Time to Think About Refinancing Your Mortgage?
Source: NY Times
Due to shifts in global bond markets, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.49 percent Monday, which is down from 4.2 percent a year ago and 3.9 percent at the start of 2016. As a result, now may a good time to check the rate on your home mortgage, because borrowers could save money by refinancing. For that, American homeowners can thank British voters, central banks in Europe and Japan, and a global economy that just can’t get out of first gear. Furthermore, mortgage rates could fall further in the weeks ahead as banks start to pass more of the savings from low rates in the bond market through to customers.
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Share of Student Loan Debt-Laden Borrowers RisingSource: DSNews.com
Mortgage holders carrying student loan debt has increased by more than 40 percent over the past 10 years, bringing the count from 5.4 million in 2006 to 7.7 million in 2016, according to Black Knight Financial Services’ May 2016 Mortgage Monitor. Approximately 15 percent of active mortgages reside with borrowers who possess student loan debt. It was shown that borrowers with mortgages tend to perform better on student loan debt obligations than those without mortgages. The report also found the share of mortgage originations given to borrowers with student loan debt has increased to 19 percent of all originations, a new high in 2014. Borrowers with a 760+ credit score were shown to be the least likely to carry student debt, representing only less than 10 percent of that population.
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Nearly Two-Thirds of Americans Can’t Pass a Basic Test of Financial Literacy
Nearly two-thirds of Americans can’t calculate interest payments correctly, according to a new study. About a third said they didn’t even know how. Overall, a new study from the National Capability Study by the FINRA Foundation, which surveyed 27,564 Americans, found that nearly two-thirds of Americans couldn’t pass a basic financial literacy test, meaning they got fewer than four answers correct on a five-question quiz. Worse, the percentage of those who can pass the test has fallen consistently since the financial crisis to 37 percent last year, from 42 percent in 2009. That being said, the study found that many Americans have recovered from the financial crisis. Respondents who had no difficulty in covering expenses increased 12 percentage points, to 48 percent in 2015 from 36 percent in 2009.
Read the full storyCan Local Governments Impede Housing Markets?
Housing markets have been adversely affected by the addition of significant building costs that did not exist as recently as 15 years ago, according to a recent survey of more than 100 builders by John Burns Real Estate Consulting (JBREC). Analysis of the top 33 markets in the country found that the number of new home communities has increased by only 4 percent in the last year, according to Burns. At that pace, the number of new homes permitted will not reach 1.1 million until 2023, which is consistent with historical averages. Local governments proved to be the primary reason that volume recovery was stronger in some areas than in others. The survey found that government attitudes toward housing tend to be either friendly and affordable or unfriendly and unaffordable.
Read the full storyIs your client moving out of town? Find aThe Housing Market Is Waving a Red Flag
Fervent speculation that abetted the housing bubble is showing up in the bloated share of foreclosures snapped up by third-party investors at auction—a record 31 percent in June, according to RealtyTrac data that starts in 2000. RealtyTrac senior vice president Daren Blomquist commented, “It's somewhat counterintuitive—as the market gets better and there are fewer foreclosures available, demand for those good deals, those bargains in the market goes up. When you see this high percentage of the properties going to third-party investors, that is a sign that these speculators may be over-inflating the market.” The third-party investors are gaining a bigger share of a shrinking pie, as foreclosure auctions made up 8 percent of all home sales in June, the lowest since August 2006.
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