24 per cent jump for these mortgages
There was a sharp rise in the number of mortgage applications for new home purchases in February according to the Mortgage Bankers’ Association. Its Builder Application Survey data showed a 24 per cent increase from January excluding seasonal adjustments.
"Mortgage applications to homebuilder affiliates increased across the board in our survey for February as continued low interest rates and fairly mild weather helped to kick off the spring buying season. Our estimate of new single family home sales for February comes in at 544,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis, nearly 12 per cent above February a year ago," said Lynn Fisher, MBA's Vice President of Research and Economics.
The seasonally adjusted estimate for February is an increase of 9 per cent from the January pace of 499,000 units. On an unadjusted basis, the MBA estimates that there were 47,000 new home sales in February 2016, an increase of 23.7 per cent from 38,000 new home sales in January.
Better for home prices – Walmart or Target?
Buyers looking for the best appreciation of their new home may want to check out the nearest retailers. Data analyzed by RealtyTrac has found that those homes near a Target are likely to show better increases in value than those nearer a Walmart.
Homeowners who sold their homes in 2015 saw an average increase of 25 per cent of the value of their home compared to when they bought it if they were near a Target, but just 16 per cent if near a Walmart.
Average values were also higher near a Target; $307,286 compared to $178,249 for those near a Walmart. There is a downside though for those in a Target area; property taxes are 123 per cent higher on average than those near a Walmart.
Mortgage rates nudge higher
Mortgage rates are slightly higher this week with an average 30-year FRM at 3.68 per cent for the week ending Mar. 10 compared to 3.64 per cent last week.
Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey found that a 15-year FRM averaged 2.96 per cent, up from 2.94 per cent; and a 5-year ARM averaged 2.92 per cent, up from 2.84 per cent a week ago.
Freddie’s chief economist Sean Becketti commented: “This marks the second increase this year [for 30-year FRMs]. Nonetheless, the mortgage rate remains 33 basis points lower than its end-of-2015 level."