Cheap mortgages here to stay?

From the WSJ:

Freddie Mac: Mortgage Rates to Stay Low, Property Values to Rise in 2013

Mortgage rates are likely to remain near record lows for the first half of 2013, while property values are expected to strengthen, said mortgage-finance company Freddie Mac.

The company expects long-term mortgage rates to rise gradually in the second half of 2013, but to remain below 4%, according to its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook.

Freddie Mac sees house prices continuing to rise next year, with most U.S. house price indexes increasing by 2% to 3%. The company expects household formation to increase households by 1.2 million to 1.25 million in 2013, with housing starts reaching an annualized pace of roughly one million by the fourth quarter.

From HousingWire:

Fannie Mae predicts record-low mortgage rates entering 2013

Mortgage rates are anticipated to remain at an all-time low for the first half of 2013, then slowly rise during the second half of the year, although they will remain below 4%, reported Freddie Mac.

On the same day that Fannie Mae released its National Housing Survey, showing increased consumer confidence in the housing industry, Freddie Mac revealed its U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook for December.

The housing outlook predicts what some of the market features are expected to look like in 2013.

“The last few months have brought a spate of favorable news on the U.S. housing market with construction up, more home sales, and home-value growth turning positive,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac.

Property values are expected to gain strength with most house price indexes increasing as much as 3% next year.

Housing starts are expected to jump to a net 1.20 to 1.25 million household increase in 2013, with starts up around the 1 million annualized pace by the fourth quarter.

“This has been a big change from a year ago, when some analysts worried that the looming ‘shadow inventory’ would keep the housing sector mired in an economic depression. Instead, the housing market is healing, is contributing positively to GDP and is returning to its traditional role of supporting the economic recovery,” said Nothaft.

This entry was posted in Economics, Housing Recovery, Mortgages, National Real Estate. Bookmark the permalink.

96 Responses to Cheap mortgages here to stay?

  1. Essex says:

    Foist. I thought that the comments regarding ‘unemployment’ yesterday were pathetic.

  2. Essex says:

    As if people only get pink slips during a democratic presidency. As if….

  3. grim says:

    From CNBC:

    New Nightmare for Home Builders: Not Enough Skilled Workers

    During the housing crash, two million construction workers left the field, many of them never to return. Even as the housing market moves into recovery, government reports today show continued losses in the construction workforce. The problem is a lack of skilled labor.

    “In the past, when the [housing] starts were up to a million and a half, you could come on a job site and do on the job training,” says John Courson of the Home Builder’s Institute, a non-profit group working with the Department of Labor’s Job Corps to train new construction workers. “What we see now is employers want to hire skilled workers, and that’s what we’re producing with our students, are those who can go on the job site and go to work.”

    Brandon Alexander is one of those students, training to be an electrician at the Potomac Job Corps center in Washington, DC.

    “I knew with this trade I could be financially stable and not have to work around three different jobs. There’s a resurgence in construction so I know this is the place to be,” he said.

    Students at this and 73 other sites across the nation learn everything from plumbing to masonry, carpentry to landscaping, weatherization and painting, as well as new “green” technologies most builders are now using. Skills are in high demand.

  4. Essex says:

    3. Not really a new nightmare. Just ask anyone who has ever hired a hack to do work around their house. NJ is full of terrible contractors. I fired one after a day on the job once. He came highly recommended by people too brainless to know the difference.

  5. Mike says:

    Good Morning New Jersey

  6. Ernest Money says:

    We won’t need contractors to build mud huts.

  7. Brian says:

    1 –
    You mean Nom’s reposted Facebook comment?

  8. Brian says:

    I think that that type of comment is designed to get the attention of someone who leans left politically. Did it work?

  9. grim says:

    I don’t know, even the electorate may be losing faith… (Irvington, NJ – Circa 2011)

  10. Fast Eddie says:

    grim [9],

    That looks like the open house I went to this past Sunday listed at $589,000. :o

  11. Painhrtz - Not like you can dust for vomit says:

    It has a nice facade though I don’t think those windows are very energy efficient or green

  12. Fast Eddie says:

    Remember when I said yesterday that the Mondoro’s home in Franklin Lakes that was originally listed for just under a million would sell for around 735K? Well, this one is listed at 765K, so why should the Mondoro dreamers be greater in price than this one:

  13. grim says:

    13 – They’ve been stereotyping Greeks as lazy, drunks, and entitled for years, so now we get upset when they stereotype Mexicans?

  14. Anon E. Moose says:

    Sx [2];

    If you hadn’t noticed, quite a few more people have gotten pink slips during THIS democratic presidency. And much more so than previous economic downturns, they’re not getting re-hired. Tool.

  15. Brian says:

    “Flush French are fleeing the new government’s attempts to repair France’s public finances by increasing taxes on salaries, capital gains and household wealth. Among the controversial proposals in the 2013 draft budget is a 75% tax rate on salaries higher than $1.3 million, up from less than 50% currently.”–190653964.html

  16. Essex says:

    15. Nonsense.

  17. BearsFan says:

    McDullard – 97 from previous thread – Thank you.

  18. NJGator says:

    BearsFan – I am not an attorney but what your brother was told does not make sense. FMLA leave is unpaid leave. Disability is not. Sounds like your brother’s employer doesn’t want a disability claim paid out because their premiums could go up.

    I just started my maternity leave and I am going to be collecting disability as well as maintaining my insurance coverage.

  19. NJGator says:

    And BF – I am on disability as well as FMLA.

  20. grim says:

    My wife maintained her insurance on Disability (pre-delivery), Maternity (aka disability), and is now still maintaining her insurance on NJ Family Leave (6 additional paid weeks).

  21. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [14] C’mon grim, you know how the game is played. You can absolutely stereotype any group that is doing well. Any group that isn’t, all of society will turn on you.

    Greeks – retire at age 52, live a life of leisure – fair game.

    Mexicans – held down by the man, no benefits, no future – BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! You’re a racist.

    Anglo-American Businessmen – Have at it. You can probably lynch a few and the media won’t even cover it, and if they do they’ll spin it that the white guys had it coming.

    Similarly, go and stereotype Swedes, Danes, and Swiss all you want. The reaction will be nothing but a resounding group yawn.

    13 – They’ve been stereotyping Greeks as lazy, drunks, and entitled for years, so now we get upset when they stereotype Mexicans?

  22. Painhrtz - Not like you can dust for vomit says:

    expat you forgot hairy boy lovers or is that just Athenians?

    I as an American of mixed heritage average height, stocky, large nose, variable work ethic cheap, and smelly. also can perform varying types of masonary work, can grow a manly mustache, like spiced chicken, pessimistic and wife beaters.

    Guess which european countires my descendents are from?

  23. Fast Eddie says:


    Who cares about things that hafta make you think and stuff, we’re a new g.ay, st0ned nation now. Time to move “forward” and loot the f.ucking the joint. Hey, does anyone know any good Cath0lic bashing jokes?

  24. Essex says:

    22. At least you are quoting notable and legitimate sources.

  25. Essex says:

    28. You two should just go ahead and get a room.

  26. BearsFan says:

    Gator/Grim, thanks for sharing that info.

  27. Fast Eddie says:


    Bro, I’m totally on the Bomma side of the isle now. Do you know how much time and resources I consumed on the local, state and fed level since the election? I’ve been turned down for food stamps and housing assistance but d.amn, that ain’t gonna stop me from trying again. I got a whole list of government sh1t to apply for.

  28. Painhrtz - Not like you can dust for vomit says:

    FE you just gave me the best idea, start a campaign to cripple the bueracracy through form filling. Wait those of us with jobs won’t have the time

  29. The Original NJ ExPat says:

    [32] You’re on the leading edge gary, and almost no one sees it coming… yet. We are pretty close to a mass epiphany that time spent asking for money is a lot more profitable that working for it.

  30. Fast Eddie says:

    Painhrtz [33],

    Bingo! Fill out a few forms here and there, some on the weekends, apply for this and that, rinse and repeat, so on and so forth. They’re entitlement programs, we pay for them, so we’re entitled to use them. Remember, it’s all about fairness.

  31. grim says:


    Audit finds ineligible people receive utility subsidies from NJ SHARES program

    In addition to ineligible applicants, the comptroller’s report identified what it described as “a series of questionable expenditures by NJ SHARES.” Those included $2,676 worth of catered events at New Jersey Devils games and $3,339 for alcohol at an Atlantic City restaurant.

    NJ SHARES said those expenses were related to outreach and awareness events, and they were paid for by a telecommunications company, not named in the report, that supports “an unrelated program that offers discounted local telephone service to eligible low-income customers.”

    The report, though, said money from the telecommunications company was deposited in the same bank account as money from the state, and the comptroller could not determine which source was used for the hockey or restaurant events. NJ SHARES disputed that the money was put into the same bank account.

  32. grim says:

    Chateau Lafite and ‘bamaphones in the same paragraph, priceless.

  33. Fast Eddie says:

    ExPat [33],

    What a concept, isn’t it? ;)

  34. Fast Eddie says:

    Anything sound familar here?

    Now the guy’s got Paulie as a partner. Any problems, he goes to Paulie. Trouble with a bill, he can go to Paulie. Trouble with the cops, deliveries, Tommy, he can call Paulie. But now the guy’s got to come up with Paulie’s money every week. No matter what. Business bad? F.uck you, pay me. Oh, you had a fire? F.uck you, pay me. The place got hit by lightning, huh? F.uck you, pay me. Also, Paulie could do anything. Especially run up bills on the joint’s credit. And why not? Nobody’s gonna pay for it anyway. And as soon as the deliveries are made in the front door, you move the stuff out the back and sell it at a discount. You take a two hundred dollar case of booze and you sell it for a hundred. It doesn’t matter. It’s all profit. And then finally, when there’s nothing left, when you can’t borrow another buck from the bank or buy another case of booze, you bust the joint out. You light a match.

  35. Brian says:

    I want all government entitlement programs that give away free stuff cut….except for the ones I use.

  36. grim says:

    3b – Remember 335 Jackson (Wash Twp), the yellow split at the end of the street (the one we thought overlooked the municipal lot)?

    Sold for $439k, $10k over ask, multiple bidders.

  37. Mike says:

    The restaurant business? What do I know about the restaurant business? All I know how to do is sit down, look at a menu and order food.

  38. Anon E. Moose says:

    Pain [32];

    those of us with jobs won’t have the time

    An ever-shrinking number; don’t count out your strategy just yet.

  39. Phoenix says:

    The big problem I see is that there is no penalty for anything you do wrong in America. Embezzle a million dollars, pay a 200k fine and walk. Murder someone, 10 years and out, rape, she asked for it. Driving drunk and killing someone, yeah it was my gastric bypass surgery (today’s paper). OTOH, a 24 y/o takes her picture in Germany with a beer in her hand and loses her job thanks to Facebook. Risk vs reward mathematics. Go ahead, apply for free energy credits, lie on the app, what are they going to do. Nothing. And therein lies the problem.

  40. Anon E. Moose says:

    Brian [39];

    That’s where we disagree. I’ll give up the crumbs that some FEMA paper-pusher deigns to dispense ($0, thus far), if I get a tax cut for ALL the other ‘entitlement’ programs on the chopping block. I’d definitely be money ahead in that scenario.

  41. Brian says:

    I was being sarcastic

  42. Comrade Nom Deplume on the DL says:

    I see plenty of bait out there for me but I’m not in a position to bite. Developed nasty cold after trip back from J-ville and day at army-navy, and stayed up too late to watch my guys dismantle the Texans. Been burning the candle at.both ends and now I’m paying for it and have confined myself to bed.

    Guess I’m just not the man JJ is.

  43. Comrade Nom Deplume on the DL says:

    [96] [last thread] BF,

    Had to weigh in here as that situation sounds like total b.s. See Gators and mcDs posts.

    Gator, J-ville is one boring-ass town.

    Back to bed.

  44. fka 2010 Buyer says:

    Quick question for the realtors who handle REOs…

    I’m looking at an REO that’s listed for $485k however when I look on the mortgage company’s own REO website, they have the property listed at $460k. I know mortgage companies outsource the marketing of their REOs but why such a big difference in price? Does the listing agent get the spread?

    I’ve heard from my realtor that previous deals fell through because there was no negotiations allowed (listing agent didn’t list that it’s “as is” before). And I know they typically reduce the price every 45 days outstanding but the listing agent hasn’t lowered the price. Is this normal?

  45. Brian says:

    On a serious note, it would have been interesting to have Romney as president. I would have liked to have seen if the Laffer curve actually works.

    Maybe decreasing the tax burden would have actually spurred more economic activity….thereby increasing tax revenue. We’ll never know. The time for that discussion has passed (for now).

    That said, I think the US and it’s economy will succeed or fail in spite of who leads us. I think this is decided more by people than their government. Government only exists because it is an attempt to control us.

  46. zieba says:

    I agree. You forgot taking out fraudulent loans and in return getting a victim tag and three years of rent free living in the residence of your choice.

  47. njescapee says:

    Not only a generational war but it is Blue Vs. Red (Gray) States

    Mayor Bloomberg Goes To War Against A Tax Change That Would Disproportionately Slam Blue States

    Read more:

  48. Brian says:

    Can’t believe Michigan is going to become a Right to Work state. The unions were caught sleeping on that one.

  49. Anon E. Moose says:

    Sx [28];

    You have a source or two you’d like to quote for comparison, or do you just prefer to take pot shots from the cheap seats?

  50. Essex says:

    No you seem like the geopolitical expert. I just come around here for real estate advice.

  51. Painhrtz - Not like you can dust for vomit says:

    Brian does not affect public sector but effectively ends forced payments from employees to private unions for right to work in a unionized shop whether they want to participate or not. I actually think this is the canary in the coal mine everyone had been waiting for in the battle with unionism.

  52. Brian says:

    56 –
    From what I understand, they passed two laws, one for private unions and one for public unions.

  53. Brian says:

    Michigan passes public sector “right-to-work” law amid protests

  54. grim says:

    Jesus people, forget the crap political nonsense, how did nobody post this link?

    This is beyond the best set of photos I have EVER SEEN ON AN MLS POSTING. Every picture gets better than the last one.

    My god, this house is GENIUS.

    Look at the gold and black flocked damask bathroom – No .. No .. REVEL IN IT.

    I have never been this excited about a listing and photos.



    $3.9 million


  55. Juice Box says:

    Grim it’s a ranch too….

  56. Brian says:

    I didn’t even know places like that existed in Cliffside Park. Is that Tony Montana’s old house?

  57. Anon E. Moose says:

    Grim [59];

    So the house is a 50’s gut job. Doesn’t move the needle compared to $4MM.

    What’s that they say – don’t fall in love with the view unless you own it? Google earth says that’s elevation ~200′. A nice 20 story Gold Coast condo building and you’re looking at a very different value proposition.

  58. Ernest Money says:

    grim (59)-

    I can get you that same house in Bridgewater- complete with black mold and a partially-obstructed view- for only 1 mm.

  59. Ernest Money says:

    Damn, that Cliffside Park joint looks like they filmed Casino in it.

  60. Comrade Nom Deplume on the DL says:

    [49] Brian,

    IMHO, deadweight loss is the inverse of the Laffer Curve. And that is proven. Tax econ activity heavily enough and you wind up collecting less than expected due to elasticity and effects on pricing, concentration, etc. There are numerous real world examples. Logically, the inverse is that if you take the tax boot off the neck a bit, the econ will generate more revenue due to increased activity. That is the essence of Laffer.

    Personally, I feel that Clinton did this when he lowered cap gains rates, and W staved off a worse recesssion with his tax cuts. Problem is being able to isolate the effect of the tax cut. Clinton had the dotcom bubble and capx spending. That masked the effect of both the cap gain cut and marginal rate hike.

  61. zieba says:

    Grim’s link is just crazy.

    I would not want to be five blocks away from that house without an armed guard at night. It’s merely a mile from the best that North Bergen, NJ has to offer.

    UC? UFB!

    Tear down or not. If you have to, the area right along the route 5 plateau is a much better place to sink into with similarly sized plots of land and properties.

  62. grim says:

    It’s approximately an acre, so theoretically it may be subdividable. Grass and statuary is overrated, I want sheer walls of glass and stucco.

    Maybe they strike it at 3, split the lot 3 ways at a million a pop.

    Put a 5k square foot house on each lot (who needs grass with that kind of view), sell them off at $2.5m each.

    You could probably easily walk away with a million dollars profit in that scenario, assuming you’ve got the capital to risk of course.

  63. NJGator says:

    Nom 47 – JAX is not my old stomping grounds. Gainesville is. The only reason to step foot in JAX is for the annual Florida-Georgia game aka “The World’s Largest Outdoor C*cktail Party”.

  64. grim says:

    Or do something like Kingswood in Weehawken, traded this year at $5m

    Lot of money to live on the Helix (but you’ve got to agree that the pool is pretty damn nice, unless of course, you’ve been drinking, and are a little tipsy, and maybe decide to sit up on the edge.)

  65. Ragnar says:

    Both of those houses will be knocked down if an A-bomb goes off in Manhattan, right?

  66. grim says:

    If we have a repeat of the 1884 Earthquake, maybe they’ll slide into the Hudson.

  67. Painhrtz - Not like you can dust for vomit says:

    Man did not realize Elvis had a place in Jersey. I want drop ac id and hang out in that bathroom. Nice find grim and for the low low price of nearly 4 million what a bargain.

  68. Essex says:

    It’s baroque. Not to be confused with broke.

  69. relo says:

    59: “…and may your first child be a masculine child”.

  70. Comrade Nom Deplume on the DL says:

    [59] Grim,

    That place just screams Jersey, SI or LI.

    They should rent it out for Real Housewives or Goodfellas II.

  71. freedy says:

    That Cliffside Park home is really in a shit area. Its the view and thats it .

  72. chicagofinance says:

    I guess what sticks out to me here is the NUMBER of workers. I know NJ is densely populated, but we are small….we are within shouting distance of places such as PA……WTF is up with that?

    relo says:
    December 11, 2012 at 11:18 am
    Shhh. What’s that ticking sound? Never mind, probably nothing.

  73. Happy Renter says:

    [59] The red pleather sofa in D.0.n.a.l.d.’s Cliffside Park chateau is just as nice.

  74. cobbler says:

    chi [77]
    This table from the U.S. Census is quite educational.

    Looks like NJ state govt numbers are boosted (compared to other states) by NJ Transit (11K people) and hospitals (16K); I wasn’t even aware the state runs any hospitals except for some psychiatric ones… Huge numbers are not at the state but at the municipal and (totally redundant) county levels. At the state level the problem is not with the number of employees but with their governance philosophy (traditionally, very anti-business here).

  75. Anon E. Moose says:

    From NPR Planet Money: Are houses Cheap Right Now?

    DC isn’t doing quite as well as I might have thought. Texas is going gang busters.

  76. Ernest Money says:

    Trust me: the only thing Texas is good at is executing people.

  77. Ernest Money says:

    Everyone in Texas has been dirt poor since the 1980s, and HELOC is illegal.

  78. Ernest Money says:

    I have family in Texas. They are educated, work hard, are dirt poor (like every other normal person there has been since 1988) and like it that way. They live for Jesus, new guns and Shiner Beer.

  79. Ernest Money says:

    They’re also really good at knowing when there’s a scorpion in your shoes.

  80. Comrade Nom Deplume on the DL says:

    [84] punch,

    That pales in significance to the high treason revealed in the Bronx today.

  81. Comrade Nom Deplume on the DL says:

    [84] punch,

    Trust me when I tell you that a federal advisory committee is about to get wind of this.

  82. joyce says:



    I do not understand what NJ Transit has to do with it. Do other states not have public trains, buses, etc?

  83. Anon E. Moose says:

    Nom [87];

    You’ve seen the Yankees’ “To Do” list, right:

    Get Babe Ruth a World Series Ring – check
    Get Wade Boggs a World Series Ring – check
    Get Roger Clemens a World Series Ring – check

  84. Anon E. Moose says:

    Nom [87];

    Is Youk worse than Damon?

  85. cobbler says:

    joyce [90]
    Very few states have public transportation authorities on the state level; mostly, they are county/municipal, or excluded from the count in some other way. Even MTA employees (who number 68,000 or so) are not listed as state employees for NY census table. The point I’d been trying to make is that the number of the state employees we are seeing as “government” (sitting in the office, doing make-work) is rather small – possibly still too many, but not a major budget problem. County/municipal staffing consumes much more money and certainly breeds more corruption.

  86. Ernest Money says:

    Another day in hell.

  87. Hedda says:

    I discovered your blog using google. I must I am floored by your blog. Keep up the good work.

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