Contact Us

Fields marked with a * are required.

    Main Content

    May Update – Mortgage Rate Forecast

    Welcome to my May newsletter, featuring personal insights, advice on mortgage rates, and economic news affecting our local housing market.


    Employment Reports

    This month, I am once again leading with jobs data because it is the focal point of this week’s news in the financial markets.

    On Wednesday, job openings fell to a three-year low (8.488M), according to the Jobs Opening and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). The number of employees quitting their jobs and layoffs also declined. Additionally, yesterday’s U.S. jobs report was a surprise — the economy added 175,000 new jobs last month, a figure that fell below analyst estimates of 233,000. Wage growth also slowed, dropping below 4% for the first time since June 2021.

    The net of the data is that the employment market remains robust by historical standards, but the new numbers suggest a potential cooldown the Fed is looking for to move towards a rate cut. Before these numbers came out, analysts were leaning towards one rate cut this year, and now there is optimism for two.

    Interest Rates

    During their meeting last week, the Federal Reserve elected to maintain interest rates, expressing concern about still-high inflation but downplaying fears of an economic slowdown. Chairman Powell’s characterization of further rate hikes as “unlikely” was interpreted as a move towards a hawkish stance, which played well in the financial markets in the last few days.

    Here are the rates I have available on key loan products this week:

    • 6.5% for 10YR jumbo ARMs up to $5M with income documentation, banking relationship will result in a lower rate.

    • 6.75% on a 30YR fixed-rate loan up to $5M with income documentation, banking relationship will result in a lower rate.

    • 7/1 ARMs at 6.38% up to $5M with income documentation, banking relationship will result in a lower rate.

    • Rates for bank statement loans, depending on loan-to-value, are in the mid 7’s, with a strong credit score and a lower loan-to-value. These are priced very aggressively and aren’t much higher than full documentation loans, and interest-only options are allowed.

    • Applicants with a strong depository private banking relationship and income documentation may qualify for rates in the high 5’s to low 6’s.

    The loan options presented here are just a glimpse into our extensive portfolio. We are confident we have the most competitive rates and unparalleled service to navigate any loan scenario. No loan is too big or too small for our team of experts.

    Local Activity & Recent Transactions

    Prices have softened a bit in some areas, but inventory is still tight, especially for first-time buyers seeking property under $3M. If you’re looking to buy in this price range, be prepared to move quickly and potentially compete with other offers (3 on average). I have a proven track record of helping first-time buyers navigate the process, from securing pre-approvals to finding creative loan solutions that enable borrowers to get into the house they want.

    Recent Closed Loans

    New Home Purchase | Sherman Oaks | $1.95M
    First-time homebuyer
    90% LTV financing
    6.78% interest rate | 6.88% APR
    10/1 ARM
    Full income documentation
    Highly leveraged borrower
    Closed in three weeks

    New Home Purchase | West LA | $1.2M
    First-time homebuyer
    95% LTV financing
    30 YR fixed
    Full income documentation
    6.99% interest rate | 7.09% APR

    New Home Purchase | Pacific Palisades | $2.7M
    VA Loan
    85% LTV financing
    6.375% interest rate | 6.475% APR
    Full income documentation

    New Home Purchase | Pacific Palisades | $6.1M
    85% LTV Financing (max leveraged on LTV)
    10/1 ARM
    6.5% interest rate | 6.6% APR
    Full income documentation
    25-day close

    Refinance | Malibu | $6.9M
    70% LTV Financing
    Full income documentation
    6.75% interest rate | 6.875% APR

    Key Economic Reports to watch for this month:

    May 15 – Core Consumer Price Index (CPI)

    May 16 – Building Permits, Housing Starts

    May 22 – Existing Home Sales

    May 23 – New Home Sales
    The housing market continues to evolve, and with the potential for a Fed rate cut on the horizon, there may be some exciting opportunities ahead. Whether you’re a first-time buyer, looking to refinance, or simply curious about the state of the market, I’m here to guide you through the process. Feel free to call me at 310-777-5401.

    In the meantime, stay informed! Keep an eye on the key economic reports mentioned above, and look forward to my insights in next month’s newsletter.

    Mark Cohen

    Skip to content