FHA loan limits decrease as of October 1st, 2011

Sorry for the late post on this topic.  As of October 1st, 2011 FHA loan limits for most areas of the country have declined as a result of expiration of stimulus legislation.  Currently, the  FHA loan limit for a single family residence in the Tri-county area (Portland, OR) is $362,250.  This figure can adjust as of Janaury 1st, 2012 but barring any new legislation I wouldn’t expect it to.  You can use THIS LINK to check the FHA loan limits for other areas.

Mortgage Rate Update May 5, 2011

Mortgage rates continue to trend lower despite technical trading patterns that suggest rates are vulnerable to reverse higher.

We knew headed into the week that the three major economic data points of the week all focused on the labor market.  Yesterday’s ADP payroll report showed the US economy created fewer than expected jobs in April.  Today, weekly jobless claims figures showed that the number of people filing for unemployment benefits surged higher when expectations were for a decline.

In response to the news the stock market closed lower yesterday and is following through on that momentum this morning.  Bad news for the economy is typically good news for mortgage rates and mortgage rates have sunk to the best levels since January.

However, tomorrow’s government jobs report carries the most weight of the three data points and history has shown there is little correlation between the outcome of the ADP and the government figures.  Furthermore, technical trading patterns still suggest rates are ripe for reversal.  I say lock ‘em while they’re low!

Current Outlook: locking

Mortgage Rate Update March 11, 2011

Mortgage rates are slightly better this morning.

The earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan are grabbing the markets attention this morning.  My thoughts and prayers go out to those who lost loved ones in this natural disaster.

The US bond market is starting the day softer which may threaten to push rates higher.  One analyst is saying that the Japanese earthquake is causing this action because Japanese insurance companies are selling US treasuries to raise cash in preparation to pay out claims.

The Commerce Department reported this morning that retail sales in February grew at a slightly lower pace than expected.  This is likely a sign that rising gasoline prices are beginning to impact consumers.

The technical trading signals have returned to neutral this morning so I will also shift my outlook to neutral.

Current outlook: neutral