Morning Briefing: Mortgage applications slipped ahead of Fed decision

by Steve Randall22 Sep 2016
Mortgage applications slipped ahead of Fed decision
New mortgage applications were lower in the week ending September 16 as potential buyers awaited the interest rate decision from the Fed.

The Mortgage Bankers’ Association’s index showed a 7.3 per cent decrease in applications compared to the previous week on a seasonally-adjusted basis but it was up 15 per cent on an unadjusted basis.

The refinance index was down 8 per cent while the purchase index fell 7 per cent on an adjusted basis. The share of refinance loan applications increased to 63.1 per cent from 62.9 per cent a week earlier.
Maryland sales see sharp turnaround
Sales of homes in Maryland have rebounded, rising 12.1 per cent in August compared to a year earlier, following weaker sales in July.

The Maryland Association of Realtors sold 7,861 homes in the month and while there was still some weakness in rural areas much of the state saw some strong gains.

“We are pleasantly surprised by the boost in homes sales in August,” said MAR President Bonnie Casper. Casper added, “Homebuyers were very engaged in the market despite the fact that we are still in the summer months. This level of sales activity and pending units in what is traditionally a slow month for real estate signals a robust autumn market.”

Frederick County led the gains with a 28.3 per cent rise in sales year-over-year with Charles County (27.6 per cent) and Calvert County (25 per cent) not far behind.

Median price was up 4.1 per cent year-over-year to $278,578 while average sales price rose 2.5 per cent to $321,341.
Builders warn that flood program change could impact new home cost
Proposals to change the National Flood Insurance Program being urged by the National Marine Fisheries Service could have a negative impact on the cost of new homes.

The National Association of Home Builders is urging Congress to oppose measures for the “inappropriate use of the Endangered Species Act” which it says would force a series of regulations that would restrict the use of certain land for home building.

The changes would damage housing affordability and economies in affected flood plain areas and NAHB says that the original intent of the program should not be altered by the NMFS proposals to protect endangered species.



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