Applications Reverse Downward Spiral, Up 6.6%

Mortgage loan application volume reversed course after five straight weeks of decreases, rising 6.6% last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) weekly survey shows. The adjusted Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased by 6.6%. The adjusted purchase index rose 8%, while the unadjusted purchase index was up by 18% and was 16% lower YOY. The refinance index rose 4% and was down 76% YOY and made up 31.7% of total applications. ARM activity fell to 8.1% of total applications.  Joel Kan, MBA Association Vice President of Economic and Industry, noted that applications rose despite an interest rate explosion last week. The 30-year fixed-rate hit 5.65% last week, up 25 basis points and the highest level…

Bidding Wars For Rentals Seen As Prices Rise

By KIMBERLEY HAAS As prices for rental housing continue to climb in many parts of the country, bidding wars are becoming more common. According to a report released last week by Joel Berner and Danielle Hale for Realtor.com, rent has reached another high in the company’s data history, averaging $1,827 in the 50 largest US metropolitan areas. Rental increases are most pronounced in Sun Belt metros, Berner and Hale wrote. That is because as more people have the opportunity to work remotely they are choosing warmer climates to live in. Three Florida metros are particularly affected. They include Miami, where rent was up 51.6% from April 2021; Orlando, 32.9%; and Tampa, 27.8%. Overall median rent in the Miami, Fort Lauderdale,…

Inventory Rebound May Be On The Horizon

Active listings were down only 12.2% in April, its smallest YOY decline since December 2019, according to Realtor.com’s Monthly Housing Trends Report. This suggests that inventory may be about to bounce back up after the crippling shortage of the last year. Though new listings declined, the number of homes under contract saw a YOY decrease as well, closing some of the distance between supply and demand. Pending listings were down 9.5% YOY. Improvements were seen in the share of mid-sized homes, adding to listings for families upgrading from starter homes and possibly easing the way for first-time homebuyers who have struggled to find affordable entry homes during the pandemic. “April data suggests a positive turn of events is on the…

Pricier, More Populated Metros Making a Comeback

Big cities could be making a comeback, with more expensive, populated housing markets appearing on the quarterly Wall Street Journal/Realtor.com® Emerging Housing Markets Index. The top 20 emerging markets listed averaged 500,000 residents this quarter, more than 100,000 people more than last quarter. It is a mix of coastal, Southern, and Midwestern markets. Six of the 100 largest U.S. metros made the list: Raleigh, NC; Colorado Springs; North Port, Fla; San Jose, CA.; Cape Coral-Ft. Myers, Fla; and Oxnard-Thousand Oaks, CA. “It could signal a reorientation of the real estate market,” says Realtor.com Chief Economist Danielle Hale. The rankings and their median list price are as follows: Naples, FL ($667,000)North Port, FL ($445,000)Kahului, HI ($937,000)San Luis Obispo, CA ($899,000)San Jose, CA…

Credit Availability Ticked Up In December

Mortgage credit availability grew slightly in December 2021, increasing by 0.8% to 125.9, according to the Mortgage Banker Association’s (MBA) Mortgage Credit Availability Index (MCAI). The Conventional MCAI rose by 0.8%% while the Government MCAI rose by 0.7%. Within the Conventional MCAI, the Jumbo MCAI rose by 0.6% and the Conforming MCAI rose by 1.1%. A decline in the MCAI indicates that lending standards are tightening, while an increase indicates loosening credit. The index was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012. The overall credit index rose to its highest point since May 2021. However, it remains 30% below its pre-pandemic level. The increase puts mortgage credit availability back on a positive trajectory after a November decline that interrupted a four-month…

MBA: Average Loan Size Reaches Its Second-Highest Amount Ever

Mortgage loan application volume dropped 0.6% last week, though the average purchase loan reached its second-highest amount ever, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) weekly survey reported. The seasonally adjusted Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, fell 0.6%. The seasonally adjusted purchase index fell 3%, while the unadjusted purchase index fell 6% and was 9% lower YOY. The refinance index rose 2% and was down 42% YOY. Refinances made up 65.2% of total applications, driven by a rate decrease to 3.27%, its lowest in four weeks. Though applications fell, purchase loan size increased to an average of $416,200, the second-highest average amount on record. “The elevated loan size is an indication that activity is more on the…

Wishing For A White Christmas? Home Sales Will Likely Stay Warm This Winter, As Will The Weather

By KIMBERLEY HAAS As people throughout the country wish for a white Christmas this upcoming weekend, it is expected that home sales will stay warm in many parts of the nation throughout the winter. Continued bidding wars, the Great Resignation, and Millennials on the market will all likely contribute to keeping home prices high during a season where sales typically cool off until spring. And above-average temperatures expected in many parts of the United States may also keep buyers on the market at a time when they would typically try to avoid moving due to snow and ice. Bidding Wars Redfin reported on Friday that in November, 59.5% of home offers written by their agents faced competition, which is the…

Latest Trend? Millennials Are Buying Homes With Friends

By KIMBERLEY HAAS As the number of homes purchased by people with different last names increases, it is being reported that Millennials are choosing to buy single-family houses with their friends. In an article written by Zinhle Essamuah for NBC News, three women talked about their decision to buy a house together. Amanda Scheider, 30, told Essamuah that it’s like having a permanent sleepover. Scheider lives with Kathy Keel, 30, and Stephanie Vandergrift, 28, in Gallatin, Tennessee. They signed for a 30-year, $315,000 mortgage in May of 2020 after renting a house together. Essamuah used analytics from Attom Data Solutions which shows the number of homes purchased by people with different last names increased by nearly 772% between 2010 and…

Analysts Are Cautiously Optimistic Omicron Won’t Damage Housing Market

Investors and economic analysts are closely monitoring Omicron, the Covid-19 variant taking the news cycle by storm, as the country enters the busy holiday season. The question on mortgage professionals’ minds is: how will Omicron affect the housing market? Analysts’ answers are mixed, but the overall trend is cautious optimism. “Right now, we are looking at pretty severe reactions to the omicron news in the stock market,” Tomas Jandik, a finance professor at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, told Realtor.com. “The residential market may be more immune to COVID because of what we have already seen in the past waves of the virus.” “It is unlikely that rates will move down any further due to the new Omicron variant,”…

Why Wait Until Spring To Sell Your Home?

By KIMBERLEY HAAS When the holiday season starts, people are typically reluctant to put their homes on the market due to a lack of potential buyers. But this could be the year when that changes. In a recent article at Realtor.com, the company’s Chief Economist Danielle Hale said sellers can expect to see plenty of buyers this winter. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at the National Association of Realtors, agreed. He expects there will be more home sales this winter than there were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. That is good news for sellers, especially since CNN Business reported last week that the median price of single-family existing homes rose in 99% of the 183 markets tracked by employees at the…