What’s driving Manhattan’s rebounding mortgage market
Today’s HousingWire Daily episode features an interview with HousingWire Managing Editor James Kleimann and William Raveis Mortgage Executive Mortgage Banker Melissa Cohn. In this episode, Kleimann and Cohn talk about the surprising group of people who are now buying in Manhattan, the rebounding state of mortgage finance in the Big Apple, what’s slowing down turn-times (*cough* appraisal and title), the return of non-QM, and what to make of all the IMBs going public.
Here is a small preview of today’s interview with Cohn. The transcript below has been lightly edited for length and clarity:
James Kleimann: So many people left Manhattan last year. They went upstate, they went to Vermont, etc. Are a lot of those people coming back? Are there renters who are now in a position to buy in New York City?
Melissa Cohn: One thing that’s interesting is that I’ve talked to a few people recently who have never lived in New York City – I talked to a couple yesterday who live in San Francisco – who see this as an opportunity they relocate and move to New York City. There are a lot of buyers who have not been in the city before who feel that now is a good opportunity to purchase and because of COVID many companies have allowed us to go to a work-from-home format. And so where you live is really based on where you want to live, and not where your boss is. There are also a lot of people renting who are seizing an opportunity.
James Kleimann: It wasn’t long ago that Manhattan was a cash market – foreign buyers, hedge fund billionaires, etc. What does the mortgage market in Manhattan look like today?
Melissa Cohn: First of all, mortgage rates are at historic lows. So there are a lot of people who ordinarily may not have taken financing are taking advantage of the fact that they can lock into mortgage rates in the mid-twos. When the economy starts to recover, our country gets vaccinated, now that we have a Democratic-led Senate, that all means interest rates will start to go back up. So people are trying to take advantage of these historic lows. And as I call them, they’re “forever rates,” once you lock into a rate at 2.5% you’re not going to see it again.
HousingWire Daily examines the most compelling articles reported from the HousingWire newsroom. Each afternoon, we provide our listeners with a deeper look into the stories coming across our newsroom that are helping Move Markets Forward. Hosted by the HW team and produced by Alcynna Lloyd and Victoria Wickham.