This Week’s Mortgage News

During a speech at Mercer University in Macon, Ga., this week, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart expressed his optimism for the U.S. housing market. While stating that he was not “effusively bullish” on housing, Lockhart did feel that the sector had momentum and that his outlook for 2014 remained positive.

One of the examples Lockhart provided to back up his forecast was that interest rates continue to be favorable for purchasing a home, even despite tightened regulatory requirements to qualify for a mortgage. In addition, he cited pent-up demand among younger Americans who have been waiting to form their own individual household. Once they begin doing so, this should lead to home purchases and building activity.

Lockhart also provided commentary on the possibility that recent weaknesses in economic data could be a result of poor weather throughout much of the country, stating that while he is still tracking the numbers carefully, it is too early to draw a conclusion.

A former Georgetown University professor, Lockhart has led the Atlanta Fed since 2007

Industry Trends

WFS Jumbo rate – 5/5 ARM: 3.00% Refi Index – 1644.5 (-2.69%) Purchase Index – 160.7 (-6.30%) NAHB Builder Confidence – 46 (-17.86%) Existing Home Sales – 4,870,000 (+1.0%) New Home Sales – 414,000 (-6.97%) Pending Home Sales – 92.4 (-8.70%)

As of Feb. 20, 2014.

SOURCE: Mortgage News Daily

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