Borrowers Brace for Rate Hike Fallout

On Dec. 17th the Federal Reserve, and it’s chairwoman, Janet L. Yellen, decided to raise short-term interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis in early 2007. The Fed has stated that they intend to slowly and incrementally continue to raise the rate as long as the economy continues to grow. The 0.25% increase has left many wondering what changes they can expect to the mortgage interest rate market in the near term.

If you are curious about what some of the experts are saying I recommend that you start with this article on “First Tuesday Journal”
You may also be interested to see how the rates have fluctuated by monthly average since 1971 in this post from “Freddie Mac”

Drone Registration Requirement Approaches

Hubsan Drone
The weight of your drone matters

I encourage all drone owners to determine the flying weight of their unmanned aircraft system “UAS”, many of the very small ones are below the 250 gram minimum weight requirement. However, the responsibility for knowing if your UAS should be registered lies with the drone owner and there are steep fines associated with not registering. According the the FAA’s FAQ page: Failure to register an aircraft may result in regulatory and criminal sanctions. Continue reading

Regional Sales Continue to Increase…

The Washington, D.C. Metro Area housing market continued to see increases in closed and pending sales in October, with pending contracts at the best levels in a decade.  Median sales prices were comparable to both last year and last month [but showed a decline in the year over 5 year average].  Inventories continue to grow, driven by the highest October level of new listings since 2007, but at a continually slowing rate.

Key HousingTrends Metrics - DC Metro Area
With 12,676 active listings at the end of October, inventories increased for the 25th consecutive month.

…Year-to-date there have been 42,616 closed sales across the region, which is up 9.5% compared to last year, and all jurisdictions show increases in the number of sales compared to last year.

Median Sales Prices by Location - DC Metro Area
Median Sales Prices by Location – DC Metro Area

To read more, check out the article here: Full Article from RBI

Please let us know if you need our help with anything real estate related.

HOUSING INVENTORY SNAPSHOT – May 2015

We hope you will find the following snapshot of May’s inventory statistics for the various regions and property types/values in our local Real Estate market informative.

This snapshot features new data points that we introduced a couple of months ago. They show the trend of changes across several categories from 30 days prior. This can be a good way to lend some perspective to the numbers, bearing in mind that the Spring market has a natural life-cycle so some months are inherently more active than others as we discussed last month.

Again this month the 30 Days Trend column for the Average DOM (Days On Market) active/sold is a good illustration of how May will usually behave, with properties moving faster than in April and in most categories the number of listings was up in May. Fairfax County has had some areas experiencing what we would describe as a slow down in the Spring Market. This may be visible in the numbers, the 30 Days Trend for DOM shows that in Fairfax county the number of days on market for sold listings is dropping much less than its neighbor Arlington County. While Arlington showed a combined total across all categories of 52 less DOM for sold properties from 30 days prior, Fairfax only showed 37. Especially curious when compared to the same numbers from the April report, where Fairfax had a drop of 48 DOM to Arlington’s net increase of 7.

Please let us know if you need our help with anything real estate related.

Housing Inventory Snapshot, May 2015
Housing Inventory Snapshot, May 2015

Aug. 1st Brings Settlement Procedures Changes

For Loans Originated on or after August 1st, 2015, lenders must provide the borrower with the newly adopted Loan Estimate within three business days of taking application, and the Closing Disclosure three business days prior to settlement. While this may appear to be a small change to the settlement procedure, it brings with it some potentially deal breaking consequences if all parties are not properly prepared to meet the time constraints and adhere to the cost tolerances. That being said, I think the new disclosure documents are a vast improvement over the disclosures we use today, especially when it comes to unambiguously defining the terms of the deal. The comparison prepared by Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in the link below does a good job of showing what will change.

http://www.consumerfinance.gov/knowbeforeyouowe/compare/

This has all come about as a result of the Dodd-Frank…Act which has directed the CFPB to combine and simplify the TILA and RESPA requirements into an Integrated Disclosure Rule, combined to create the latest acronym the TRID Rule or the Integrated Mortgage Disclosure Rule. The concerns come with the policies that are being adopted by the lenders, who will be held financially liable for failure to comply with new timing requirements and cost tolerances. One such timing requirement is that the final Closing Disclosure be mailed seven days prior to closing. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has set strict fines for any failure to allow the borrower three days to review the Closing Disclosure, and in order to ensure that lenders fulfill that requirement they have set a three business day threshold (if being mailed) for presumed receipt of the documents. As for cost tolerances, the final Closing Disclosure must be within defined tolerances from the Loan Estimate provided to the borrower previously, deviations result in restarting of the three business day notice for review along with any additional days to presume delivery.

Here are some things that will help you to avoid problems with your closing:

  • Plan for your settlement to occur 30 to 45 days from ratification of the contract (industry leaders are encouraging borrowers to plan for 60 days to account for unforeseen delays they expect will plague closings during the transition). The less time you allow the more important it is that you consider using a local lender and comply with their requests for documentation or information as quickly as possible.
  • Back to Back or Coinciding settlements have an increased likelihood of delay (which could cause contracts to fall out per the financing clause) due to the increased number of variables involved.
  • Get a 45 to 60 day rate lock on your loan. Sellers should consider requiring this from non cash buyers. An expired lock could result in a borrower being unable to qualify due to a change in interest rate and allow them to get out of the contract on the financing clause.
  • Make no major changes to your financial landscape from the time of application to the time of closing and be upfront with your lender. Late discoveries of financial circumstances could delay or terminate the purchase.
  • Determine what subsidies will be needed from the seller or agents as a consequence of home inspection items or walk through well before the seven day notice cut off to allow time for changes to the Closing Disclosure to be made.
  • Ask your lender what they have done to comply with the TRID Rule. If they don’t know what your talking about, move on.

P.S. With these changes to the processes and procedures there are new titles that the CFPB is trying to implement. In the interest of informing you about the changes to the procedures with minimal confusion I used the terms you are already familiar with above. These are the new titles you may see in your future transactions: The Lender is now the Creditor. The Buyer/Borrower is now the Consumer. The Settlement/Closing is now the Consummation.

Housing Inventory Snapshot – April 2015

We hope you will find the following snapshot of April’s inventory statistics for the various regions and property types/values in our local Real Estate market informative.

This snapshot features new data points that we introduced last month. They show the trend of changes across several categories from 30 days prior. This can be a good way to lend some perspective to the numbers, bearing in mind that the Spring market has a natural life-cycle so some months are inherently more active than others. See the graph below that details the month-by-month volume of closed sales in the Mid-Atlantic region to gain some perspective on the trend of the Spring Market. Obviously the Northern Virginia market is unique and will deviate from the regional view, but this shows the general pattern.

Again this month the 30 Days Trend column for the Average Days On Market active/sold is a good illustration of how April will usually behave, with properties moving faster than in March and in most categories the number of listings was up in April by between 11% and 30%. However, it seems the increase in number of listings, while still higher than in March, is less so for Condo/Townhomes over $600K/$350K/… respectively.

Please let us know if you need our help with anything real estate related.

Housing Inventory Snapshot, April 2015
Housing Inventory Snapshot, April 2015
Closed Sales over the last year, Mid-Atlantic Region
Closed Sales over the last year, Mid-Atlantic Region

Housing Inventory Snapshot – March 2015

We hope you will find the following snapshot of March’s inventory statistics for the various regions and property types in our local Real Estate market informative.

This snapshot features a new data point, showing the trend of changes across several categories from 30 days prior. This can be a good way to lend some perspective to the numbers, bearing in mind that the Spring market has a natural life-cycle so some months are inherently more active than others. The 30 Days Trend column for the Average Days On Market active/sold is a good illustration of how March will usually behave, with properties moving faster than in February.

Please let us know if you need our help with anything real estate related.

Housing Inventory Snapshot for March 2015
Housing Inventory Snapshot for March 2015