Mortgage Application Activity Eased Even Though Interest Rates Declined

Loans

Overall mortgage application activity dipped on a seasonally adjusted basis by 0.7% for the week ending September 23, 2016, according to the Mortgage Bankers Associations’ (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey. While the MBA’s Purchase Index saw a 1% increase over the previous week, the Refinance Index declined by 2% during the same time. The lackluster mortgage application activity data comes as decreases in mortgage interest rates were reported both by the MBA and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

The MBA’s survey showed that the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with conforming loan balances of $417,000 or less decreased from 3.70% the previous week to 3.66%. Fifteen-year FRMs had an average contract interest rate of 2.95%, down from 2.99% the week before. On the adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) front, the average contract rate for 5/1 ARMs moved downward from 2.96% to 2.92%.

The mortgage interest rate data released by the FHFA is derived monthly from a smaller pool of mortgage lender participants than the MBA. However, their 30-year FRM interest rate for conforming loans in August similarly reflected a decrease. The FHFA reported a decline to 3.74% compared to July when the rate was 3.80%. The FHFA also showed that the average interest rate on all mortgage loans fell by 4 basis points to 3.59%, which was down from 3.63% on a month-over-month basis.

To read the full MBA press release, visit http://bit.ly/2da4TVw. The FHFA’s press release can be found at http://bit.ly/2cCCusg.

Posted in Business News, Eastern Idaho Business News, Mountain Home Business News, North Idaho Business News, Treasure Valley Business News, Twin Falls Business News

US Housing Market Considered Healthy and Sustainable in 2nd Quarter 2016

Housing concept

The overall picture of the national housing market was one of good health and sustainability according to Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company’s Leading Index of Healthy Housing Markets (LIHHM) for the 2nd quarter 2016. In addition to expressing optimism that the national housing market had a “positive outlook over the next year due to strong demand drivers and supportive housing affordability,” they also shared their measurement findings for 400 metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) in an interactive map.

Nationwide calculated an assortment of variables, placing weighted values on each metric, to determine the health of each MSA’s housing market. The main housing market drivers they used were grouped into 4 categories: unemployment, demographics, mortgage market and house prices. Each MSA was then given a performance ranking based on their findings.

In Idaho, the Pocatello MSA received a +2 performance ranking, indicating a healthy housing market for the 2nd quarter. The Idaho Falls, Coeur d’Alene, and Lewiston-Clarkston (Washington) MSAs received +1 performance rankings; still a good indicator that the markets in those areas were at a healthy level. The Boise-Nampa MSA, however, received a 0 performance ranking. According to Nationwide, this type of ranking can mean that the housing market in that MSA may be a “step away from modestly unsustainable activity.” To read the full LIHHM report, visit http://bit.ly/2cTyO0Y.

Posted in Business News, Eastern Idaho Business News, Mountain Home Business News, North Idaho Business News, Treasure Valley Business News, Twin Falls Business News

Upcoming Continuing Education Course – October 19th in Meridian, Idaho

CE

Understanding Conveyances, Ownership, Legal Descriptions & Recordings continuing education class, IREC course E0995, will be held October 19, 2016 from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm at:

Alliance Title & Escrow Corp.
2965 E Tarpon Dr., Ste. 180
Meridian, ID 83642
208-846-8558

The course is free and 4 CE elective credit hours will be offered. Seating is limited. To register, click here or contact your local Alliance Title branch.

Posted in Alliance News, Development

Employee Spotlight – Tammy Allgood

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Tammy Allgood, Escrow Officer – Twin Falls, Idaho

Escrow Officer Tammy Allgood works from Alliance Title’s Twin Falls, Idaho office, and she has been with the company for 15 years. In her role, Tammy is responsible for all aspects of escrow, including building and developing relationships with our clients.

What she enjoys the most about her work is putting her clients and customers at ease and helping them to feel comfortable. She also likes that she has the opportunity to learn something new in this business every day.

Service is Tammy’s favorite Alliance Title core value. She explained, “I believe all of the core values are important, but the one that stands out the most is customer service. It shows customers you care. We set ourselves apart by the service we give.”

When we asked her who she admires the most, Tammy said that there are many people she admires for their strength, courage and/or dedication to various causes. Her hope is to emulate these special people and leave a positive imprint on others for the better.

Outside of the office, Tammy likes to spend time with her friends and family. She also enjoys playing golf, biking, and attending Kenny Chesney concerts.

Tammy’s favorite saying is: “Keep your chin up. Tomorrow is a new day.” She said, “It reminds me that no matter what the situation is at hand, the sun will still rise tomorrow and we can begin again.”

Posted in Employee Spotlights

NCUA Data Shows Idaho Credit Unions Performed Strongly in 2nd Quarter 2016

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The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) shared their 2nd quarter 2016 state level data for federally insured credit unions around the United States. Median loan growth was strong across the nation, rising 4.3% over the 2nd quarter 2015. The NCUA reported that the median loans-to-shares ratio climbed to 62% during the same time period, and the median asset growth and median rate of growth in shares and deposits also increased by 3.2% and 3.3%, respectively.

In Idaho, federally insured credit unions had the highest growth rate in deposits and shares during the 2nd quarter of 2016, increasing by 7.3% over the same time last year. Idaho also tied with Alaska as having the highest median loan-to-shares ratio at 86%. While national median membership growth for larger credit unions remained the same on a yearly comparison, Idaho had the second highest median membership growth rate in the country with a 2.4% increase. Read the full article at http://bit.ly/2ccQP9L.

Posted in Business News, Eastern Idaho Business News, Mountain Home Business News, North Idaho Business News, Treasure Valley Business News, Twin Falls Business News

Home Price Appreciation Continued to Make Gains in July

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When including distressed sales, home price appreciation across the nation continued to make year-over-year gains for the 54th consecutive month according to CoreLogic’s U.S. Home Price Insights Report for July. Compared to June, home price appreciation rose by 1.1%, and on a year-over-year basis, home price appreciation grew 6.0%.

CoreLogic’s chief economist Dr. Frank Nothaft stated, “If mortgage rates continue to remain relatively low and job growth continues, as most forecasters expect, then home purchases are likely to rise in the coming year. The increased sales will support further price appreciation, and according to the CoreLogic Home Price Index, home prices are projected to rise about 5 percent over the next year.”

On a state level, Washington’s home price appreciation grew in the double-digits to 10.2% compared to July 2015. Montana was identified by CoreLogic as reaching a new home price appreciation high in July and having a 6.7% increase in appreciation over the same time last year. Idaho (+7.0%) and Wyoming (+4.1%) also experienced year-over-year increases in home price appreciation. Read the full report at http://bit.ly/2cd35dg.

Posted in Business News, Eastern Idaho Business News, Mountain Home Business News, North Idaho Business News, Treasure Valley Business News, Twin Falls Business News

Housing Data Shows the West Fared Better in July than Other Regions in the Nation

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The National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) data for existing-home sales and pending home sales in July painted a picture of stagnant housing markets throughout the country due to persistently tight inventory levels. Overall, national existing-home sales slumped by 3.2% compared to June while national pending home sales slightly increased by 1.3% on a month-over-month basis. Similarly, the regions tracked by the NAR reflected declines in existing-home sales and little change up or down in pending home sales activity except in the West.

Existing-home sales in the West grew by 2.5% in July compared to June. Pending home sales also saw a 7.3% gain over the previous month and a 6.3% increase over July 2015. NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun stated, “The [pending home sales] index in the West last month was the highest in over three years largely because of stronger labor market conditions. If homebuilding increases in the region to tame price growth and alleviate the ongoing affordability concerns, the healthy rate of job gains should support more sales.”

Visit http://bit.ly/2cppNyR to read the July existing-home sales article. To read more about the pending home sales index in July, visit http://bit.ly/2cjYk4K.

Posted in Business News, Eastern Idaho Business News, Mountain Home Business News, North Idaho Business News, Treasure Valley Business News, Twin Falls Business News

Upcoming Continuing Education Course – October 13th in Meridian, Idaho

CE

An Overview of the Title and Escrow Process continuing education class, IREC course E0341, will be held October 13, 2016 from 8:30 am to 10:30 am at:

Alliance Title & Escrow Corp.
2965 E Tarpon Dr., Ste. 180
Meridian, ID 83642
208-846-8558

The course is free and 2 CE elective credit hours will be offered. Seating is limited. To register, click here or contact your local Alliance Title branch.

Posted in Alliance News, Development

Upcoming Continuing Education Course – October 12th in Meridian, Idaho

CE

Title Explained: The Benefits of Understanding Title Insurance continuing education class, IREC course E0442, will be held October 12, 2016 from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm at:

Alliance Title & Escrow Corp.
2965 E Tarpon Dr., Ste. 180
Meridian, ID 83642
208-846-8558

The course is free and 4 CE elective credit hours will be offered. Seating is limited. To register, click here or contact your local Alliance Title branch.

Posted in Alliance News, Development

Warning: Cybercriminals are trying to hack into your email account!

Alliance-Title-Social-MMC-CyberSecurity-Sept-2016

Real estate agents are the most recent target of phishing schemes. A little caution when checking your emails can go a long way in protecting you and your customers.

Is the email message pertaining to wiring or disbursement instructions, or a change to instructions?
Always confirm instructions via telephone with your local Alliance escrow officer. Never validate instructions, or changes to instructions, using the phone number in the email message.

Does the email contain an attachment or embedded link?
Here are some warning signs that you should not open the attachment or click on the link:

  • You did not expect to receive an attachment or link from the sender.
  • The message claims you will gain something or will avoid negative consequences if you open the attachment or link.
  • The overall message seems odd or illogical.
  • The attachment or link does not make sense in relation to the message.

Does the email contain bad grammar or spelling errors?
Be suspicious of the email as it may have come from a cybercriminal.

Is the message coming from a free, public domain account?
Be leery. These accounts are most often used in cyber fraud.

Safeguarding your customers’ information is our priority. Entrust your real estate transactions to Alliance Title.

Alliance Title & Escrow Corp. provides the content in this document for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be complete and should not be construed as legal advice. Alliance Title & Escrow Corp. will not assume liability or responsibility for inaccuracies and discrepancies inherent in this information or the reliance upon this information.

Posted in Monthly Marketing

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