Report: Mortgage Applications Down, Existing-Home Sales Up

Mortgage application volume decreased 11.2 percent, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported. The survey week ended July 22.

The Market Composite Index shows a decrease on a seasonally adjusted basis. There is an 11 percent decrease on an unadjusted basis, the MBA said.

But, volume is up 42 percent compared to this time last year, CNBC reported.

The Refinance Index decreased 15 percent, and the Purchase Index decreased 3 percent. That’s the lowest since February 2016.

One year ago the Purchase Index was 12 percent higher during the same week, the MBA said in a press release.

The Federal Housing Association (FHA) saw an increase in total applications. The same for the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA). The increases were under 1 percent.

The average interest rate increased from 3.65 to 3.69. That’s for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, staying the same at 0.36 with the origination fee for 80 percent loan-to-value loans.

That’s for conforming loan balances being at $417,000 or less.

Interest rates across the board, including those for FHA-backed mortgages, saw increases.

CNBC said that refinance requests are up 72 percent compared to last year. A big part of that is because of Great Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. The decline in the refinance applications comes from increasing rates.

What’s Going On In Real Estate?

Existing-home sales continue to increase this June nationwide, the National Association of Realtors reported. The only exception was in the Northeast.

First-time home buyers made it possible for increased home sales. June was the fourth month in a row to see increases.

The annual adjusted rate climbed to 5.57 million in June. That includes single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops. That’s up 1.1 percent from May, which was set at 5.51 million.

At this rate, sales will continue at the highest pace seen since February 2007, the NAR reported.

An unbalanced supply-versus-demand ratio bogged down some regions. But, traditional buyers were still able to close, chief economist Lawrence Yun said.

Then, lowered interested rates and steady job growth fueled the drive for home buyers of all kinds.

Scanning the market, 2.12 million homes are available for sale, down 0.9 percent in June. The median home price is up, topping out at just under $250,000.

Last year, there were 2.25 million houses on the market. That’s almost a 6 percent decline.

One-third of home buyers in June were first-timers, a 30 percent increase from May.

“The odds of closing on a home are definitely higher right now for first-time buyers living in metro areas with tamer price growth and greater entry-level supply — particularly areas in the Midwest and parts of the South,” Yun said in a press release.

First-timers met the opportunity head on. Lower priced homes and low mortgage rates attracted buyers.

Cash Sales

Twenty-two percent of June sales were cash sales. Individual investors made up 11 percent of this population, a seven-year low. That’s also down from May (13%). Of all investors, 64 percent paid in cash.

Mortgage Commitment

…Is low.

Freddie Mac reported commitment dropped to 3.57 percent in June. Last month, it was set at 3.6.

On The Market

After 34 days, houses were off the market in June, a slight uptick from May (32).

Foreclosures sold after about 50 days on the map, while distressed homes sat only a month.

Short sales were on the market the longest at 156 days. Almost half of all homes sold in June were on the market for fewer than 30 days.

Cities in California, North Carolina and Colorado saw houses leave the market fast. Jacksonville and Wilson, N.C. both had a median time span of 22 days.

In Distress

The NAR reported that foreclosures and short sales made up 6 percent of the market in June, the same as May. That’s only a slight decrease from last year (8%).

Foreclosures hit a low point.

Two percent were short sales, pricing 18 percent below market value.

Condos, Co-ops, & Single Families

Single-family home sales increased from last year.

A 0.8 percent gain, sales increased from 4.88 to 4.92 million in June. That’s up 3 percent from last year. The median price sits just under $250,000.

Condo and co-op sales went up too, topping at 3.2 percent and pricing at $231,000.

Where You’re At

Sales fell and prices increased in the Northeast. Existing-home sales went down 1.3 percent but sit above last year’s numbers (5.6%). The median price tag: $284,800.

There was a sales spike in the Midwest at 3.8 percent – almost 5 percent up from last year. The median price tag: $199,900.

The South remains stagnant from May to June. The region is still up 3.2 percent from last year. The median price tag: $217,400.

Out West, sales went up 1.7 percent but are still below last year’s numbers at 0.8. The median price tag: $350,800.