Home values and housing activity picked up across Southern communities, benefiting community banks in the region. But these trends are in large part due to the area's vibrant oil and gas industry and other economic indicators, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency claimed in a new report.
Mortgage applications continue to fall, dropping 2.5% from a week earlier, as the average contract interest rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage with a conforming loan limit rose to 4.80%, the highest rate since April 2011.
"In our view, as treasury rates continue to climb, companies exposed to mortgage banking will face challenges maintaining gain on sale revenues, particularly institutions benefiting from mostly refinance activity," said Matthew Kelley, an analyst with Sterne Agee.
People are listening to real estate economists today in a way that anyone who covered the industry a decade or more ago would not recognize. Smoke is one of the members of this new wave of real estate economists. In fact, Smoke is actually the newest one on the block. The upstart economists at places like Trulia and Zillow are still new, Smoke is just the latest player to join the game..