First-Time Homebuyers Make Headway as Mortgage Market Shifts — RISMedia

Editor’s Note: The Mortgage Mix is RISMedia’s weekly highlight reel of need-to-know mortgage-industry happenings. Watch for it each Friday afternoon.

  • A new report from ICE found that despite the mortgage market challenges faced last year, first-time homebuyers made significant headway as they claimed 47% of government sponsored enterprise (GSE) purchase loans and 39% of all GSE securitizations in 2023, as reported by National Mortgage Professional.
  • “While it remains a tough market for prospective purchasers, our eMBS agency securities database revealed that first-time homebuyers actually made up 55% of all agency purchase mortgages last year. That’s the highest share in the 10 years we’ve been tracking the metric,” commented Andy Walden, ICE vice president of Enterprise Research Strategy
  • Mortgage rates receded slightly from the border of 7%, according to Freddie Mac’s latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.88%, while the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.22%.
  • “It’s important to remember that rates can vary widely between mortgage lenders, so shopping around is essential,” commented Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sam Khater.
  • In response to the rate dip, mortgage applications increased 9.7% from last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey
  • “Of note, purchase volume—particularly for FHA loans—was up strongly, again showing how sensitive the first-time homebuyer segment is to relatively small changes in the direction of rates,” commented MBA SVP and Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni. “Other sources of housing data are showing increases in new listings, which is a real positive for the spring buying season given the lack of for-sale inventory.”
  • Loan Factory has been accused in a new lawsuit of using competitors’ names, photos and likenesses who had no affiliation with the company to attract business. The company has previously been under fire in 2023 for performing unlicensed mortgage originations.

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