Morning Briefing: Mortgage applications down 2.4 per cent

by Steve Randall16 Jun 2016
Mortgage applications down 2.4 per cent
There was a drop in mortgage applications in the week ending June 10, 2016.

Figures from the Mortgage Bankers’ Association reveal that there were 2.4 per cent fewer applications for mortgages on a seasonally-adjusted basis; the unadjusted index was up 21 per cent from the previous week.

The purchase index declined 5 per cent on a seasonally-adjusted basis and increased 17 per cent unadjusted. Refinance applications slipped 1 per cent and made up 55.3 per cent of total applications, slightly up from the previous week.
 
These two markets are the homeownership sweet spots
Homeowners in San Antonio and Nashville are living in sweet spots, where it is possible to break even on a home purchase in the shortest time.

Zillow’s analysis of places where employment and income growth are on the rise, and the speed of breakeven, discovered that the national average for owning a home being more affordable than renting it is 1 year and 8 months.

In San Antonio, the breakeven is 1 year and four months; Nashville is just a month behind but income growth is less than half that of the Texas city.

Zillow’s chief economist Dr Svenja Gudell said that the top-ranking cities have a range of positives: "Not only do they have a strong labor market, but a home purchase in these markets makes a lot of financial sense. Be careful, though, because this assumes you can qualify for a mortgage, have a down-payment saved up and, most importantly, can find a home for sale in your price range. Simply put, buying a home in many of these markets is not for the faint of heart."

Florida cities Tampa and Jacksonville also make the top 5 markets for breakeven speed along with Raleigh, NC. By contrast, it takes 3 years 7 months in Washington, DC; 3 years 6 months in Los Angeles; and 2 years 10 months in New York and Northern NJ.
 
Hot Houston markets intensifies
The heat in the Houston housing market increased in May, with single-family home sales up 10 per cent from a year earlier.

The Houston Association of Realtors reported 7,343 sales in the month, with sales up 3.6 per cent on a year-to-date basis. Sales for all property types increased 7.1 per cent in May from a year earlier.

"We are seeing more normal market conditions for this time of year and that is the direct result of more plentiful housing inventory for buyers,” said HAR Chairman Mario Arriaga with First Group. “A year ago, the supply of homes was historically low, which increased buyer-side demand and pushed up pricing. These are the fundamental forces of supply and demand, and with more available housing and an easing of prices, we look forward to a healthy pace of sales throughout the summer."

An increase in inventory saw average prices drop 0.5 per cent to $290,931.
 

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