Mortgage Rates Drop For Second Consecutive Week. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported This Week in Real Estatethat mortgage rates experienced a significant decline of a quarter percent to the largest one-week decrease since November 2022. This marks the second straight week of falling rates, following seven consecutive weeks of increases. Consequently, there was a notable 2.5 percent uptick in overall mortgage applications compared to the previous week, with purchase applications specifically rising by 3 percent. Despite a 2.0 percent decline in existing-home sales in September compared to the preceding month, home prices nationwide grew 4.5 percent in September compared to the same month the previous year. Below are a few newsworthy events from the first week of November that influence our business: MORTGAGE RATES PLUNGE AND DEMAND FINALLY INCHES BACK. Mortgage rates saw the biggest one-week drop in over a year last week, causing the first increase in mortgage demand in a month. Total mortgage application volume rose 2.5% last week, compared with the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($726,200 or less) decreased to 7.61% from 7.86%, with points falling to 0.69 from 0.73 (including the origination fee) for loans with a 20% down payment. Applications for a mortgage to purchase a home rose 3% for the week but were 20% lower than the same week a year ago. Read the full story here. U.S. ANNUAL HOME PRICE GROWTH SPEEDS UP IN SEPTEMBER. U.S. single-family home prices increased by 4.5% on a year-over-year basis in September, the third month of acceleration and the highest such growth since early 2023. On a month-over-month basis, home prices rose by 0.3% compared to August 2023. Home prices have now increased annually for 140 consecutive months and are up by 42% from the onset of the pandemic. CoreLogic projects that annual home price growth will continue to rise modestly through January 2024 before relaxing to 2.6% in September 2024. Read the full story here. MORTGAGE ORIGINATIONS TO INCREASE 19% TO $1.95 TRILLION IN 2024. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, total U.S. mortgage origination volume is expected to increase to $1.95 trillion in 2024 from the $1.64 trillion expected in 2023. Purchase originations are forecast to increase 11 percent to $1.47 trillion next year. By loan count, total mortgage origination volume is also expected to increase by 19 percent, to 5.2 million loans in 2024 from 4.4 million loans expected in 2023. “The Fed’s hiking cycle is likely nearing an end, but while Fed officials have indicated that additional rate hikes might not be needed, rate cuts may not come as soon or proceed as rapidly as previously expected. Lower rates should help boost both homebuyer demand and increase the inventory of existing homes, thereby supporting purchase origination volume in 2024,” said Mike Fratantoni, Mortgage Bankers Association Chief Economist. “The job market will likely slow as we enter 2024, with fewer jobs added and the unemployment rate increasing from its current rate of 3.8 percent to 5.0 percent by the end of 2024. Inflation will gradually decline towards the Fed’s 2 percent target by the middle of 2025,” Fratantoni continued. MBA expects national home prices will grow over the next three years, as tight inventory supports price growth. Read the full story here.
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