Mortgage Applications Up 40%

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Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index increased six percent in August while the Mortgage Bankers Association reported This Week in Real Estate that mortgage applications were up a “stunning” 40% higher than a year ago. Below are a few newsworthy events from the second week of September that influence our business: 

Mortgage Demand From Homebuyers Surges 40% From a Year Ago Amid Sales Spree. The end of August usually marks the beginning of the slow season for housing, but as with everything else, this year’s trends are like no other. Mortgage applications to purchase a home rose 3% last week from the previous week and were a stunning 40% higher from a year ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. There continues to be resiliency in the purchase market,” said Joel Kan, an MBA economist. Applications to refinance a home loan rose 3% for the week and were 60% higher than a year ago.

Americans Say It’s a Good Time to Buy and Sell. In a seller’s market, it’s not too surprising Americans have expressed optimism toward home selling. But Americans also say it’s a good time to be a buyer – in fact, more Americans are bullish over buying than selling. Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index shows consumer sentiment over five of six housing indicators increased in August. Consumers are expressing more optimistic views than previously over buying and selling, and fewer concerns over job losses. The percentage of respondents who said it’s a good time to buy a home increased from 53% to 59% in August. The percentage of respondents who said it’s a good time to sell a home rose from 45% to 48%. The buyer optimism stems from near-record low mortgage rates, which are helping to “restore much of consumers’ positivity on whether it is a good time to buy a home, while also improving the good-time-to-sell sentiment,” says Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist.

U.S. Mortgage Rates Fall to All-Time Lows This Week. Average mortgage rates for 30-year and 15-year mortgages fell to all-time lows this week, Freddie Mac said in a report on Thursday. The 30-year average is 2.86%, breaking the prior low of 2.88% set in the first week of August, and the 15-year average is 2.37%, beating last week’s record low of 2.42%, the mortgage financier said. U.S. home sales surged at a record pace in June and July as purchases that were delayed during pandemic lockdowns were shifted later in the year. Seasonally adjusted existing-home sales jumped 25% in July, beating the prior record monthly gain of 21% set in June, the National Association of Realtors said in an Aug. 21 report. Existing home sales in 2020 likely will total 5.4 million, a gain of 1.1% from last year, said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. Sales of new houses probably will rise 17% to 800,000, Yun said.

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