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[video] Quick Take: Home Affordability Remains High

Stocks in this article: TD

New York (TheStreet) -- The government shutdown has hardly affected the mortgage market, Malcolm Hollensteiner, director at Toronto Dominion Bank (TD), told TheStreet's Gregg Greenberg. 

Most lenders who offer FHA loan programs have underwriting authority, so they were still able to process the loans during the shutdown, he added. 

Hollensteiner said that home affordability has likely decreased in the past six months because mortgage rates shot up so quickly. But when compared to several years ago, affordability is still terrific, which will spur more demand, he said. 

As for mortgage rates, he said they'll likely move higher in the future due to still being on the lower end of the historical range. In the near term, however, it's expected they'll hover in the 4.25% to 4.75% range. He added fixed-rate loans continue to be the most popular, due to the lower rates. But in the event rates rise by another 50 basis points, adjustable-rate mortgages would likely gain some traction.

Refinance applications have started to dwindle quite rapidly as well, with rates moving higher. He added the number of eligible homeowners to refinance has dropped significantly in the past 100 days. 

Hollensteiner concluded there will likely be more demand from first-time homebuyers, who seem to have a misperception that financing is hard for them to obtain. "There's still a lot of very attractive programs for first time buyers and we hope that spurs [them] to take advantage of today's rates," he said.

-- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich.

Bret Kenwell currently writes, blogs and also contributes to Robert Weinstein's Weekly Options Newsletter. Focuses on short-to-intermediate-term trading opportunities that can be exposed via options. He prefers to use debit trades on momentum setups and credit trades on support/resistance setups. He also focuses on building long-term wealth by searching for consistent, quality dividend paying companies and long-term growth companies. He considers himself the surfer, not the wave, in relation to the market and himself. He has no allegiance to either the bull side or the bear side.

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