Paramount Mortgage - Lender's Blog

Homebuilder Sentiment Stays Very Strong

Tax cuts are still making homebuilders feel better, even as mortgage rates rise.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing market index stayed at 72 in February. That’s a very strong reading, and just slightly below December’s cycle-high reading of 74. Anything above 50 is considered positive sentiment.

Exciting Changes at Paramount

As we enter our 48th year in business, we want to share a few of the exciting changes taking place at Paramount!

Paramount Adds New Owners:

In December 2017, H. John Frank, Jr., a local legend in the mortgage industry, retired after over 40 years as mortgage banker. As a result, Dave Griege has assumed the role of CEO and Paramount’s parent company added a few new owners including: Ken Niemann, Tyler Frank, Jeff Griege, and Drew Luning.

Paramount Purchases a Bank:

A Little Mortgage Humor


By the Numbers – Mortgage Applications

Even though we are still in the heart of the winter, spring has come early for the housing market according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Last week vs. the previous week:

4.5% – increase in all mortgage applications

6% – purchase applications increase

1% – refinance applications increase

Last week vs. same week last year:

6.1% – applications volume increase

7% – purchase applications up

How Homeowners are Spending Home Equity

Home equity has hit a record high, thanks to fast-rising values in today’s competitive housing market.

By the Numbers – New Home Sales

The demand for newly constructed homes increased in December 2017. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Builder Applications Survey (BAS) found those applications were up from November.

18% – Builder applications up from November

7.8% – December 2017 applications higher than December 2016

7.1% – Average 2017 applications up from 2016 average

December 2017 loan applications:

72.5% – Conventional loans

15.1% – FHA loans

By the Numbers – Down Payments

Most renters say they expect to buy a home someday. But nearly half admit that saving for a down payment is one of their biggest obstacles. Through their National Housing Survey®, Fannie Mae asked consumers about down payments and, specifically, if they received or expect to receive family financial assistance to help buy their first home.

82% – Renters who say that plan to buy at some point

20% – Received financial assistance from family

Of those who received assistance:

A Little Holiday Humor


Housing and Mortgage Trends to Watch in 2018

Here are a few housing and mortgage trends to expect in 2018, as compiled by

Home prices decelerate
This is good news for first-time home buyers. Home-price appreciation is expected to cool down. The median forecast among six industry and lender groups is for a 4.1% increase in existing home prices nationwide, compared to 6.3% in 2016 and approximately 6% in 2017.

FHA Increases Loan Limits for 2018

The Federal Housing Administration has announced that nearly every area of the U.S. will see FHA loan limits increase in 2018. The new loan limits will take effect for FHA case numbers assigned on or after January 1, 2018.

FHA is required by the National Housing Act, as amended by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, to set Single Family forward loan limits at 115% of median house prices, subject to a floor and a ceiling on the limits. FHA calculates forward mortgage limits by Metropolitan Statistical Area and county.