Morning Briefing: Mortgage applications for new homes rise, value lower

by Steve Randall12 Feb 2016
Mortgage applications for new homes rise, value lower
There was a 14 per cent rise in applications for mortgages for new homes in January compared to the previous month, not accounting for seasonal variations. The Mortgage Bankers Association estimates that new single-family home sales were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 499,000 units in January based on its Builder Application Survey.

Conventional loans accounted for 67.4 per cent of home loan applications, FHA’s 19.5 per cent, RHS/USDA’s 0.7 per cent and VA loans 12.4 per cent. The average loan size of new homes decreased from $333,182 in December to $325,806 in January.
 
Sun shines on home sales in the Sunshine State
Real estate in the Sunshine State had a busy end to 2015 according to sales data from Florida Realtors. Closed sales, listings and median price all advanced despite, or perhaps as a result of, the rise in interest rates made by the Fed in December.

Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 274,769 in 2015, up 12.4 per cent compared to 2014 while new listings were up 3.7 per cent and the median sales price was up 10.1 per cent to $196,000.
Townhouse-condo properties increased closed sales by 6.5 per cent to 114,969 with new listings up 1.5 per cent and the median sales price up 7.1 per cent to $150,000. 

Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. Brad O’Connor said that sales levels are expected to return to more stable growth rates in 2016 but that “We expect home prices, on the other hand, to continue to rise at an elevated pace in 2016, as much of the state is in the midst of an inventory shortage that is likely to persist throughout the year.”
 
“Mr Big” seeks in the city
Chris Noth, best known as Sex and the City’s Mr Big has been looking at apartments in New York’s Sorting House. The W. 52nd Street development has apartments above a working post office and the New York Post reports that Noth has been spotted checking out a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom penthouse priced at $2.89 million. The luxury apartment building’s amenities include gym and rooftop deck.
 
Mortgage rates lower again
Average mortgage rates this week are lower again according to analysis from Freddie Mac. The corporation’s Primary Market Survey reveals that for the week ending Feb.11 2016 the average rate for a 30-year FRM was 3.65 per cent, down from 3.72 per cent a week earlier; 15-year FRM’s averaged 2.95 per cent, down from 3.01 per cent; and 5-year ARM’s averaged 2.83 per cent, down from 3.85 per cent.

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