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How’d he do? Mortgage broker checks his 2015 housing predictions

How’d he do? Mortgage broker checks his 2015 housing predictions

It’s time to review last year’s predictions that were bellowed from this real estate page. Here’s what I predicted and how I did:

1) I predicted the 30-year fixed rate would be at 4 percent. I was close. Rates averaged 3.85 percent this year and hit 3.97 percent this past week.

2) Orange County’s median home price would go up 5 percent. January through November, Orange County’s median averaged about $ 604,000, up 4 percent, according to CoreLogic. Close enough. I will take that as an accurate prediction.

3) Orange County’s residential home sales volume would increase between 5 and 10 percent. The answer is 7 percent through November, according to CoreLogic. I’ll take it.

4) The Federal Housing Administration would reduce its ridiculously expensive mortgage insurance premium. January 2015, President Obama announced a 50 basis point reduction in the annual mortgage insurance premium. That lower premium kicked in Jan. 26.

5) Nationally, mortgage loan volume will increase to $ 1.4 trillion for the year. The number came in at $ 1.47 trillion, according to Mike Fratantoni, chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association. Yes!

6) Short-term rates would rise between 0.25 and 0.5 percent. Just this week, the Federal Reserve Board raised rates by 0.25 percent. Nice!

7) Regulation rollback and budget cuts by Congress against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) would loosen things up, providing a pathway for lenders to have more underwriting discretion.

A lender survey indicated credit standards (not regulations) eased according to a very recent Fannie Mae press release. Duane Gomer of Duane Gomer Seminars is my continuing education instructor and a gentleman’s gentleman (otherwise he might have called me a dunce). He had just explained in class that the CFPB gets its funding from the Federal Reserve, not Congress. So, I felt like crawling under the table when he called me out on this at lunch last January. We had more regulations, not less.

8) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not going away. While there is still a lot of debate and discussion among policy makers and pundits, Fannie and Freddie are here to stay.

9) Traditional realty agents would lose market share to real estate auction companies. I predicted auction houses would be up to 5 percent of sales transactions. Wrong. The answer is auction companies will probably be around 2 percent of sales for 2015 according to Rick Sharga, executive vice president at Auction.com.

10) Regulators would end this unsafe and unfair two-tiered licensing system, finally require background checks, standardized testing or continuing education of bank and credit union loan officers (depositories). Never happened.

Seven out of 10 of my predictions were correct. Next week you will learn of my 2016 predictions.

Mortgage broker Jeff Lazerson can be reached at 949-334-2424 or lazerson@mortgagegrader.com.

Twitter: @mortgagegrader_

The Orange County Register – News Headlines : Real Estate News