among others. These policies are usually aimed at enhancing the contribution of the informal sector to the growth of Nigeria economy.

Unconfirmed report indicates that the informal sector in Nigeria constitutes about  85 percent of the country’s total workforce. In terms of economic output and employment, the informal sector accounts for as high as 60 percent of  gross domestic product and about 70 percent  of total employment across all economic sectors.

In other jurisdictions, the informal sector generates about 6.2 percent of aggregate employment in the United States, 22.3 percent in China, about 50 percent in Israel and 80 percent in India which means that given the needed support and regulatory frame work, the informal sector should be a major facilitator in fighting unemployment and poverty in Nigeria.

But all these do not make any meaning to the government and that is why it is every man, mind your business. No structured policy that is targeted at growing this important component of the economy.

Amal Pepple,  the minister of housing at the time of the launch of the scheme described it as a significant step towards improving access to affordable housing to a good number of people who may not have the opportunity of owning a home, in their life time, unless they are assisted to do so.

“It is important to resolve the housing challenges of this important segment of the population  who constitute about 60 percent of the productive labour force in urban areas; housing finance in Nigeria is encumbered; there is scarcity of long term funds for housing/mortgage finance; there is also unsatisfactory state of housing delivery which is accentuated by other factors such as high cost of land acquisition, difficulty  in obtaining land title, high cost of perfecting  legal processes and of building materials”, she noted.

The minister noted further that the new product was remarkably different from the existing NHF; Estate Development Loans (EDL) for estate developers and the Cooperative Housing Development Loan (CHDL) which were for formal and private sector operators, adding that the new product had been designed  specifically with the informal sector operators in  mind to enable them to have access to cheap, reliable and affordable funds, with more relaxed condition for  access.

As Nigeria settles in with the President Muhammadu Buhari administration and its next level agenda coupled with the good strides which FMBN is making in recent times, consideration should be given to moving the country’s mortgage system to a new level by improving both access and affordability.

From all indications, this good scheme may have ended its journey at the launch, but Nigerians are still hoping that,in the spirit of economic diversification, the mortgage industry will be given attention.

By Chuka Uroko

25 per cent pension funds for mortgage

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Pension Commission (PenCom) are working out modalities for workers under the contributory pensions’ scheme to access 25 per cent of their contributions for personal home investments.

Mrs. Ambah Hamda of City Bank yesterday broke the news in Abuja.

She said: “The 25 per cent of Retirement Savings Account (RSA) being made available to the holders as equity contribution for mortgages is a work in progress. The CBN and Bankers’ Committee will work with PenCom to make this a reality.

“Once it becomes a reality, an RSA holder will then be in a position to walk up to his pension fund administrator and ask to access 25 per cent saved up in his name and would like to borrow money to build a house.

“With such approval, you will then approach your banker. It would make the bank very willing because you will then be coming with a sizeable sum of money where you would also contribute to the project.”

Mrs. Hamda said that the committee has also resolved that banks should support the pension industry to release up to 25 per cent of the N9 trillion Pensions’ Fund Assets (PSA) for the contributors of the fund to use as equity injection towards owing houses.

She went on: “Twenty-five per cent of N9 trillion is worth over N2 trillion and if this fund can be used to stimulate demand for mortgage loans in our economy. It was agreed that the Central Bank would talk to fellow regulators and also work with government of various states to make the while process of land transfer and titling a lot easier so that many more people across the nation can access mortgage financing, thereby stimulating demand in our economy.”

CBN Director, Corporate Communications, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, disclosed that when finalised, the 25 per cent pension contribution will form the contribution of workers to building their houses to which they can then obtain the remaining 75 per cent as loans from banks.

The Bankers’ Committee also announced that both the Creative Industry Initiative and Export Initiative have entered implementation stages and that operators in the sectors should begin to submit their proposals for funding to their various banks.

Mr. Patrick Akinruntan of FSDH Merchant Bank said the Creative Industry Fund was at the execution stage with all banks participating in the creative initiative.

He said: “Every person or business that is into any of the coverage areas is encouraged to put together their proposal, demonstrate the viability and approach their bank. The Central Bank will have a central collation point where all the requests that come through any bank are forwarded so that we have a way of knowing the impact we have made in creating employment and stimulating the economy.

“The same applies to the export support fund, be it in cashew nut, be it in sesame seeds and all the various rich exports that we are able to mobilise because of the impact for employment ability in the economy. There is learning for both customers and banks, but it is an area where we have absolute commitment.”

He noted that the interest rate for these initiatives is nine percent, including all charges.

Speaking on consumer financing, CBN’s Director of Banking Supervision, Mr. Ahmed Abdullahi, described consumer financing as an important asset class.

Abdullahi said: “Banks are looking for more innovative ways to create credit. At the moment, it is much structured around salaried staff but we need to look for ways of extending it to others, like using the collateral registry. Assets are more easily used as collaterals.

“The whole intention is to ultimately drive much more financing, which will have impact on other sectors of the economy along the value chain because the manufacturer is able to sell more products.”

Source: Nationonline

MBA Launches New Affordable Housing Initiative

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) announced today the launch of a new strategic initiative to help develop stronger and more effective affordable housing partnerships in both the policy and business arenas. The objective of these partnerships will be to promote more sustainable, affordable homes for purchase and rental for underserved people and communities, especially minorities and low-to-moderate-income Americans.

“The lack of affordable housing is presenting significant challenges to families across the country. We need to explore how the lending community can better partner with public, private, and non-profit stakeholders to ensure more Americans have access to homes they can afford,” said MBA President and CEO Robert D. Broeksmit, CMB. “As the trade association representing the full breadth and depth of the mortgage lending community, MBA should, and will, be a leader in finding innovative solutions.”

Steve O’Connor, a 23-year veteran of MBA and currently its Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Industry Relations, will assume the new role as Senior Vice President for Affordable Housing Initiatives.

“Steve is uniquely qualified to lead this new initiative,” added Broeksmit. “He knows our members, he knows the issues, and he has strong relationships with a broad group of stakeholders, including affordable housing groups, consumer advocates, and civil rights organizations. Steve has a real passion and drive when it comes to addressing the needs of underserved markets.”

O’Connor currently leads MBA’s Consumer Affairs Advisory Council and serves on a number of industry boards, including the National Housing Conference, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, the Homeownership Council of America, Quicken Loans’ Consumer Advisory Council, Freddie Mac’s Affordable Housing Advisory Council, and the National Urban League’s Business Solutions Council.

“Housing affordability is an issue facing millions of Americans, both those who rent and those who want to buy a home,” said O’Connor. “There is no easy solution. The only way we are going to solve this is by getting lenders together with policymakers, consumer advocates, community leaders, and other stakeholders, and using our collective knowledge and experience to find the answers.”

Under O’Connor’s leadership, MBA is developing a work plan set around a series of objectives designed to better understand the nature of the problem and why previous efforts have failed, and to build and nurture partnerships in support of affordable housing policy and business practices.

Source: Mba

Buy To Let Mortgages

As far as investments go, property is one of the safer bets. Buying a house to let out can be a safe and profitable way to put spare cash to use, and a good way of expanding your assets.

While some approach letting as a purely commercial exercise, parents may also buy a place for their children, which they then charge them rent for. This can be seen as investment in both your and your family’s future.

Mortgages available for letting property used to be subject to higher rates of interest than standard residential mortgages, but in recent years this has changed.

In an active attempt to encourage growth in the private rental sector of the market, interest rates have been lowered and criteria made more flexible. This led to a boost in the amount of properties being bought as income-producing investments.

The rent you charge, as a rule of thumb, should be around 150% of your monthly mortgage repayments. This should cover all the associated expenses – while letting can prove profitable you should take into account the time and cost involved.

Not only will you need to find and purchase suitable property, but you will have to manage it well, whether this means maintenance, furnishing or advertising. An agent can take care of some of these tasks, but bear in mind you will have to pay their fees. Generally, you should think of buying to let as a medium or long term investment.

You should always make sure that a professional agent or solicitor draws up leases and agreements. While you can buy ‘readymade’ leases, these are not comprehensive enough to rely on. Remember too to include an inventory of all furnishings and fittings in the property.

Other costs to consider are: Insurance – both buildings and contents, plus you may want to take out rental protection in case a tenant fails to pay. Service charges and maintenance costs – try to ensure the property will require the minimum of upkeep and repairs.

Source: Booctrust Team

As Mortgage Rates Continue to Fall, will Housing Sales Increase?

The housing market has made big strides forward over the past decade since the financial crisis, recovering from its historic declines in the mid-2000s and seeing big gains in average home prices in many popular markets across the nation.

Yet the rise in prices combined with rapidly increasing mortgage rates over the past couple of years made housing far less affordable, especially in pricier areas of the country.

However, all that might be changing. Interest rates on 30-year mortgages fell to 3.82% on June 7, continuing a trend that has seen rates plunge by more than a full percentage point since last November.

The current figure is the lowest level for the 30-year mortgage since September 2017, and the weekly move was a sharp drop from 3.99% the week before.

The movements in interest rates reflected the big changes in market sentiment with respect to the expected future course of monetary policy from the Federal Reserve.

Line graph of 30-year mortgage rates for one year.
Line graph of 30-year mortgage rates for one year.

The Fed doesn’t directly control mortgage rates for the most part, as its most important lever for influencing the bond market is through its control of short-term interest rates. Yet the bond market pays close attention to the central bank’s decisions, and with an abrupt shift in strategy that’s appeared in the past several months, bond investors have had to adjust accordingly.

In particular, whereas most bond investors previously expected the rate increases that the Fed has implemented over the past two years to continue throughout 2019, they now see a greater likelihood of interest rate cuts in the near future in response to weakening economic activity.

Falling mortgage rates make it cheaper for would-be homebuyers to finance their purchases. For instance, a $300,000 30-year mortgage at the current rate of 3.82% would have a monthly payment of around $1,400, compared to the $1,600 monthly payment for a similar mortgage at the 4.94% rate that was available in November.

Put another way, someone who can afford a $1,600 monthly payment could borrow about $42,000 more now than they could seven months ago. That could spur more home purchases and help give the economy an extra boost heading into the key summer season.

The SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) was unchanged in after-hours trading Monday. Year-to-date, XHB has declined -7.50%, versus a 8.72% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

Source: etfdailynews

NAB to Remediate 5,000 Mortgage Customers

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has released an update concerning NAB’s remediation of mortgage customers that were overcharged after the bank failed to properly link offset accounts to broker-originated home loans from between April 2010 and August 2017.

NAB has identified an additional 4,930 customers requiring remediation, taking the total to 6,522, with refunds payable totaling over $8 million.

In a statement to My Business’s sister publication Mortgage Business, a NAB spokesperson said: “We’re taking action to earn back the trust of our customers and remediating affected customers as quickly as possible and fixing the issues that caused our failures so they don’t happen again.”

The bank said that it has not been able to reach 567 customers for total refunds payable of $593,546.

NAB has noted that where the refund is less than $500, it will pay such amounts to the NAB Foundation, while it will hold on to refunds over $500 for a period of seven years before handing it over to ASIC as part of unclaimed money.

In the event that a customer contacts NAB about this refund, the bank said it would honour all refunds or direct the customer to unclaimed money.

Source: mybusiness

Pretty Cheap Money: Canadian Mortgage Rates Falling to their Lowest Level in 2 Years

House prices may be as high as ever in many parts of the country, but Canadian homebuyers are being offered some of the lowest mortgage rates seen in years as lenders battle to drum up new business.

Rates on a standard five-year fixed-rate mortgage have fallen to their lowest level in two years, according to rate comparison website,

Borrowers just about everywhere across the country can take their pick of offerings well below three per cent at the moment, says James Laird, the site’s co-founder and president of mortgage brokerage, CanWise Financial.

That’s partly for seasonal reasons, he says, in that the spring months are typically the best ones for home buying, as families try to get moved and settled before summer vacations and then the new school year sets in.

“Promotions are April, May and June … when all mortgage companies try to make sure they are on track to hit their annual targets,” Laird said in an interview. “Anyone who’s behind at this point would be aggressive with the margins they’re willing to fund mortgages at right now.”

At the moment, Laird says he’s seeing five-year fixed rates as low as 2.64 per cent for certain buyers, and even higher-risk borrowers can easily find a loan for 2.89 per cent. That’s the lowest range since the summer of 2017, he says, and a big reason why is the bond market.

Unlike variable rate loans which take their cues from the Bank of Canada’s benchmark rate, lenders finance fixed-rate loans based on the rates they can get in the bond market. Essentially, they’ll borrow money themselves at one rate, loan it out to a borrower at a higher rate and make money on that spread.

So current rock-bottom interest rates on fixed loans are no coincidence, considering the yield on a five-year Government of Canada bond dipped below 1.3 per cent this month. If a lender can borrow funds for as little as 1.3 per cent then turn around and make money by loaning it out for twice that rate, they have every incentive to keep offering those deals.

“The hard cost of funding these loans is going down,” Laird said. “And at the same time we are at the tail end of the most competitive market, when lenders fight for [business], so that’s when they are willing to thin out their margins a bit to attract volume.”

  • Buying a home? CMHC could soon kick in 10% of the cost

Less popular loans

Variable rate loans are also sliding lower, too.

Most borrowers prefer the peace of mind of fixed rate loans, but lenders can tempt borrowers to variable rate loans with even better rates — even if they’re only temporary.

Laird says typically it takes a spread of about a full percentage point to entice most people to make the leap. Which is why those loans are even less popular than usual because that premium has almost completely vanished.

  • Canadian home sales rebound from 7 year low in May, but prices still flat

He says the best variable rate loans are about 2.65 per cent at the moment, which is barely better than the fixed rate, for a lot more risk.

Anyone signing up for that loan today is “assuming the Bank of Canada is going to be forced to drop their rate once or twice. That would be the only way to justify taking it,” he said. The bank’s benchmark rate is 1.75 per cent.

Trading in investments known as overnight index swaps suggests investors think there’s about a 50 per cent chance of a rate cut by the central bank this year — but two would be very unlikely, and never mind any more beyond that.

Lower rates could be good news for those who’ve already bought, too.

1 in 6 mortgages up for renewal

A recent report by National Bank found that a little more than one out of every six mortgages in Canada is up for renewal this year, and as recently as January the bank was calculating that most of them could expect to be paying between 70 and 90 more basis points on their next loan than they were on their current one. (A basis point is 1/100th of a percentage point, so a jump of 70 basis points would be a loan that went from 3 to 3.7 per cent, for example.)

But thanks to the steep slide in mortgage rates since the start of the year, most people with loans up for renewal now have no need to fear a big jump in their rate when the time comes.

“With the recent drop in mortgage rates, those households will be renewing at rates barely above their previous ones,” National Bank economist Matthieu Arseneau said.

  • ANALYSIS | Reining in the housing market may be wise, but it remains unpopular

Laird doesn’t see anything on the immediate horizon that could derail the era of lower rates, but he does think the federal election in October is worth paying attention to for how it relates to housing.

Housing policy is bound to come up on the campaign trail, and he expects to hear a lot of talk about changing stress test rules and extending amortization periods in the coming months.

But until that happens, Laird’s expectations for the mortgage market can be summed up succinctly: “Pretty cheap money.”

Source: Cbc

Pressure on Banks to Cut Mortgage Rates as ECB Kicks Hike into Long Grass

Banks have been urged to reduce all their mortgage rates after the European Central Bank (ECB) said it now expects to keep rates on hold at record lows until the middle of next year.

The move to further hold off on a rates rise is a massive boost to hundreds of thousands of mortgage holders, as well as small businesses.

Households and firms are already facing the threat of a hard Brexit hitting economic growth in this country this year.

The ECB said it now expects to keep interest rates on hold “at least through the first half of 2020”.

It is highly unusual for the ECB to be so specific about its rate-raising plans.

It had previously been expected that rates would start to rise from this September. Now it could be two years before they go up.

Mortgage expert Karl Deeter said money markets were now predicting that wholesale rates would not rise for 12 years.

This means those with trackers would not see higher costs for years.

“All banks should now reduce all their mortgage rates as wholesale rates are set to stay at record lows for a long while,” he said.

The ECB also said it would continue paying banks to lend to households and businesses as the outlook for global growth darkens further.

In a statement, the ECB said: “The Governing Council now expects the key ECB interest rates to remain at their present levels at least through the first half of 2020, and in any case for as long as necessary.”

The move is set to boost the 300,000 people who have tracker mortgages that can change only when the ECB rates move.

It will also mean banks will be reluctant to push up variable rates, while those locked into fixed rates who are due to come to the end of the term will not now have to pay hugely elevated rates on exit.

There has been a huge upsurge in mortgage holders opting for fixed rates over fears of imminent ECB rate rises.

People are also opting to fix because mortgage holders here continue to pay the highest variable rates in the eurozone.

The average interest rate on all new mortgages agreed in Ireland stood at 3pc in March, down 21 basis points on the same month last year, but still considerably higher than the eurozone average of 1.74pc.

Only Greece had higher interest rates in March.

Banks have been enticing homeowners to fix by offering fixed rates that are lower than typical variable rates. Some fixed rates are as low as 2.3pc compared with variable rates of up to 4.5pc.

In April, AIB, the largest mortgage lender in the State, shocked the market with cuts to its fixed rates.

Bank of Ireland had pushed up some of its fixed rates at the start of the year, a decision it may now reverse.

Source: Independent

Housing Construction Rates Fall to Lowest Level in Six Years as Mortgage Lending Stalls

Australian housing remains in the doldrums, with construction activity continuing to contract and mortgage lending still well down on a year ago, as the sector pins its hopes on a flow-on benefit from the RBA rate cut.

Construction rates across Australia had their sharpest falls in six years in May as the building of houses and apartments slowed and jobs in the sector continued to trail off, according to a survey of businesses in the industry.

The Australian Industry Group/Housing Industry Association Performance of Construction Index (PCI) report released on Friday said overall activity slipped 2.2 points on the previous month to 40.4 – an accelerated decline below the 50-point mark separating expansion and contraction.

The PCI recorded a 14th month of shrinking apartment building activity and house building activity contracted for the 10th month in a row.

The pace of houses being built was at its weakest level since September 2012 and the report suggested there was no recovery in sight, given that new orders in May fell at their steepest rates in six and a half years.

“This indicates a continuation of broad weakness in demand and points to ongoing subdued house building activity in coming months,” the PCI report said.

The report noted dwindling demand for residential building construction was affecting job prospects in the sector, with employment shrinking for the 10th consecutive month.

“It indicates that construction businesses are responding to the ongoing weakness of overall demand conditions by exerting greater caution in terms of their labour recruitment,” it said.

Analysts from AiG and the HIA said the construction industry may yet benefit from the federal election and Tuesday’s interest rate cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia, but there was no positive news in the data so far.

“The industry and businesses in its supply chains will be hoping that lower official interest rates will flow through to borrowers and help turn around the recent negative trends,” Ai Group head of policy, Peter Burn, said.

“With major banks set to pass on most of the RBA’s rate cut to borrowers, it will be interesting to note whether any post-election glee translates to a lift in new orders in June,” HIA economist Tom Devitt said.

Respondents to the PCI survey in the residential building sector pointed to a drop in demand, tight lending conditions and falling property prices.

Meanwhile, figures released on Friday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show fewer owner-occupier mortgages were issued than expected in April but the total value of new home loans lifted slightly during the month.

The value of total mortgage lending – excluding refinancing – rose by 0.2% in April to $17 billion, according to seasonally adjusted figures.

The number of new loans granted to owner-occupiers for April fell by 1.1%, missing predictions of a flat result, but the value of owner-occupier loans outstripped expectations with a 1.0% jump to $12.6 bn.

The value of new investor loans underwhelmed with a 2.2% drop to $4.4 bn, missing consensus expectations of a 1% value rise.

The value of both owner occupier and investor loans remains well down on a year ago.

Nonetheless, total lending to households and businesses was up by 6.1% for the month to $67 bn, still 2.7% down on a year ago.

Business lending in April surged by 11.3% to $36 bn and lending for personal finance lifted 4.3% to $4.8 bn.

The value of loans for refinancing dropped by 0.8% to $8.9 bn.

Source: Theguardian

Lowest Mortgage Rates in a Year and a Half don’t Impress Homebuyers

Mortgage rates are falling fast but not enough to offset high home prices. Buyers are still pulling back.

Total mortgage application volume increased 1.5% last week from the previous week and 12% from a year earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. The gains were driven by refinances.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) decreased to 4.23% from 4.33% by the end of last week, with points decreasing to 0.33 from 0.42 (including the origination fee) for loans with a 20% down payment.

“Mortgage rates dropped to their lowest level since the first week of 2018, driven by increasing concerns regarding the ongoing trade tensions with China and Mexico,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA senior vice president and chief economist.

“Some borrowers, particularly those with larger loans, jumped on the opportunity to refinance, bringing the index and average refinance loan size to their highest levels since early April. Additionally, refinances for FHA and VA loans jumped by 11%.”

Total refinance volume rose 6% from the previous week and was nearly 33% higher than a year ago, when interest rates were 52 basis points higher. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 42.2% of total applications from 39.7% the previous week.

Refinances are highly rate-sensitive, and the drop in rates added about 2 million more borrowers to the pool of those who could benefit from a refinance, according to Black Knight, a mortgage software and analytics company.

Mortgage applications to purchase a home, however, fell 2% for the week and were barely 0.5% higher than a year ago. High prices continue to sideline buyers, especially first-time buyers, who are a growing segment of the market.

Millennials are aging into their prime homebuying years, but they are saddled with debts, are likely paying high rents and are facing one of the least-affordable markets in decades.

“Coming out of the Memorial Day holiday, and likely impacted by the financial market volatility caused by the trade tensions, purchase application volume declined for the week. Potential homebuyers may be more cautious given the heightened economic uncertainty,” Fratantoni said.

Mortgage rates continued to fall sharply this week to the lowest level since August 2017. More economic data in the coming days, including the all-important monthly employment report Friday, could cause another strong move in either direction.

Source: cnbc

Translate »