Appraisal News and Business Tips

weird homes

2-2-17 Newz .Appraiser email scam .New Fannie updates .White House value

What is the White House Worth? Nearly $400 Million, Says Zillow

Excerpt: Want to buy the White House? Well, you can’t. But if you could, it would go for just under $400 million, says new hypothetical Zillow data.
According to the data, the White House has appreciated 15 percent since Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009, and is currently valued at $397.9 million. Were it to actually be listed on Zillow, it would be the most valuable home on the site-and rightfully so.
My comment: Of course, we all know how accurate Zillow is ;>
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New Netflix Lemony Snicket series and Realtors – humor (Just for fun!!)
Excerpt:
Netflix release of “A Series of Unfortunate Events.”
The children fall in the care of Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris), their geographically “nearest living relative,” who is plotting to steal their fortune.  From here on out, the orphans initiate a process of guardian hopping following every next guardian’s death at the hands of Count Olaf.

Read more!!

1-26-17 Newz: Master baths .Failed appraisals .$220 million home

The Rise of the Luxurious Suburban Master Bathroom
How a utilitarian room turned into a pleasure palace.
Excerpts:
Bathrooms haven’t changed much since indoor plumbing became a standard feature in newly built homes at the turn of the 20th century.  This, coupled with changing societal expectations regarding the frequency of bathing and new technology such as the flush toilet, swiftly ushered in the era of the modern bathroom.
The story of the master bathroom was long in the making. A space we now deem a necessity is only around 36 years old. It’s one of many examples of how a cocktail of social, technological, and economic influences combine to create new standards of living, and change the face of not only architecture, but how we live.
My comment: Fascinating, with lots of historic bathroom photos and excellent commentary! No comment on “master” and fair housing ;>
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This Is What a $250 Million House Looks Like
As a glut of mega-homes hits the L.A. market, developers are taking it up a notch.

Read more!!

1-19-17 Newz//Trump Mortgage Nation, Windy cities, Bob Hope’s UFO Home

Bob Hope’s UFO Home Sells for $13 Million

Excerpt: At long last, Bob Hope’s UFO house has sold for $13 million, after first being listed in early 2013 with a price tag of $50 million.  Having gone through a couple of price cuts over the last three years, the most recent cut lowered the ask to $25 million. But with no comps available, how does one actually price a concrete space ship?  Seems that when $25 million was thrown at the wall, $13 million stuck.

My comment: Tough appraisal including measuring and the listing history ;>

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Top 10 cities with homes most threatened by heavy winds
CoreLogic gives its Windy City index

Excerpt:

In its latest report, CoreLogic rated the top cities at risk of hazardous wind conditions in its Windy City Index. The ranking among the nation’s largest 279 metros incorporates both the number of wind events, measured at the city center plus a 10-mile radius, as well as the total force caused by any severe wind gusts of 60 mph or more.
“Wind can cause significant damage whether associated with an actual hurricane or not,” CoreLogic Product Manager Curtis McDonald said. “Wind speeds of 92 mph, even without a hurricane – as seen in Tallahassee – can be a significant threat to life and property.”
Two of the top 10 cities
10. Charleston, South Carolina
Number of wind events: 12
Max wind speed: 86 mph
4. Cincinnati, Ohio
Number of wind events: 16
Max wind speed: 79 mph

My comment: Wow!! I had no ideas these cities had high winds, especially those not in hurricane areas.

Read more!!

1-5-17 Newz .The Two Americas and Real Estate .McMansion Hell

FHA handbook 4000.1 quarterly update

No Changes to policies but it is always best to have the latest version when trying to figure out what FHA wants and underwriter/reviewer hassles.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) published the quarterly update to its Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1 (SF Handbook). This update incorporates previously published Mortgagee Letters into both the online and portable document format (PDF) SF Handbook.
http://www.allregs.com/tpl/public/fha_freesite.aspx  for Single Family Housing Policy Handbook 4000.1 December Update
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McMansion Hell!!
 Lots of interesting stuff. Go to the link below and look at some of the pull down links in the upper left for lots more info!!
This link is for one of the many pages – McMansion in Bentonville County, Arkansas
Cannot be described. Lots of photos with sometimes snarky comments. Just gotta see it  ;>

Read more!!

12-29-16 Newz .CHANGE YOUR TEMPLATES .Beautiful fireplaces .Very old maps

CHANGE YOUR TEMPLATES!! SET UP NEW SUBDIRECTORIES IF YOU FILE ON YOUR COMPUTER!!

Don’t be like me in early 2016 and:
– Have a buncha early 2016 stuff in my 2015 computer subfolders. I file my electronic appraisal copies, and my photos, by year. Last year I did not get 2017 subfolder set up for a few months and put a few months of 2017 appraisals into my 2015 subfolder.  NOT good!!
– Not change all my appraisal report templates, especially those pesky condo templates.
– Keep writing 2016 on my personal checks. Business checks are done in Quickbooks, which keeps track of the current date.
When deciding what to write about in my newsletters, I just look in the mirror as I am an appraiser!! It also reminds me of what I need to do. Of course, most of us procrastinate on paper files, such as for bookkeeping receipts, etc…. instead of throwing them in a box for months ;>
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2016 – what happened of interest to appraisers?
Not much new happened in 2016. Mostly the same old stuff – shortage of appraisers, AQB trying to reduce requirements, turn times and fees up, etc.
What’s new
– Trump possible changes/uncertainty – dump CFPB, Dodd-Frankenstein, etc. No one knows what will happen regarding appraisals, lending, etc. Maybe I will get a lower marginal tax rate someday!!
– Mortgage rates increase some in late 2016, but still well below previous low rates. Lower mortgage volume predicted for 2017.
– Fannie’s Property Inspection Waiver
– Freddie’s plan for fewer appraisals
– Revised FHA handbook
Of course, the most popular topics in these email newsletters are weird houses and buildings, real estate agent humor, and appraisers going to jail (not many now) ;> Not a lot of clicks on AQB changes, etc.

Read more!!

12-22-16 Newz//: Strange real estate listings, Turn times

Popular (and sometimes strange) real estate listings

 Take a break and check out these listings!!

The 4 Most Interesting Home Listings of 2016 – Fun Video

Video is 2 minutes and 40 seconds long and very entertaining!!

Can’t describe it. You just gotta see it!!

http://www.realtor.com/videos/video-the-4-most-interesting-home-listings-of-2016/943a657f-f1fc-4290-b608-fe158002f548

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2016’s top 10 most popular (and sometime strange) homes for sale

Here are 3 of them

No. 1 is the country’s biggest fixer-upper – over 60,000 sq.ft. in Texas. Price: Listed for $3.6 million

5. The cave dwelling, Undisclosed address, Festus, Missouri. Price: Listed for $314,900

10. The ‘Amityville Horror’ house, 108 Ocean Ave, Amityville, New York. Price: Listed for $850,000, entered into contract in November

http://www.housingwire.com/articles/38783-here-are-2016s-top-10-most-popular-homes-for-sale

Read more!!

12-8-16 Newz .Beautiful libraries .Roundabouts .Sales contract amendment

Beautiful and unusual places

What are the most popular links in these newsletters? Weird properties, very expensive homes, etc. Plus Appraiser goes to jail (not many of these today), Freddie and Fannie no-appraisal loans. LIA’s Claudia Says ads are also very popular. Sorry, USPAP, ASB, AQB, ASC etc. are not very popular but I put them in just to let you know what is happening, even if you don’t care much ;> Here are two:

10 of the Most Beautiful Libraries on Earth

Take a break and a look at these beautiful and unusual libraries!!

From all over the world, including the Chicago Public Library

Excerpt:

Chicago Public Library, by SOM

Chicago’s new Chinatown library branch has no sharp edges. The pebble-shaped building is wrapped in glass and marked by solar-shading fins that are meant to reduce heat and glare. The library’s curvy, three-sided shape is built around feng shui principles and designed to align with the avenues outside the building. Inside, the two-story structure is centered around a light-filled atrium.

No links for more info, but you can google the names.

https://www.wired.com/2016/09/settle-10-beautiful-libraries-earth

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Carmel, Indiana, America’s King of Roundabouts

Read more!!

11-17-16 Newz// Modernizing appraisals, Wacky kitchens, Drones

Modernizing Appraisals: A Regulatory Review and the Future of the Industry

I watched this very interesting live 2-hour session Wednesday, November 16, 2016 – Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance (Committee on Financial Services) Hearing.

I usually check email, etc. when listening to something like this. Not this time. I tried doing one email and lost a few comments. I feverishly scribbled 16 pages of notes.

Here are a few tidbits:

  • Very large room with speakers (and some other people in the back) and the Congress members on the other side. Empty seats in the middle.
  • The Usual Representation: Appraisal Institute, ASC, AF, NAHB, a group helping people with foreclosures, and Joan Trice. Each with their own agenda except for Joan Trice, the author of the (in) famous appraisal regulatory graphic that I put in last week’s newsletter.
  • The Big Issue – appraiser shortage affecting consumers – takes longer to close – FHA switch to certified, low fees, long training, lenders not allowing trainees to sign, etc.
  • Lots of anti-AVM comments from congress persons mostly Federal vs. state regulations. Too many appraiser regulators.
  • Each group had an agenda from its organization, of course, except Joan Trice.
  • Big shortage of appraisers in rural areas. Congress person said there were no appraisers available in his county with a population of 25,000 to 35,000.
  • No mention of Trump’s plan to dump Dodd-Frank. Way too uncertain and controversial, I guess. No questions from the other people in the room.

I will write up my full report and analysis in the December issue of Appraisal Today, including a few humorous quips, which are buried in my notes somewhere. The Big Gorilla, Fannie Mae and its CU, was not speaking to answer the AVM and data questions

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Would You Cook in One of These Wacky Kitchens?

Take a break and check out these weird kitchens, including links for more info. FYI, the Flintstone house was listed but never sold and is not on Airbnb. Spend a night there!!

http://blog.rismedia.com/2016/would-you-cook-in-one-of-these-wacky-kitchens

Read more!!

11-10-16 Newz// CFPB and Dodd Frank Going Down?, Zillow, Man caves

How Man Caves Took Over America’s Basements

Excerpts:

A man cave usually develops in spare rooms, such as bedrooms, offices, finished basements, or recreation rooms. The garage, another traditionally masculine space, is more often a workshop or place to make repairs. Its connotation with work (often frustrating and unsavory as any viewer of Home Improvement can attest) as well as its thermal issues (it’s rarely cooled or heated like the rest of the house) demarcate it from the man cave, an interior space.

While men have always had their sacred spaces in the home such as the garage or study, the domesticity of the 19th and early 20th century overall implied that the home was, of course, the woman’s place. In the previous centuries, men sought refuge outside the home in establishments such as gentlemen’s clubs (think more country club than strip club), and male-only social clubs and establishments such as the Freemasons.

Very interesting, especially the history!!

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/how-the-man-cave-took-over-americas-basements

My comment: I live in California, where there are few basements. I do see garage “man caves”. But, they are not as fixed up as basements, mostly with a tv, beer fridge and some tools. Sometimes I see bedrooms set up as computer rooms.

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Collection and Verification of Residential Data in the Sales Comparison Approach APB Valuation Advisory #8

Voluntary Guidance on Recognized Valuation Methods and Techniques:

My comments: This is advisory and not part of USPAP. Finally the Appraisal Practices Board has 48 pages of practical advice for practicing residential appraisers, the vast majority of appraisers. It discusses what different types of clients want, such as Fannie, VA, Rels, relocation, data, data collection, CU, etc. Scope of work examples are included. The last 17 pages are about verification. Worth reading.

https://www.appraisalfoundation.org/imis/docs/Valuation-Advisory-8-Collection-and-Verification-of-Residential-Sales-101716.pdf

Read more!!

Newz// Giant turtle home, Revised FHA 4000.1, Bad AMCs

The Most Unusual Homes Available Right Now, for sale or for rent, From A Luxury Cave To A Giant Turtle

Excerpt:

Good investment or not, wacky homes sure are fun to look at and can be rewarding to owners in ways more profound than money (more on that below). So we went in search of some of the most interesting homes available today. We found a house shaped like an onion, an Irish castle and a home meant to look like a fishing reel.

My comment: Just For Fun!! I wanna rent one of the vacation rentals. The Turtle House in Egypt is only $54 to $96 per night!! And you thought some of the weirdo homes you appraised were strange… take a look at these! And, of course, Ace Appraiser Jonathan Miller is mentioned in the first paragraph ;>

http://www.forbes.com/sites/samanthasharf/2016/09/23/from-gold-mines-to-torpedo-testing-plants-the-most-unusual-homes-available-right-now/

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What is your current appraisal turn time (order receipt to submission)?

www.appraisalport.com poll

 

 

My comment: I wonder how many are over 2 weeks? 8 weeks?

WHAT DO YOU THINK? POST YOUR COMMENTS AT www.appraisaltodayblog.com !!

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Viginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals (VaCap) Open Letter to AMCs

A few weeks ago, Virginia Coalition of Appraiser Professionals (VaCAP) sent out an open letter to the AMCs. This letter was republished by many coalitions, and appraiser groups across the country; liked and shared on Facebook and broadcast on several industry blogs. VaCAP received an overwhelmingly positive response from the letter. We even heard from several Realtors applauding our efforts! Activity is still ongoing with comments! Click here to read the letter and comments!

We heard you loud and clear…

The letter can now be signed by individual appraiser here on AppraisersBlogs. We will gather signatures and submit the signed letter to the FDIC, CFPB, Comptroller of the Currency and our Federal Reserve Board.

Note: To protect the appraiser identity from retaliation, only the initial of your last name and state will show on line. The copies sent to the FDIC, CFPB, Comptroller of the Currency and our Federal Reserve Board will have your full name.

Excerpt of a few points on the list:

  • – The use of an AMC has decreased the income of the appraiser, thereby harming local economies.
  • – The use of an AMC has increased the turn time for the delivery of the appraisal.
  • – AMCs operate on a fast and cheap model which has deteriorated the quality of appraisals
  • – AMCs have caused undue stress on the appraiser by demanding constant updates
  • – AMCs hire unqualified employees that lack comprehension of the appraisal process.

My comment: I usually don’t put in links to negative blog posts, but this seems to hit all the AMC issues, plus has something you can do. AMCs have been around since the 1960s but were never like this before. It is definitely a Big Mess and bad for the consumer (higher appraisal fees, delays in getting loans, etc.) Of course, they are doing what their lender clients want, but their methods are not good. There are some AMCs that are okay. Some appraisers have found a few they work for. Note: There is an ad in the middle of the post.

http://appraisersblogs.com/appraisers-sign-vacap-amc-letter/

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In the October 2016 issue of Appraisal Today

Fees are going way up!! How to get higher appraisal fees during this boom time!! By Ann O’Rourke, MAI, SRA, PDQ and Doug Smith, SRA, AI-RRS . Lots and lots of practical tips.

Excerpt from the article:

How many appraisers are raising their fees?

I have been telling appraisers to raise their fees since early 2015. Below are two results of

appraisalport weekly polls.

Results from an April 2015 AppraisalPort weekly poll

Question: How long has it been since the last time you actually raised your fees?

  • 1 year 17%
  • 2-3 years 18%
  • 4-6 years 18%
  • 7+ years 26%
  • I can’t remember – I normally just accept the fee my client offers. 21%

Back in April 2015 not many appraisers were raising their fees.

In the past year, have your standard fees for a typical non-complex assignment changed?

Results from Appraisalport September 2016 poll.

  • Decreased 3
  • Stayed about the same 42
  • Increased by less than $50 27%
  • Increased by less than $100 18%
  • Increased by more than $100 11%

More appraisers are raising their fees in 9/16, but 45% have not still raised their fees! A few years ago I raised my non-lender fees to close to what borrowers pay. Why do appraisers keep working for low fees when they are so busy that they can’t take any more work? Or, they are not super busy, but want to get higher fees? Fear of never getting any more work. This is common to almost every business person, including myself. But it is not good when it keeps you from making more money, as it always does.

To read the full article with lots more data and practical tips for getting higher fees, plus 2+ years of previous issues, subscribe to the paid Appraisal Today.

$8.25 per month, $24.75 per quarter, $89 per year (Best Buy)

or $99 per year or $169 for two years

Subscribers get, FREE: past 18+ months of past newsletters

plus 4 Special Reports, plus 2 Appraiser Marketing Books!!

To purchase the paid Appraisal Today newsletter go to

www.appraisaltoday.com/products   or call 800-839-0227.

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17 Things Appraisers Should Do Before Hiring an AMC Client

October 4th, 2016 9:54 AM

Here are two of them:

7. Google the AMC’s name and see what comes up. This might seem obvious, but some AMCs have been in the news for lawsuits related to unfavorable treatment of appraisers. You do not want to waste your time vetting an AMC that has a bad reputation. Even if no lawsuits come up, a quick Google search could result in a feel for the company and let you know if this is a company you want to work for. Remember that homeowners might think you work for this AMC when you show up to do the appraisal. Is this a company that you are okay with if homeowners get confused and think you work for them?

17. Check the AMC’s data protection policy and ask what steps have been taken to keep your private information safe. Also ask if the AMC has ever had any data breaches and if so, determine what systems have been put into place to ensure that data breaches do not happen again. Does the AMC have a policy that requires them to alert appraisers if they believe a data breach was possible?

Click here for the full Most Excellent List!!

www.aqualityappraisal.com.blog

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AMC Notes from Appraiserville by Jonathan Miller

Excerpts:

There was a CNBC article this week by Diana Olick that caused an uproar in the appraisal industry: ‘Massive’ shortage of appraisers causing home sales delays. Besides the incorrect inference of the title, the article was centered around Brian Coester, CEO of the Maryland-based CoesterVMS, currently one of the most controversial personalities in the appraisal management industry…

So I spoke with Diana Olick about the article this morning. I’ve known her for a long time and read all her stuff. She clearly did not realize what CoesterVMS represents to the appraisal industry but learned this from the outpouring of negative comments on the article by outraged appraisers. She understands now. How great is it that appraisers are getting out there and speaking their mind!

I told her that Coester is a notorious AMC in the middle of a big lawsuit that the entire appraisal industry is following. The shortage of appraisers is a myth being perpetuated by AMCS like Coester since their model only works if they pay appraisers a third to half the market rate for appraisal services.

My comment: I definitely think the current AMC model is broken, from the consumer, lender, appraisal and appraiser sides. I don’t really understand how it got so bad. I started writing in my paid newsletter about AMCs in the early 1990s. AMCs started in the were never like this before. Mostly they just paid lower fees. None had really low fees, scope creep, harassing and demeaning appraisers, etc.

To read more, Scroll down the page to Appraiserville

http://www.millersamuel.com/note/september-30-2016

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Miller was on a recent Voice of Appraisal radio interview with Phil Crawford.

Miller’s interview starts at -25:09 or 17:20 (download) 43:31 minutes total

http://www.voiceofappraisal.com/podcasts Episode 123

My comment: In last week’s email newsletter I said that the 2016 peak is almost up to the 2013 peak. In 2013 no one was complaining about high fees and turn times. In their discussion Miller said it was different because of CU/Scope Creep. He also said that business had been very slow between 2008 and 2012 and appraisers were glad for work. Appraiser attitudes about working for AMCs is much, much worse now. Good comments…Very few appraiser complaints about direct lenders and non-lender work.

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Revised FHA handbook

Thanks to Dave Towne for this info!

HUD/FHA recently updated and revised the 4000.1 Handbook…..actually on June 30, 2016………..but notice about this was sent out Friday, Sept. 30.

http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/sfh/handbook_4000-1

When the page opens, scroll down the page and you’ll see two entries on the left regarding the Handbook. If you open the PDF link, and let it load…it will actually show you the changes made to the appraisal section (and others).

Note….the handbook is 1000+ pages, but only about 40 or so apply to appraisals.

Note that the revised handbook has ‘moved’ the Appraiser and Property Requirements section to II D, from its former position in B.

Buried in the revision is new info on how to account for specific named ‘appliances’ in a home you are appraising. See II D 3e.

It’s going to take someone with more time (than I have now) and expertise to determine what exactly HUD changed in the reporting requirements about “appliances that remain and contribute to value.” One needs to read the former 4000.1 Handbook and compare that to this revised edition to fully understand the implications of what HUD wants reported.

You will want to compare the attic observation requirement also. Revision 4000.1 has this in II D 3k.

Crawl space observation is in II D 3m.

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HOW TO USE THE NUMBERS BELOW. Appraisals are ordered after the loan application. These numbers tell you the future for the next few weeks. For more information on how they are compiled, go to https://www.mba.org

Note: I publish a graph of this data every month in my printed newsletter, Appraisal Today. For more information or get a FREE sample issue go to www.appraisaltoday.com/productsor send an email to info@appraisaltoday.com . Or call 800-839-0227, MTW 8AM to noon, Pacific time.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 5, 2016)

Mortgage applications increased 2.9 percent from one week earlier

according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending September 30, 2016.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 2.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 3 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 5 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 0.1 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 0.2 percent compared with the previous week and was 14 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 63.8 percent of total applications from 62.7 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 4.5 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 10.0 percent from 10.2 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 11.4 percent from 11.9 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications increased to 0.7 percent from 0.6 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 3.62 percent, the lowest level since July 2016, from 3.66 percent, with points decreasing to 0.32 from 0.33 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) decreased to 3.60 percent from 3.64 percent, with points decreasing to 0.25 from 0.28 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 3.50 percent from 3.52 percent, with points decreasing to 0.16 from 0.21 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 2.93 percent from 2.95 percent, with points decreasing to 0.32 from 0.38 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs remained unchanged at 2.92 percent, with points increasing to 0.44 from 0.40 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The survey covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.