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Mortgage News

Housing Permits and Starts Drift Lower

June 20 2024

The rate of both construction permitting and residential construction starts fell in May, with permitting losing ground for the third straight month. The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development report that residential authorizations were issued at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.386 million. This is a decline of 3.8 percent from the 1.440 million units estimated for April and 9.5 percent off the pace of the prior May. Permits for single-family construction were issued at the annual rate of 949,000 and multifamily approvals came in at 382,000. These were decreases of 2.9 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively. Thus, single-family permits increased year-over-year by 3.5 percent, but multifamily permits were 31.4 percent lower. [housingpermitschart] Housing starts fell from 1.352 million in April to 1,277 million, a loss of 5.5 percent . Starts declined 19.3 percent compared to the prior May. Single-family starts fell below 1 million for the first time since October at 982,000. This was a 5.2 percent decline from April and 1.7 percent lower than a year earlier. Multifamily starts, at a rate of 278,000 were down 10.3 and 51.7 percent from the two earlier periods. [housingchartall] Analysts polled by Econoday had expected both permits and starts to rise slightly above their April levels. The consensus forecast for permits was 1.450 million and.1.373 million for starts.

Purchase Activity Rises, MBA Forecasts More of Same

June 20 2024

There was a slight increase in mortgage application volume during the week ended June 14. For a change, it was accounted for by the home purchasing component.   The Mortgage Bankers Association says its Market Composite Index, a measure of loan application volume, increased 0.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis although it lost 0.1 percent before adjustment compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 0.4 percent from the prior week and was 30 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The refinance share of mortgage activity remained unchanged at 35.2 percent of total applications. [refiappschart] Purchase loan applications rose 2.0 percent from one week earlier, its second straight positive performance. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 0.1 percent compared with the previous week and was 12 percent lower than the same week one year ago. [purchaseappschart] “Mortgage rates dropped last week following the latest inflation data and the FOMC meeting, with the 30year conforming rate dropping to 6.94 percent and reaching its lowest level since the end of March,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s SVP and Chief Economist. “Purchase applications increased a small amount for the week, led by applications for conventional loans. Refinance application volume was also down slightly for the week but remains about 30 percent higher than this time last year.” 

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.”  

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