Morning Briefing: Mortgage applications slip back

by Steve Randall18 Jun 2015
Mortgage applications slip back
The latest barometer of mortgage applications shows that in the week to June 12 there were fewer than the week before. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s Market Composite Index declined 5.5 per cent from a week earlier on seasonally-adjusted figures and 6 per cent on an unadjusted basis. The refinancing index fell 7 per cent while the purchase index was 4 per cent lower on adjusted figures and 6 per cent unadjusted.

"Rising rates continue to create volatility in weekly mortgage applications activity. The 10-year Treasury hit 2.5 per cent last week and our survey's 30-year fixed rate of 4.22 per cent is at its highest level since October 2014. The refinance index dropped to the lowest level since January 2015 as rates continued to increase," said Mike Fratantoni, MBA's Chief Economist.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 48.5 per cent of total applications from the previous week. The ARM share increased to 6.5 per cent; FHA share decreased to 14.2 per cent from 14.3 per cent the week prior. The VA share of total applications remained unchanged at 11.5 per cent. The USDA share of total applications decreased to 0.9 percent from 1.1 percent the week prior.
 
US cities higher on cost of living table as dollar strengthens
The rising value of the greenback is pushing up the cost of living higher in relation to many other countries. The annual Mercer cost of living league table shows that at number 16 New York is the highest-ranked city in the US, the same as last year with cities on the West Coast, including Los Angeles (36) and Seattle (106) climbing 26 and 47 places respectively. Among other major US cities, Chicago (42) moved up 43 places, Washington, DC (50) moved up 42 places, Honolulu (52) moved up 45 places, and Houston (92) moved up 51 places. Cleveland (133) and Winston Salem (157) were among the less expensive cities in the US. Luanda, the capital of Angola is the most expensive in the world.
 
Mortgage lenders positive reports Fannie Mae
Fannie Mae’s survey of mortgage lender sentiment increased in May. The quarterly outlook for the mortgage market shows that lenders are positive about the coming months in terms of mortgage demand and profit margin. Among the findings; senior mortgage executives are increasingly optimistic, and significantly more optimistic than the general population of consumers, about future home prices. This quarter, the share of lenders expecting home prices to go up over the next 12 months reached a survey high of 70 per cent. Lenders report continuing high demand for mortgages and the ease of obtaining credit has increased slightly.
 
Griffiths, Banderas mansion sells for record
Former Hollywood couple Melanie Griffiths and Antonio Banderas have sold their LA mansion for a record price. The New York Post reports that the separated actors sold the 15,110 square foot home at Hancock Place for $15.94 million. It’s a record for Los Angeles and makes the pair a healthy profit; they bought it for $4.2 million in 1999 before adding a property next door for $1.3 million. 
 

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