The Mortgage Wire – February 2023 Edition
Bydand Home Loans LLC
Bydand Home Loans LLC
Published on February 13, 2023

The Mortgage Wire – February 2023 Edition

Budding Homebuying Season Ahead

An uptick in buyer activity and cooling inflation could signal a busy spring ahead for the housing market.

Signed Contracts for Homes Increase
After last year’s slowdown in the housing sector, recent reports indicate that some homebuyers are back in the market. New Home Sales rose 2.3% from November to December, per the Commerce Department. This report measures when a sales contract is signed or a deposit is accepted for a home at any stage of construction, be it not yet started, under construction or already completed.

Signed contracts for existing homes were also on the rise, as the National Association of REALTORS® reported that Pending Home Sales were up 2.5% in that same period, marking their first monthly increase since May. This is important because Pending Home Sales are considered a leading indicator of housing activity, as a home usually goes under contract a month or two before the sale closes.

NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun noted, “This recent low point in home sales activity is likely over. Mortgage rates are the dominant factor driving home sales, and recent declines in rates are clearly helping to stabilize the market.”

Home builders have also seen signs of rising buyer traffic, helping confidence levels increase in January after twelve straight monthly declines, as noted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Housing Market Index. This monthly survey measures builders’ perceptions of current sales, sales expectations for the next six months and buyer traffic.

NAHB Chairman Jerry Konter said that “it appears the low point for builder sentiment in this cycle was registered in December.” This is significant because, as he explained, “The rise in builder sentiment also means that cycle lows for permits and starts are likely near, and a rebound for home building could be underway later in 2023.”

Data Continues to Reflect Cooling Inflation
Reports released in January provided more indications that runaway inflation has started to slow. Annual readings for both the Consumer Price Index and Personal Consumption Expenditures, which measure consumer inflation, both declined in December. Inflation at the wholesale level has also moved lower, with the annual Producer Price Index falling in December as well.

Cooling inflation is welcome news and not just because it will help lower the costs of goods for families around the country.

Inflation reduces the value of fixed investments, and this includes a type of bond called Mortgage-Backed Securities, to which home loan rates are inversely tied. Rising inflation can cause mortgage bonds to worsen, or move lower, and home loan rates can move higher when this happens. Though many factors impact the markets, declining inflation is usually beneficial for both mortgage bonds and home loan rates.

If you’re thinking of buying a home this spring and want to review your financing options, call or email me any time. I’m happy to help you make the most of the opportunities that are ahead this year.

Sources: U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, National Association of REALTORS®, National Association of Home Builders, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

Five people placing hand on ear to listen
Creating Powerful PowerPoint Presentations

Make your PowerPoint presentations more persuasive thanks to these simple tips.

Outline your presentation before you start creating your slide deck. Whether you’re meeting with prospects individually for a listing presentation or speaking to a larger audience, ask yourself these critical questions. What does my audience already know? What does my audience need to know? What are the critical takeaways they need to remember? This will help you streamline your presentation and cut any superfluous information that could detract from your main message.

Simplicity is key for designing effective slides. Include one main point per slide. The text should be large enough and easy to read, so it's best to avoid italics, script fonts and colors that blend into the background. Long blocks of text can be the quickest way to lose your audience's attention, as they will stop listening to you and read your slides instead. Full sentences are not necessary, just the main points you want your listeners to know. Think of your slides as the supporting cast to the main event - you delivering your expertise and showing how you can help them.

Make a list of questions your audience may ask so you can prepare answers ahead of time. Whether they inquire about the state of the market in their neighborhood, your experience selling their type of home, or how you would help them make a winning offer, being prepared with relevant data or a detailed gameplan will help you win their confidence, trust and ultimately their business.

These tips will help you utilize PowerPoint to engage with prospects more effectively and turn them into satisfied clients.

Sources: Inc., Lifehack

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Help Clients Protect Themselves from Home Title Fraud

The FBI’s 2021 Internet Crime Report showed that victims lost over $350 million due to real estate and rental crimes that year. The following crucial information can help your clients protect themselves from a rare but costly type of real estate crime: home title fraud.

Home title fraud occurs when a scammer transfers a property’s title without the owner’s knowledge or consent, typically through identity theft. Properties with a large amount of equity are a common target, meaning long-owned houses especially by the elderly are at high risk. Often-empty second homes are also popular choices for thieves, since the owner may not immediately receive notices or bills that could indicate trouble.

The dangers of home title fraud include scammers taking out fraudulent mortgages or a Home Equity Line of Credit in the homeowner’s name, lowering or ruining their credit in the process. These scammers can also try to rent or sell the home, stealing the proceeds from unsuspecting bystanders.

Crucial safeguards can help your clients stay vigilant against scammers. Annual credit report checks can reveal whether any activity has occurred without their knowledge. Verifying that the information on their house is correct with their county’s deed office is also important to do regularly. Unexpected notices regarding past due property taxes, utilities or mortgage payments should be addressed immediately. On the flipside, not receiving bills can be a telltale sign that a scammer has redirected information. Your clients should contact their provider as soon as they realize something may be amiss.

If your clients have been a victim of identity theft or home title fraud, they should file a report with the Federal Trade Commission’s web site Placing a freeze on their credit with Experian, Equifax and TransUnion is also recommended, along with changing account passwords. It's also crucial for them to contact the mortgage lender, county clerk’s office, utility providers and other impacted businesses.

Share this important information with your clients so they can better protect their home and identity.

Sources: Experian, Federal Bureau of Investigation

Bydand Home Loans LLC
Bydand Home Loans LLC
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(877) 306-0222