* Homeowner Equity Surges Across U.S. During Second Quarter. 34.4 percent of mortgaged residential properties in the United States were considered equity-rich in the second quarter, meaning that the combined estimated amount of loans secured by those properties was no more than 50 percent of their estimated market value. The portion of mortgaged homes that were equity-rich in the second quarter of 2021 – one in three – was up from 31.2 percent in the first quarter of 2021 and from 27.5 percent in the second quarter of 2020. The report also shows that just 4.1 percent of mortgaged homes, or one in 24, were considered seriously underwater in the second quarter of 2021, with a combined estimated balance of loans secured by the property at least 25 percent more than the property’s estimated market value. That was down from 5.2 percent of all U.S. properties with a mortgage in the prior quarter and 6.2 percent, or one 16 properties, a year ago. The improvements at both ends of the equity scale were the largest in two years and provided yet another sign that the United States housing market has resisted damage to the broader economy brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic that hit early last year. As the economy has gradually recovered in 2021, the housing market boom has continued for a 10thstraight year, with gains across most measures.
* 30-Year Mortgage Rate Dips to 2.77%. New fears over the fast-spreading COVID-19 delta variant are moving mortgage rates lower. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage spent another week under 3%. “With global uncertainty surrounding the delta variant of COVID-19, we saw 10-year Treasury yields drift lower and consequently mortgage rates followed suit,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dipped back to where it stood at the beginning of 2021, and the 15-year fixed remained at its historic low. This bodes well for those still looking to refinance, renovate, or even purchase a new home.” The 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.77%, with an average 0.6 point, dropping from last week’s 2.80% average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 2.88%.
Job Gains Accelerate in July. In July, U.S. job growth experienced a solid gain. Total payroll employment rose by 943,000 and the unemployment rate dropped sharply to 5.4%. It is the largest monthly gain since August 2020. The previous two months’ gains were also revised higher. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate declined by 0.5 percentage points to 5.4% in July. It was 9.4 percentage points lower than its recent high of 14.8% in April 2020 and 1.9 percentage points higher than the rate in February 2020.
Did you know every home listed for sale with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Real Estate Professionals is eligible to receive no-obligation home warranty coverage from American Home Shield or 2-10 Home Warranty the first six months the home is listed with our company?