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Mortgage refinances bounce back as rates settle

A sharp surge in interest rates caused mortgage refinances to plummet two weeks ago, but they are now finding their footing again. 

Applications to refinance rose 5 percent last week after falling 9 percent the previous week, according to a seasonally adjusted measure by the Mortgage Bankers Association. They are still down 69 percent from a year ago, as mortgage rates are now up well over a full percentage point from January 2013. 

The average rate on a conforming 30-year fixed loan hit 4.72 percent two weeks ago, after the Federal Reserve announced it would slowly curtail its purchases of mortgage-backed bonds. That rate stayed put last week, causing more borrowers to come back to the refinance market.

The average rate for a jumbo loan is once again below that of conforming at 4.66 percent, as lenders and investors in that market are growing more confident and competitive. They are also not faced with high guarantee fees from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Applications for a mortgage to purchase a home, however, did not bounce back, falling 1 percent on week.  

“Mortgage application activity remained weak over the holiday period, with purchase applications almost twenty percent lower than at the same time last year,” said Mike Fratantoni, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association. “Other economic data is reflecting a strengthening economy, so this weakness is likely due to a combination of the increase in rates and still tight credit.”

Credit availability was little changed over the past month, according to another MBA report. Investors are continuing to fine-tune credit scores and loan-to-value formulas and debt-to-income measures in order to comply with new rules from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; those rules go into effect at the end of this week.


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Joseph Sabeh Jr.

Please let me introduce myself, I am Joseph Sabeh, Jr a full time licensed professional realtor. I have been with Executive Homes Realty for over 13 years and was trained by my late father and Broker, Joseph Sabeh. I recently incorporated the company and we moved the office to 43513 Mission Blvd just last summer. I could not have found a more honorable place to work. After earning my experience selling high end Ralph Lauren suits and studying business management in southern California, I decided to pursue my dream of selling real estate and working with my father. He had already had such an excellent reputation and established a niche market of high end clientele that catered to the very best. I wanted to become the consummate professional just like him and have strived to become just that being just a phone call or email away from getting back to my client’s immediate needs! Known by my clients for my tenacity, perseverance , and excellence in negotia- tion(Certified Negotiation Expert), I have always strived to meet my clients high demands and goals. As a result of my professionalism, I have achieved an extensive portfolio of referrals from past and present clients. I credit my current values from my upbringing of my parents and the credit is due to them without question. Their integrity, pride, and willingness to sacrifice for the better of my life and my sister’s always left a mark on me that one day I will pass on. Their desire to achieve a better life and live it to the fullest is one that some families dream of and I certainly am appreciative of all of the education and etiquette I have learned from them both. I have sold condos up to 3.2 million dollar homes and I am here for any and all of your future real estate needs and wishing you the very best experience in your future real estate endeavors with me.

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