Mortgage Mix: Rates Finally Come Down, but in Baby Steps

Editor’s Note: The Mortgage Mix is RISMedia’s weekly highlight reel of need-to-know mortgage-industry happenings. Watch for it each Friday afternoon.

  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed an increase of 0.3% in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, after rising 0.4% in March. Bright MLS Chief Economist Dr. Lisa Sturtevant explained what this means for the housing market. “While consumers are facing higher prices at the pump, high housing costs also continue to be a main driver of the overall inflation numbers. The shelter component of the CPI has come down since its 2023 peak, with shelter inflation coming in at 5.5% in April. But unfortunately, there is evidence that rents are going to be on the rise in the second half of this year.” See several industry leaders’ comments on the latest CPI data and how it relates to housing here
  • The Mortgage Bankers Association and Freddie Mac reports this week showed mortgage applications and mortgage rates rising and falling, respectively, with applications bumping up 0.5% and rates, while still hovering just over 7%, falling for the second week in a row, down to 7.02% for the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage average. “While this improvement is a baby step forward, it’s expected to foster stability in mortgage rates at their current level and possibly even trigger further declines,” commented® Economist Jiayi Xu.
  • The latest homebuilder confidence data from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) this week shows homebuilders are pulling back their hopes for the housing construction market, as mortgage rates rose back above 7% in April, and remain high despite a recent decrease. The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) for May registered at 45, six points down from the flat reading of 51 back in April. See the full report here
  • Curious what the CEOs of major lending firms made last year? National Mortgage News published a detailed report, noting that the total compensation of the highest paid CEO among the largest mortgage lenders in the country was $30.3 million in 2023, an increase of nearly 300% versus 2022, according to filings with the Securities Exchange Commission. According to their article, while many CEO, president and CFO salaries rose in the past year, there was one notable exception. Find out the details here
  • This week, Guaranteed Rate announced the next wave of expansion of its Community Engagement Initiative, designed to significantly improve funded lending volume in underserved communities nationwide. “Our commitment to serving diverse markets is unwavering. As we get into phase two and build on all that we achieved in our first year, we aim not only to continue what we started, but to elevate our efforts, ensuring that more families have the opportunity to own homes and prosper,” said Victor Ciardelli, CEO of Guaranteed Rate. Read the full story here.

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