Lynn Fisher

We can learn a lot about a person if we know what types of things he or she talks about or comments on the most frequently. There are numerous topics with which Lynn Fisher is associated, including December, January, and rate. Most recently, Lynn Fisher has been quoted saying: “Ten-year Treasury yields fell the week following New Year's Day as markets continue to adjust their expectations about the incoming administration and Federal Reserve policy.” in the article Mortgage applications rebound 5.8%, as interest rates ease off recent highs. An other article where Lynn Fisher has been quoted is Mortgage applications fall 4 percent as refinancings hit by postelection rates.

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While this was the first rate increase in January, rates remain about 10 basis points lower than four weeks ago. Although it is still early in the homebuying season, purchase activity remains on par with a year ago, suggesting that recent wage growth of nearly 3 percent is helping to offset the increase in interest rates. This trend is also consistent with other reports of homebuying activity.

Ten-year Treasury yields fell the week following New Year's Day as markets continue to adjust their expectations about the incoming administration and Federal Reserve policy.

While jumbo 30-year fixed rates have been a bit slower to increase compared to overall fixed rate mortgage rates in recent weeks, they increased 7 basis points last week to an average of 4.29 percent. At the same time, the average five-year ARM rate declined by 11 basis points to 3.28 percent, which may provide an alternative outlet for jumbo borrowers.

The purchase market remains supported by an improving U.S. labor market. Newly released data from the U.S. Census this week indicate that the median income increased by 5.2 percent last year, the highest rate of increase since 2007. Other recent but less comprehensive measures show wage growth continuing to strengthen in 2016.

Purchase application volume continues to run ahead of last year's pace, but after growing quite strongly in the first half of the year, the rate of improvement has decelerated this summer.

Purchase applications got back on track last week, resuming the level of activity observed throughout most of April and May.

The release of the FOMC minutes mid-week led markets to reassess the likelihood of a rate increase this summer, pushing the average 30 year fixed rate up 3 basis points over the week. The overall refinance index held firm, although government refinance applications fell slightly.

Despite expectations that rates would slowly rise this year, the 30-year fixed rate last week was 18 basis points lower than a year ago, continuing to provide a favorable rate environment for the housing market.

The good news for the new year is that following the holidays, application activity last week resumed at levels just exceeding those observed during early December, suggesting that the purchase market has picked up right where it left off.

Refinance application volume increased for three weeks in a row in early December ahead of the Fed's announcement that it was raising the federal funds rate. During the two weeks following their announcement, holiday-adjusted refinance activity dropped substantially, even though the 30-year fixed rate increased by only 4 basis points over the same period.

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