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Mortgage News
Mortgage Application Volume Bouncing Back as Rates Fall
June 12 2024
Mortgage application activity recovered nicely last week from a downturn during the previous holiday-shortened week, helped by a temporary drop in interest rates. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage application volume, increased 15.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis and was 26.0 percent higher on an unadjusted basis. The Refinance Index jumped 28.0 percent from the previous week and was also 28 percent above its level the same week one year ago. The refinance share of applications increased to 35.2 percent from 31.1 percent the previous week. [refiappschart] Applications for home purchases rose for the first time since May 3. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 9.0 percent and was 19.0 percent higher before adjustment. The index is still 12.0 percent lower than during the same week in 2023. [purchaseappschart] “Mortgage rates were trending lower over the course of last week until a stronger than anticipated employment report resulted in a bounce back, with the weekly average for the 30-year fixed mortgage rate decreasing to 7.02 percent,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s SVP and Chief Economist. “ Lower rates earlier in the week meant a strong increase in refinance activity , particularly for VA borrowers, who jumped on the chance to lower their rates.  Overall refinance activity was more than 27 percent above one year ago.”  
First-Time Homebuyers are Shoring up Market
June 05 2024
Interest rates, along with the distraction of a three-day weekend, further slowed the mortgage market last week. Tho Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reports that its Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 5.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier and 16.0 percent compared with the previous week. The results include an adjustment for the Memorial Day holiday. The Refinance Index decreased 7.0 percent and was 5.0 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 31.1 percent of total applications from 31.3 percent the previous week. [refiappschart] The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 4.0 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index was also down 16.0 percent compared with the previous week and 13.0 percent lower than the same week one year ago.+ [purchaseappschart] “Mortgage rates moved slightly higher last week, with the 30-year conforming rate reaching 7.07 percent – its highest level since early May – despite incoming data indicating somewhat slower economic growth,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s SVP and Chief Economist. “After adjusting for the Memorial Day holiday, both purchase and refinance application volumes were down, with purchase activity specifically 13 percent below last year’s level.” Added Fratantoni, “Government purchase volume was down less, helped by growth in VA applications. The market is relying on first-time homebuyer demand, and many first-time buyers do use government lending programs.”
Pending Home Sales Post a 7.7 Percent Drop
May 30 2024
Pending home sales fell another 7.7 percent in April according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). NAR’s Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) for the month was 72.3 compared to 78.3 in March. Based on purchase contracts for previously owned single-family homes, townhouses, condominiums, and cooperative apartments, the Index was also down 7.4 percent from its level in April 2023. [pendinghomesdata] “The impact of escalating interest rates throughout April dampened home buying, even with more inventory in the market,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “But the Federal Reserve’s anticipated rate cut later this year should lead to better conditions, with improved affordability and more supply.” The slowdown in the home sale market is clear when looking at the national PHSI since the Federal Reserve started raising interest rates. The index averaged 115.2 in 2022 and 91.9 in 2023. It has not exceeded 78.5 at any point in 2024. All four major regions lost ground for the month and year-over-year. In the Northeast , the PHSI level of 62.9 was down 3.5 percent from March and 3.1 percent on an annual basis. The Midwest index dropped 9.5 percent to 70.7 percent, a decline of 8.7 percent from one year ago. The South lost 7.6 percent and 8.2 percent compared to the two earlier periods to a reading of 88.6. The West’s Index was at 55.9, a decline of 8.5 percent from March and 7.3 percent from the previous April.