Premier Diagnostic Health Services Inc. Announces Debt Settlement

BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwired – July 28, 2014) -


Premier Diagnostic Health Services Inc. (“Premier” or the “Company“) (CSE:PDH) announces that it has settled debt owed to two creditors in the aggregate principal amount of $61,924. The debt was converted into a total of 1,238,486 common shares (the “Shares“) at a deemed issue price of $0.05 per Share. Premier did not pay any finder’s fees in connection with the issuance, and the Shares are subject to a hold period that expires on November 29, 2014. 908,086 of the Shares were issued to a creditor that is an insider of the Company.

About Premier Diagnostic Health Services Inc. (“PDHS”)

PDHS is a Canadian company that provides, through its subsidiaries, advanced medical diagnostic tools using PET/CT technology and/or MRI technology and related diagnostic skills in Canada and in the People’s Republic of China, in partnership with local medical professionals, public and private investors, hospitals and clinics.

On behalf of the Board of Directors

Denis Tusar, President and CEO

The Canadian Stock Exchange (CSE) has not reviewed the adequacy or the accuracy of the contents of this document. Company information can be viewed here: Further information regarding the Company can be found on SEDAR at

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Peak Announces Shares for Debt Settlement

MONTREAL, QUEBEC, Jul 28, 2014 (Marketwired via COMTEX) –
Peak Positioning Technologies Inc.

/quotes/zigman/5776291/delayed CA:PKK

(pinksheets:PKKFF) (“Peak” or the “Company”) today announced that it has
completed a series of “shares for debt” transactions with Newfield
Partners LLC (“Newfield”) and 986992 Alberta Limited (“98-AB”). The
Company has issued a total of 2,517,120 common shares to settle an
aggregate amount of $125,856 in notes and expenses payable to the two

On May 12, 2014, Peak issued 1,670,040 common shares to Newfield at a
deemed price of $0.05 per share to repay $83,502 worth of short-term
notes payable to Newfield, which matured on April 30, 2014. On June
11, 2014, Peak issued 470,000 common shares to Newfield at a deemed
price of $0.05 per share to repay $23,500 worth of short-term notes
payable to Newfield, which matured on May 30, 2014. On July 25, 2014,
Peak issued 220,080 common shares to Newfield at a deemed price of
$0.05 per share to repay $11,004 worth of expenses payable and
short-term notes payable to Newfield, which matured on June 30, 2014.
Also on July 25, 2014, Peak issued 157,000 common shares to 98-AB at
a deemed price of $0.05 per share to repay $7,850 worth of short-term
notes payable to 98-AB, which matured on June 1, 2014.

Pursuant to Policy 5.9 of the TSXV and Multilateral Instrument 61-101
Respecting protection of minority security holders in special
transactions (“MI 61-101″), the debt settlement transactions with
Newfield constitutes “related party transactions” as Newfield is
controlled by Mr. David Kugler (the “Related Party”), who, at the
time of the transactions, was a member of Peak’s Board of Director.
In reviewing the applicable valuation requirements under MI 61-101,
Peak has determined that the exemption set out in subsection 5.5 (c)
of MI 61-101 is applicable since the transactions were distribution
of securities of Peak to the Related Party for cash consideration. In
addition, subsection 5.7(b) provides that transactions meeting such
criteria are also exempt from the minority shareholder approval
requirement. Peak has not filed a material change report 21 days
prior to the closing of the debt settlement transactions as no
agreements to that effect were in place at that time.

Resignation of Mr. David Kugler from Peak’s Board of Directors

Peak also announced that on July 22, 2014, Mr. David Kugler resigned
from his role as a Director of the Company. Peak would like to thank
Mr. Kugler for his time and dedication while he was a member of the
Board of Directors and would like to wish him the best in his future

About Peak Positioning Technologies Inc.:

Peak Positioning Technologies Inc. (“Peak”),

/quotes/zigman/5776291/delayed CA:PKK

(pinksheets:PKKFF), is a management company whose wholly-owned
subsidiary, Peak Positioning Corporation provides Web development
services and develops mobile software platforms destined to mobile
network operators worldwide. Peak aims to deliver value to its
shareholders by assembling a portfolio of high-growth projects and
companies in mobile, mobile e-Commerce, and Web development in North
America and China. For more information:

The TSX Venture Exchange has neither approved nor disapproved the
contents of this press release. Neither the TSX Venture Exchange,
Inc. nor its Regulation Service Provider (as that term is defined
under the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts
responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of the contents of this
press release.

        Jeanny So
        Senior Account Manager
        CHF Investor Relations
        416-868-1079 ext.: 225
        Johnson Joseph
        President and CEO
        Peak Positioning Technologies Inc.
        514-340-7775 ext.: 501

SOURCE: Peak Positioning Technologies Inc.

(C) 2014 Marketwire L.P. All rights reserved.


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Pending Home Sales Index Stays Above 100 Amid Low Mortgage Rates, Strong …

National Association of REALTORS® Pending Home Sales Index

Low mortgage rates are helping to spur U.S. home sales.

With 30-year mortgage rates near 14-month lows, buyer purchasing power is up close to eight percent since January. U.S. homes are more affordable and properties are going under contract at the fastest pace since last fall.

Many mortgage lenders now quote rates in 3s.

Click here to get today’s mortgage rates.

Pending Home Sales Index: A Different Indicator Type

The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) is a monthly report, published by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). It measures homes under contract, and not yet closed.

The Pending Home Sales Index is different from most housing market metrics.

Unlike traditional metrics which measure how housing performed in the past, the Pending Home Sales Index forecasts how housing will perform in the future.

The Pending Home Sales Index is forward-looking. It tallies U.S. homes recently gone into contract and uses the result to project future, closed home sales. This is possible because the National Association of REALTORS® knows that 80% of homes under contract “close” within 2 months of contract.

The June Pending Home Sales Index slipped 0.9 points as compared to May, falling to 102.7. June marks the second consecutive month in which the index bested its baseline reading of 100.

This is significant.

When the Pending Home Sales Index crosses 100, it’s an indication that homes are going to contract at a faster pace than during 2001, the first year in which the index was published. 2001 is generally considered a good year for U.S. housing. 2014 has lagged that benchmark overall, but June’s reading is a positive step.

Existing Home Sales topped five million on a seasonally-adjusted, annualized basis for the first time in eight months last month. The June Pending Home Sales Index suggests home resales will again top that figure for July.

Click here to get today’s mortgage rates.

Mortgage Loans For Home Buyers

First-time home buyers account for nearly one-third of today’s home buyers. Many first-time buyers are buying with the help of low- and no-downpayment mortgage programs.

Among the most common low-downpayment mortgages is the FHA loan.

FHA home loans are loans given by local banks, and insured against loss by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The FHA has been insuring loans since 1934. It’s biggest draw for buyers is that the program requires a downpayment of just 3.5 percent.

FHA loans are available in all 50 states and FHA mortgage rates are often as low — or lower — than comparable 30-year rates via Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, both of which typically require a 5 percent downpayment or bigger.

FHA loans account for one-in-five mortgages in today’s mortgage market.

Another common loan choice among first-time buyers is the VA loan via the Department of Veterans Affairs. VA loans require no downpayment whatsoever and can be used by most military members and veterans of the armed services.

VA loans require no mortgage insurance and underwriting guidelines are often “loose”.

A third common low-downpayment option is the no-money-down mortgage backed by the USDA.

USDA mortgages are available in many suburban and rural areas nationwide, and allow for 100% financing. USDA mortgage rates are often the lowest as compared to FHA, conventional and VA mortgage rates.

Get A Live Mortgage Rate Quote

U.S. homes are going to contract quickly. More than 40 percent of MLS-listed homes are being sold in fewer than 30 days; and prices for homes are rising nationwide. Thankfully, mortgage rates are down. Since the start of the year, as rates have dropped, so have the costs of homeownership.

Compare today’s live mortgage rates now. Rates are available online for free, with no obligation to proceed, and with no social security number required to get started.

Click for today’s live mortgage rates.

The information contained on The Mortgage Reports website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by Full Beaker. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect the policy or position of Full Beaker, its officers, parent, or affiliates.

Article source:

Mortgage Investors Doubts Appear in Rally of Risky Notes

Investors who piled into bets on
some risky types of U.S. mortgage bonds are showing signs of
doubt that the notes will extend their rally.

Bondholders last week sought to sell the most government-backed mortgage derivatives known as interest-only securities
and inverse IOs through auctions in four months, according to
Empirasign Strategies LLC, which tracks securitization trading.
Because the bonds have no principal, their returns are
especially sensitive to the pace of homeowner refinancings and
property sales, which tend to pick up as interest rates fall.

Even as benchmark rates have retreated, interest-only
spreads have “tightened relentlessly over the past year,”
pushing “many” measures of their relative yields to record
lows, according to JPMorgan Chase Co. analysts led by Matt Jozoff and Brian Ye. Demand has been bolstered by the
“underwhelming” pace of prepayments, falling rate volatility
and a desire for protection against rising yields, they wrote in
a July 25 report. The gains may make the market more vulnerable
if bond prices rise further.

“Investors thus far have shown resistance against
capitulating on rallies as refinancing remains subdued, and
replacing the bonds at higher rates has generally come with
tighter spreads,” Bank of America Corp. analysts led by Satish Mansukhani and Chris Flanagan wrote in a July 25 report. “This
creates a certain asymmetrical risk to IOs at a sub-4 percent
mortgage rate, when refis could really pick up.”

Dealers circulated bondholder auction lists for $1.5
billion of the securities last week, compared with a weekly
average of about $900 million since the end of March, according
to New York-based Empirasign Strategies.

Mortgage Rates

The average rate on a typical 30-year fixed mortgage fell
last week to 4.13 percent, from 2013’s high of 4.58 percent in
August, according to surveys by guarantor Freddie Mac. The drop
has done little to spur refinancing, with applications hovering
at about a six-year low, according to the Mortgage Bankers

At the same time, IO spreads have tightened about 3 to 4
percentage points over the past year, reaching about 1
percentage point under one calculation for a certain type,
according to the report by JPMorgan.

“There is likely limited room for further spread
compression,” the bank’s analysts wrote.

The attractiveness of the debt has also been boosted by the
cheap financing available in the so-called dollar roll market
for mortgage securities used as hedges, which has been caused by
the Federal Reserve’s bond buying, the analysts said.

IOs are made as investment banks and other firms create
collateralized mortgage obligations, also known as mortgage
derivatives, out of simpler pass-through securities, separating
the payments into new notes with differing characteristics.

Inverse IOs carry coupons that move in the opposite
direction of short-term rates. The size of notes reflect
notional amounts, or the quantity of underlying debt used to
calculate payments, which declines as mortgages get repaid.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Jody Shenn in New York at

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Shannon D. Harrington at
John Parry, Chapin Wright

Article source:

Today’s Mortgage Rates at Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and SunTrust on 28 …

Reporter: Stephany Morgan

July 28, 2014
in Investment

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Overall pending home sales dipped 1.1% to a relatively new reading of 102.7 in the month of June, ending a three-month period of gains. In comparison to the figures recorded a year earlier, pending home loan sales have decreased by 7.3% last month.

Bank of America

Qualified mortgage shoppers who are planning on acquiring the 30 year fixed rate mortgage deals will have to pay an interest price of 4.125% and agree to an annual percentage rate of 4.284%. The 15 year fixed rate mortgage home loan packages are now advertised at an interest rate of 4.000% and are accompanied by an annual return rate of 4.211% today. 5 year adjustable rate mortgage deals start at an interest rate of 3.375% and an annual percentage yield of 3.568%.

The 30 year fixed rate mortgage loan options are now coming out at an interest cost of 4.250% and an annual return rate of 4.367% today. 15 year refinancing fixed rate mortgage home loan plans can be seen sitting next to an interest rate of 4.125% and carrying an annual percentage rate of 4.298% this Monday. When it comes to adjustable rate mortgage packages, home borrowers can find the 5 year refinancing variable home loan deals being traded at an interest rate of 3.500% and backed by an annual return rate of 3.671%.

Wells Fargo

The benchmark 30 year fixed rate mortgage home loan deals can now be seen traded at the same interest rate of 4.375% and an annual percentage rate of 4.629% on July 28, 2014. The relatively shorter 15 year fixed rate mortgage home loan plans can now be seen traded at an interest rate of 3.625% and an annual percentage rate of 3.908% today.


In the refinancing home loan category, the bank highlights its popular 30 year fixed rate mortgage loans being traded at an interest rate of 4.250% and backed by an annual percentage yield of 4.335% today. 15 year fixed rate mortgage home loan deals are coming out at an interest price of 3.500% and an annual return rate of 3.647%.


The 30 year fixed rate mortgage home loan deals are coming out at an interest rate of 4.375% and an annual percentage rate of 4.4853% on July 28, 2014. The 15 year fixed rate mortgage home loan deals can be seen published against an interest rate of 3.300% and an APR yield of 3.5109%.

In the adjustable rate home loan arena, the 5 year adjustable rate mortgage options can be seen traded at a starting interest rate of 3.200% and an APR yield of 3.0908% this Monday. The more flexible 7 year adjustable rate mortgage home loan schemes can now be locked in at an interest price of 3.750% and an APR yield of 3.3954%.

Disclaimer: The rates quoted above are basically the average advertised by a particular lending company. No guarantee of taken from the lender’ aspect whether the borrower will qualify for the mortgage rates mentioned in the article. The lenders dole out interest depending upon various facets, some of which may be unique to the borrower. This website does not engage in the sale or promotion of financial products and makes no claims as to the accuracy of the quotation of interest rates.


Article source:

Australian Regulators Watch as Debt Drives Up Prices: Mortgages

Central banks from Scandinavia to
the U.K. to New Zealand are sounding the alarm about soaring
mortgage debt and trying to curb risky lending. In Australia,
where borrowing is surging, regulators are just watching.

Australian household debt is at a 25-year high, according
to statistics bureau figures, and a government inquiry this
month found housing to be a significant source of risk to the
financial system. The average mortgage is at least four times
household income in almost 80 percent of the country, research
by Digital Finance Analytics shows.

While the U.K., Denmark and New Zealand introduce measures
including loan limits, caps on interest-only mortgages and
repayment tests, the Reserve Bank of Australia and the country’s
banking regulator are holding their fire, saying risky loans
haven’t increased significantly. The central bank also has said
the price gains so far are spurring needed construction, easing
housing shortages in some areas.

“If we think there is a need for higher construction,
which we do, an environment of declining prices is probably not
conducive to that outcome,” RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said in
a speech in Hobart on July 3. “Some pick-up in housing prices
as a result of lower interest rates was to be expected.”

Overvalued Housing

Australia has the third-most overvalued housing market on a
price-to-income basis, after Belgium and Canada, according to
the International Monetary Fund. The average home price in the
nation’s eight major cities rose 16 percent as of June 30 from a
May 2012 trough, the RP Data-Rismark Home Value Index showed.

In Sydney, the most populous city, where price growth has
been strongest, values soared 15 percent over the past 12
months. That compares with a 5.4 percent increase in New York
City in April from a year earlier and a 26 percent jump in
London prices in June quarter from a year ago.

“There’s definitely room for caps on lending,” said
Martin North, Sydney-based principal at researcher Digital
Finance Analytics
. “Global house price indices are all showing
Australia is close to the top, and the RBA has been too myopic
in adjusting to what’s been going on in the housing market.”

Australian regulators are hesitant to impose nation-wide
rules as only some markets have seen strong price growth, said
Kieran Davies, chief economist at Barclays Plc in Sydney.

Home values in cities including Adelaide, Hobart and
Canberra rose less than 3 percent over the year to June 30, and
house prices in areas outside the major cities gained less than
4 percent in the 12 months to May, according to RP Data.

The central bank has reduced its benchmark interest rate to
a record-low 2.5 percent to aid a recovery in non-mining
industries, including residential construction, as the nation’s
resources boom slows.

The interest rate cuts and subsequent home price gains have
helped building approvals climb 14 percent in May from a year
earlier, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Necessary Evil

“The RBA’s probably got at the back of its mind that we’re
only in the early stages of the adjustment in the mining
sector,” Davies said. “Mining investment still has a long way
to fall, and also the job losses to flow from that. So to some
extent, the house price growth is a necessary evil.”

The central bank in its quarterly monetary policy update
called declining resources investment a “significant
headwind,” for the economy.

As prices climb, the value of new mortgages also rose 16
percent in May from a year ago, and overall housing credit
increased 6 percent in the quarter ended March 31 from 12 months
earlier, statistics bureau data show. The average new home loan
grew 6.7 percent to A$433,960 in June from a year ago, according
to broker Australian Finance Group, which processes about A$4
billion in home loans every month.

The increase in new mortgages, while significant, doesn’t
appear “imprudent,” Stevens said in his speech in Hobart. With
total credit growth only slightly above the increase in incomes,
“it’s hard to mount the soap box to complain about that pace,”
he said.

Low Rates

Spurring the rise in loans are the lowest mortgage rates in
almost five years, after the RBA cut the cash rate by 2.25
percentage points since late 2011. The average rate on variable
, which about 85 percent of Australians borrowers are
on, is 5.95 percent, the lowest since September 2009.

Fixed rates are also on their way down. Commonwealth Bank
of Australia
, National Australia Bank Ltd. and Westpac Banking
last week cut their five-year fixed rates to 4.99 percent,
a record low for CBA, the least in 20 years for NAB, and a five-year low for Westpac. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group
cut its five-year fixed rate by 30 basis points to 5.49

Rising Debt

Stevens this month urged investors in Sydney to be
cautious, after loans to buy rental properties in the city’s
home state, New South Wales, surged 30 percent to a record A$5.2
billion in May from a year ago, doubling from February 2013,
according to statistics bureau data. He also warned that loans
to investors covering more than 80 percent of a property’s value
have been climbing.

Australians owed almost 1.8 times their 2013 pretax
disposable incomes, higher than Canada, France, Germany, Italy,
Japan, U.K. and the U.S., the statistics bureau said in a report
last month. Household debt was equivalent to A$79,000 per person
at the end of 2013, and has risen at almost double the pace of
assets over the past 25 years, it said.

Government Inquiry

Since 1997, when Australia held its last major financial
system inquiry, household debt has almost doubled as a
proportion of income, with more than 90 percent of that due to
housing, the government inquiry found. Mortgages make up two-thirds of banks’ loan books, from 47 percent in 1997, it said.

“A large enough disruption to the housing market could
have significant implications for household balance sheets,
financial stability, economic growth, and the speed of recovery
in household spending and broader economic activity following a
shock,” the inquiry’s report said.

New Zealand’s central bank last year required loans for
more than 80 percent of a property’s value to account for less
than 10 percent of a bank’s new lending. In response, home sales
fell 11 percent between October and March, the bank said in May.

Global Measures

The Bank of England last month proposed capping mortgages
of 4.5 times a borrower’s income at no more than 15 percent of a
lender’s new home loans, and required banks to reject those who
fail a new repayment test. Governor Mark Carney in May called
surging home prices the No. 1 risk to the economy, and Deputy
Governor Jon Cunliffe this month warned low borrowing costs hide
the real extent of Britons’ mortgage burden.

Denmark’s central bank is pushing to require interest-only
loans to be no more than 60 percent of a property’s value, from
80 percent. In Sweden, lenders are in talks to require borrowers
to cut mortgage debt to less than 70 percent of home values, and
have capped borrowing at five times household income.

Across Australia, the average mortgage is at least four
times pretax annual income in more than 2,200 postal codes out
of a total 2,800, according to Digital Finance Analytics. Loan-to-income ratios are spread between 2.5 times and 8 times,
compared with 0 and 6 times in the U.K., the data show.

“So the loan-to-income ratio in Australia is more
stretched than in the U.K.,” DFA’s North said.

The RBA, in response to an e-mailed request for comment,
referred to speeches and papers by Head of Financial Stability
Luci Ellis.

‘Some Skepticism’

“The RBA has expressed some skepticism and is unlikely”
to introduce measures similar to other countries in the near
term, Glenn Levine and Fred Gibson, economists at Moody’s
Analytics, a unit of Moody’s Investors Service, wrote in a
report last week. “Instead, a microprudential approach is
preferred whereby the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority
engages in closed-door discussions with individual banks to
address risks through bespoke rules such as interest-rate

APRA, which oversees banks, in May issued draft guidelines
urging lenders to conduct mortgage book stress tests, ensure
brokers’ compensation doesn’t encourage risky lending and
ascertain borrowers can repay loans, especially when rates rise.

“APRA is seeing increasing evidence of lending with higher
risk characteristics and it does not want this trend to
continue,” the regulator’s former chairman, John Laker, said in
a statement then.

Requests to large lenders’ boards for explanations on how
they’re monitoring risk have already led to more prudent
standards, APRA Chairman Wayne Byres told a parliamentary
hearing on July 18. Andrew McCutcheon, a spokesman for APRA,
declined to comment further.

Shifting Stance

While regulators haven’t yet introduced firm lending
controls, their resistance to such measures has softened. The
RBA’s Ellis in October 2012 said she didn’t see a need for
“elaborate” rules, and “a culture of cooperation, dialog and
mutual respect” is more important than formal arrangements. In
contrast, Stevens said after his speech in Hobart that the RBA
is “quite happy” for limits on lending and capital
requirements on banks to be imposed where they make sense.

The RBA and APRA have acknowledged potential benefits of
loan limits “but at this stage they don’t believe that this
type of policy action is necessary,” said David Ellis, a
Sydney-based analyst at Morningstar Inc. “If the housing market
was out of control and if loan growth, particularly investor
credit, grew exponentially then it’d be introduced.”

To contact the reporter on this story:
Nichola Saminather in Sydney at

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Andreea Papuc at
Iain McDonald, Rob Urban

Article source:

Mortgage rates at one Cleveland bank again plunge below 4 percent

Mortgage rates have again dipped below 4 percent at at least one local bank and have remained lower than expected nationally all summer.

The rate for a 30-year fixed loan remains at 4.1 percent nationally, according to mortgage underwriter Freddie Mac. It hit 4.2 percent only one week since the middle of May.

Locally, the 30-year rate at Dollar Bank is back at 3.99 percent.

Economists had predicted that rates would inch up this summer as the economy continued to improve. But the high point for 2014 was the first week of the year, when the average rate was 4.53 percent on Jan. 2, and they’ve continued to fall consistently since April, when they were 4.4 percent.

In other rates among big lenders locally, Huntington is at 4.1 percent and Third Federal is at 4.2 percent.

Despite the historically ultra-low rates, the housing market remains flat in Ohio and nationwide, according to a Freddie Mac report last week.

Freddie Mac’s housing market index that looks at a number of factors stands at minus 2.64 points, which indicates a weak housing market overall and a slight decline from April to May. Year over year, the housing market has improved by nearly 1 point. The index’s record low nationally was  minus 4.42 in November 2010, when the housing market was at its weakest.

Ohio’s index is among the sixth best in the country but is still flat.

Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said most markets are “still trying to get beyond stall speed.” Most of the news in housing is good: Unemployment rates are decreasing and more borrowers are paying their mortgages on time. Many areas could see price increases that would still be affordable, he said. But people may not be willing to pay more until their incomes go up.

“We remain cautiously optimistic the housing recovery will continue, albeit slowly, until we see more tightening in the labor markets to give personal incomes a much needed jolt,” Nothaft said

Article source:

Mortgage Rate Forecast (FHA, VA, USDA & Conv.) Plus Weekly Calendar

Mortgage rates ready to respond to the FOMC, jobs report

Mortgage rates are dropping nationwide.

Last week, mortgage rates continued their year-long winning streak. After peaking in the mid-4s last September, 30-year mortgage rates have move steadily lower. Rates are down close to 0.50 percentage points and many lenders now quote rates in the 3s. 

Buying a home or refinancing one? It’s a good time to compare today’s live mortgage rates.

Click to get today’s mortgage rates

Mortgage Rates In The 3s

Mortgage-backed securities (MBS) were mostly unchanged last week, which helped 30-year mortgage rates remain near their best levels in 14 months; according to Freddie Mac, the 30-year mortgage rate now averages 4.13%.

Mortgage rates are the lowest they’ve been since June 2013. That action can be directly traced to the MBS market. The MBS market is where mortgage rates are “made”.

When the price of mortgage-backed securities rises, mortgage rates drop. This is because bond prices and bond yields move in opposite directions. Conversely, when the price of mortgage-backed securities falls, mortgage rates rise.

The price of mortgage-backed securities is based on demand and supply and, lately, demand has outpaced supply across most MBS types, of which there are three main issuances.

The first main issuances is the Fannie Mae mortgage bond. Fannie Mae mortgage bonds are linked to mortgage rates for Fannie Mae-backed loans. Fannie Mae backs the largest percentage of new loans in today’s marketplace.

The second main issuance is the Freddie Mac mortgage bond.

Freddie Mac mortgage bonds are similar to Fannie Mae MBS, but they back Freddie Mac loans instead. Together, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans are known as “conventional loans”. Conventional loans are managed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

The third main MBS issuance is the Ginnie Mae mortgage bond. Ginnie Mae bonds back FHA loansVA loans, and USDA loans

Like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bonds, Ginnie Mae MBS have been improving in price. Rates for all five mortgage types are the lowest they’ve been this year, with many lenders now quoting rates in the 3s.

Click here to get today’s live mortgage rates

Mortgage Rates Defying Expert Predictions

This year’s mortgage rates are defying the experts.

At the start of the year, Wall Street predicted that rates would rise into the 5s before June; that purchase business would dry up; and that refinance chances would suddenly go scarce.

Nearly two-thirds through the year, Wall Street is being proven incorrect. Rates are down nearly 0.50 percentage points from January 1 and, at today’s mortgage rates, a $300,000 mortgages costs $70 less per month as compared to the start of the year.

The drop has re-opened refinance opportunities, too.

Savvy homeowners are lowering their mortgage rates and their monthly payment via refinance, but the group which is getting the biggest benefit, perhaps, is today’s FHA-backed homeowner.

The FHA offers a special refinance program known as the FHA Streamline Refinance. The FHA Streamline Refinance waives many of the traditional verifications which accompany a refinance.

According to the program’s official guidelines, with the FHA Streamline Refinance, there is no income verification, no credit score verification, and no home appraisal required.

One of the FHA Streamline Refinance’s only requirements is that the refinancing homeowner must save at least five percent monthly via a refinance. 

As an illustration, if your current FHA mortgage payment is $1,000 monthly, you cannot refinance unless your new FHA mortgage payment will be $950 or less. It’s easier to meet this requirements when mortgage rates are low — like they are today.

However, today’s FHA-backed homeowners have a second refinance opportunity.

Because home values are rising in many U.S. markets, tens of thousands of FHA-backed homeowners now have sufficient home equity to refinance away from the FHA and into a conventional loan via Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

There are two reasons to consider such a move.

The first is that mortgage insurance costs on a conventional loan are often lower than for a comparable FHA-backed loan, which can save hundreds of dollars monthly.

The second reason to refinance out of an FHA loan is that, for all new FHA loans, FHA MIP is required for at least 11 years. By contrast, with a conventional loan, mortgage insurance is only required until there’s 20% equity.

This makes today an ideal time to refinance away from an FHA loan. Mortgage rates are great and the long-term costs will likely be much lower.

Click here to get today’s live mortgage rates.

What Will Mortgage Rates Do This Week?

Mortgage rates will be volatile this week. There economic release calendar is full; the Federal Open Market Committee is meeting; and, the Non-Farm Payrolls report will be released on Friday.

It will be hard to rate-shop this week, so be aware of what’s ahead. Mortgage rates are expected to change multiple times per day and could swing by as much as 0.250 percentage points. 

The week’s economic calendar looks like this :

  • Monday : Pending Home Sales Index; Dallas Federal Reserve Manufacturing Survey
  • Tuesday : Case-Shiller Home Price Index; Consumer Confidence
  • Wednesday : ADP Employment Report; GDP; FOMC Announcement
  • Thursday : Jobless Claims; Chicago PMI
  • Friday : Non-Farm Payrolls Report; Personal Income And Outlays; Consumer Sentiment

The Federal Open Market Committee will adjourn at 2:00 PM ET Wednesday and issue its customary press statement at that time. The Fed is expected to continue its tapering of its stimulus programs; and to announce that rates are expected to stay low until mid-2015, at least.

The Fed rarely delivers the precise message Wall Street expected, though. The distance from which the central banker deviates from expectations will determine how fast and by how much mortgage rates will change. Unfortunately, we can’t know if mortgage rates will rise or fall.

A similar pattern is expected for Friday’s job report. Therefore, be ready to lock your mortgage rate at a moment’s notice. Low mortgage rates may not last.

Get Today’s Live Mortgage Rates

Despite low mortgage rates, comparison shopping for the lowest mortgage rate may be difficult this week. The Federal Reserve is meeting and the Non-Farm Payrolls report is set for release. Both can affect rates dramatically. Consider shopping early in the week, and locking something in.

See today’s rates now. Rates are available online for free with no social security number required to get started, and with no obligation to proceed.

Click to get today’s live rates

The information contained on The Mortgage Reports website is for informational purposes only and is not an advertisement for products offered by Full Beaker. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not reflect the policy or position of Full Beaker, its officers, parent, or affiliates.

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Mortgage capital flow shifts after crisis – Pittsburgh Post

While Pittsburgh never had a housing price bubble, the region suffered a foreclosure crisis along with other major cities where real estate values did rise to a peak and then crash back down to earth.

What made Pittsburgh vulnerable to the mortgage meltdown is that banks had been generous with mortgage capital across the nation, and many people here lost homes they had lived in for years due to equity loans they took out against their property and could no longer repay due to job loss, medical illness or the onerous nature of the loan.

Senior citizens, working-class people and African-American families across Allegheny County fell prey to home improvement scams and second mortgages for new cars and vacations. Some of them did it with traditional mortgages while others became victims of predatory lenders who offered cash-out refinancings at sky-high interest rates.

“What we saw was wealth stripped from people who had built it in their homes,” said Ernie Hogan, executive director of the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group based in the Hill District. “We didn’t see the overexaggeration in price of houses, but we did see people who might have been in their homes for many years lose that wealth through the foreclosure process and subprime lending.

“We didn’t have the property appreciation, but we did have the availability of mortgage capital, and a lot of that was subprime.”

In the years since the national housing market collapsed in 2008, PCRG found that the distribution of mortgage capital flowing into Pittsburgh neighborhoods is vastly different today from what it was prior to the crisis.

Majority white and affluent neighborhoods have captured the lion’s share of new mortgage money, while neighborhoods that are mostly minority or with low- or moderate-income residents have been left behind.

For instance, half of the total $960 million in residential loan dollars that banks approved for homebuyers in the city of Pittsburgh in 2012 went to only seven neighborhoods: Shadyside, Squirrel Hill South, Squirrel Hill North, Point Breeze, the Strip District, Southside Flats and Highland Park.

At the other end of the spectrum, the 46 neighborhoods that received the least amount of money captured only 10 percent of all residential mortgage dollars in 2012. Homewood West and Chateau received no mortgage loans at all.

Other neighborhoods that ranked near the bottom in terms of total mortgage loan dollars captured and in the number and dollar amount of loans per unit of housing included Allentown, Bedford Dwellings, California-Kirkbride, East Hills, Homewood North, Homewood South, Larimer, Middle Hill, Mount Oliver/​St. Clair and Terrace Village.

To put things in perspective, all of Homewood had 16 residential mortgages in 2012, Squirrel Hill had 767 mortgage loans that year and Shadyside had 371.

Interestingly enough, while the number of mortgages have declined in all census tracts, the total dollar amounts of the loans have increased.

The mortgage lending study covers eight years from 2005 to 2012 and looks at all residential mortgage lending data for Allegheny County, including all financial institutions that do mortgage lending here, even banks that do not have physical branch offices here but make loans in Pittsburgh.

The PCRG is a watchdog organization that holds the banking industry accountable for its lending practices, especially in low-income communities. The organization has examined mortgage lending trends annually for 20 years looking at a respective year that’s gone by, but this year the researchers wanted to compare data for the years prior to the mortgage meltdown to see what the lending trends in Allegheny County were then and today.

“The recovery for majority-white and affluent neighborhoods started in 2009,” said Rachel Rue, the lead researcher at PCRG. “The recovery has been slow for minority neighborhoods and low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. The recovery for those neighborhoods has only just started, and it has not gotten very far.”

The Department of Housing and Urban Development each year publishes estimates for the median family income for a region, which in 2012 was $64,900 for Allegheny County. Families classified as low-income earn less than 50 percent of the median, which in Allegheny County is less than $32,450. Moderate-income families earn between 50 percent and 80 percent of the median, which is between $32,450 and $51,920.

Another trend the PCRG found, which could be related to the fact that the economic crisis hit much harder in nonwhite and lower-income communities, is that mortgage loan denial rates for mortgages originating in minority and low- and moderate-income neighborhoods were twice as high or more than those originated in white and higher income census tracts.

The mortgage denial rate for all of Allegheny County in 2012 was 22 percent. For majority-minority neighborhoods, the denial rate was 46 percent. Upper-income neighborhoods had a mortgage denial rate of 19 percent in 2012. Low- and moderate-income neighborhoods had a 38 percent denial rate that year.

Ms. Rue said the disparities in denial rates actually got worse during the recovery from the mortgage crisis.

“As we started to recover and the mortgage lending numbers started coming up, the difference in denial rates got bigger,” Ms. Rue said. “So in 2012, that disparity in denial rates was as high as it’s ever been since the study started.”

Some reasons for the growing gap could be that the economic situation for a lot of people living in low- and moderate-income and minority communities is worse. Credit is harder to secure, and debt-to-income requirements are higher.

Howard “Hoddy” Hanna, president and CEO of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, said he is not surprised by the study’s findings.

He said the difficulty many working-class borrowers face now stems from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, which requires lenders to more closely scrutinize borrowers’ financial information to make sure they can afford a mortgage.

One of the provisions prohibits banks from approving mortgages for anyone whose debt-to-income ratio is higher than 43 percent. Banks used to be able to approve borrowers with a ratio of around 50 percent or even higher. Credit score requirements also have gone from around 570-580 to around 640-650.

“The provisions in the Act makes it very difficult for lenders to lend money to low- and moderate-income borrowers,” Mr. Hanna said. He pointed out that financial institutions in the business of originating mortgages they plan to resell on the secondary market must meet standards for government sponsored buyers like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and other big banks.

“It hurts moderate-income borrowers because credit scores are not there and down payments are not there,” Mr. Hanna said. “To me it’s an overreaction to the financial crisis. I think it’s unfair to people who would be good home buyers.

“With most folks, at the end of the day their largest asset is the equity in their house. We are taking a whole generation of qualified people and holding them back now and discounting them from the American Dream and the opportunity to build equity in a house for the future.”

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The Mortgage Market’s Next Opportunity

Tim Manni

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The U.S. mortgage market has enjoyed historically low mortgage rates for so long that the pool of potential refinance customers has shrunk dramatically, forcing mortgage professionals to not only layoff employees, but to also seek a new audience in which to concentrate their business. But which part of the market is primed to take off now that refinancing is tapering off—is it purchase loans, home equity loans, do we dare even suggest that non-prime lending could be the next profitable audience?

To learn more about where the mortgage market is headed next, we interviewed Peter S. Reinhart, Esq., director of the Kislak Real Estate Institute at Monmouth University.

A: Mortgage refinancing activity typically increases when mortgage rates are falling for a steady period and again once rates begin to rise off those low levels. Static rates do not stimulate much refinance activity at all.

The bulk of refinance activity is mostly behind us because interest rates have not increased much in recent years. Mortgage rates have been holding at a very low pattern. Over the past few years, the majority of the refinancing activity was from older mortgages with much higher interest rates. Again, since rates have been so low for so long, there is little rate incentive to refinance again.

Are home purchases the next big thing?
If refinancing is fading, it stands to reason that purchase loans would be the next viable avenue for mortgage business. That said, existing and new home sales have flattened in recent months due principally to a sluggish economy. There are signs of increased employment growth, including more better-paying jobs being created.  If positive employment trends continue, home sales should increase.

In addition, statistically, pent up demand is growing as household formation stagnates.  At some point this pent up demand should result in an uptick in sales.  

If not home sales, what about home equity lending?
I do not see an increase in home equity lending to any degree. Home values are just now approaching pre-recession values in most markets and the rapid increase in values in the first few years following the end of the recession has leveled off.  Therefore, the comfort level of homeowners to take on more debt is not high at this time.

Non-prime lending  
There are some lenders tiptoeing back into non-prime lending but with much stricter underwriting requirements. That said, I do not see any significant growth in non-prime lending, particularly with the tighter underwriting rules placed on mortgage lenders.

For the housing market to gain steam…
For the housing market to gain steam, economic conditions need to continue to improve with the resultant improvement in consumer confidence.  If Congress were to do something to lessen the student debt load, that might encourage more first-time homebuyers to enter the housing market and thereby enable more move-up sales, fueling the purchase market. Another boon to purchase-loan activity is foreign homebuyers.  In certain markets, foreign buyers are a significant force in the market, however, more than half of international buyers pay cash and do not require financing.  

This article The Mortgage Market’s Next Opportunity originally appeared on

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