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Summer (Mortgage App) Doldrums

August 25th, 2014 by Bill Collins Leave a reply »

Concerns Regarding Declining Mortgage Applications

As indicated in “Rates & Dates” below, Freddie Mac reported last week that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to their lowest point in 2014 last week.  Even with these (surprisingly) low mortgage interest rates, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported last week that purchase mortgage applications were at a six month low. They also reported that while purchase mortgage applications were nominally up (1.4%) from the previous week, total applications (including refinance) for government mortgages declined by 5.9% with VA applications falling 8% and FHA applications down 5%.

The future for mortgage applications? Here is how Freddie Mac summarized it in mid-August in their U.S. Housing & Economic Outlook: “Though we expect purchase origination volume to increase it will not offset declining refinance volume.  We expect originations in 2014 to decline by about 40% relative to 2013, and decline by another 9% in 2015”. This does not bode well for appraisers whose business is heavily dependent on residential mortgage appraisals.

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Recent and Upcoming Real Estate Reports

FYesterday, Black Rock Financial Services released their Home Price Index Report for June which showed price increases nationally of 0.8% from last month and 5.5% from June of last year.  A link to this report which includes statewide and metro area breakdowns is found here: Black Knight Home Price Index Report June 2014 Transactions

The Commerce Department reported yesterday that new home sales unexpectedly fell in July.  The decline (-2.4%) marked the second month in a row where sales fell.  The inventory of new homes at this rate rose to 6 months, the highest in almost three years. The Commerce Department reported that the median price of a new house rose by 2.9% from July of last year.

Last week, the Commerce Department reported that housing starts in July were up 15.7% from June; this followed two months of declines.  Single family home starts were up by 8.3% with multi-family housing starts surging 33%.  Building permits rose by 8.1% and the National Association of Home Builders reported a significant increase in their confidence index.

Later this morning, the Case-Shiller Home Price Index and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) index will be released.

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AppraiserNews is a FREE publication, supported by advertising and sales of products designed to help appraisers support and grow their businesses. Please consider supporting us today by seeing what we and our sponsors have to offer.

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How Many Appraisers Do We Really Have In The US?

Several readers of this newsletter made the point that the number of Active Appraisers in the ASC’s National Registry includes many appraisers with licenses in more than one state and that the actual number is significantly lower.  While this is the case, the slow decline in the number of appraisers is the point along with the fact that many within this older appraiser demographic while holding on to their licenses are basically inactive. will be analyzing this in greater detail in a future newsletter.

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One More Time Again (Seriously): Some Random Tweets to Make You Smile

1) Why is it called ‘after dark’ when it is really ‘after light’?

2) I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.

3) Living on Earth is expensive, but it does include a free trip around the sun.

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Appraiser Help’s 2014 Directory of AMCs and National Appraisal Companies is Now Available!

To help appraisers evaluate how AMCs will work for their appraisal practices, we have compiled this expanded directory of AMCs and National Appraisal Companies, listing complete, contact information and other details for each listing.

If you’re looking to maintain or expand your mortgage appraisal practice, our Directory of Appraisal Management and National Appraisal Companies is a great place to start. Order it today for $69.99 and download it immediately!

Please visit our website now to make your purchase securely or contact us at (877) 434-2825 for more information on this comprehensive directory!

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Rates & Dates

Freddie Mac, the Mortgage Brokers Association (MBA) and HSH Market Trends reported mostly lower mortgage interest rates in their most recent surveys. 

In their most recent survey on August 21st, Freddie Mac reported that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased from 4.12% to 4.10%, the lowest point in 2014. They also noted that last year at this time the 30-year rate was at 4.58%.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported on August 20th (for the week ending August 15th) that 30-year rates with conforming loan balances ($417,500 or less) declined from 4.35% to 4.29%.  The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,500) fell from 4.24% to 4.18%.  Rates for FHA backed mortgages also fell, from 4.04% to 3.99%. 

On August 22nd, HSH Market Trends reported that 30-year mortgage rates fell slightly, to 4.18% from 4.20%. Rates for FHA-backed mortgages rose slightly, from 3.90% to 3.91%.

Additional information from Freddie Mac can be found by going to: Primary Mortgage Market Survey PMMS – Freddie Mac

Additional information from the Mortgage Bankers Association can be found by going to their site at: Research and Forecasts – Mortgage Bankers Association

Additional information from HSH can be found by going to: HSH.Com

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Appraiser Help has Released its 2014 Directory of AMC’s and National Appraisal Companies. Click the link above to learn more and to download your copy today!

Ask Angie

We would first like to congratulate our most recent winner: Michigan appraiser Kelly Wulbrecht of Advanced Appraisal Services.  Advanced Appraisal Services provides appraisal services in central and southern Michigan.  Kelly was the first to provide the following correct answers to Angie’s questions in the last newsletter: Mahatma Gandhi said "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony"; Napoleon Hill wrote "The starting point of all achievement is desire.  Weak desire brings weak results”; and Aubrey Plaza quipped "But everything is a challenge to me.  Waking up is challenging for me.  I can barely put my clothes on in the morning”.

Today’s Questions:

1. Who said: “In America they really do mythologize people when they die.”

a) Robin Williams
b) Jerry Seinfeld
c) George Carlin
d) All of the above
e) None of the above

2. Who said: " You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”

a) Robin Williams
b) Jerry Seinfeld
c) George Carlin
d) All of the above
e) None of the above

3. Who said: “If it’s the Psychic Network why do they need a phone number?”

a) Robin Williams
b) Jerry Seinfeld
c) George Carlin
d) All of the above
e) None of the above

The first person to respond with the correct answers wins a choice of one of the following:

One Free Regular Listing on

A Free Copy of the 2014 Directory of Appraisal Management Companies (Available to Members of and FREE!)

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Tell us what you think!

We invite your responses to any of the issues raised in this newsletter. Please e-mail us at: with your thoughts!

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We really hope you find our newsletter to be informative!  If you have any input on future topics for discussion, please email me your questions and I will do my best to address them in the next issue.  If you want to look back at past issues you can see our archive at


Bill Collins, Appraiser Help Inc.

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