Morning Briefing: Refi outpace purchase mortgage applications

by Steve Randall16 Jul 2015
Refi outpace purchase mortgage applications
Refinancing mortgage applications outpaced those for home purchases in the week ending July 10 according to the Mortgage Bankers’ Association. Overall, applications were down 1.9 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis but increased 9 per cent on an unadjusted basis. The refinance index increased by 4 per cent while the seasonally adjusted purchase index fell 8 per cent and the unadjusted purchase index was up 3 per cent on the previous week and 17 per cent higher than a year earlier.

Refinancing mortgages accounted for 50.8 per cent of all applications. ARM’s increased to 7.4 per cent, FHA’s were up to 13.8 per cent, VA’s were unchanged at 10.8 per cent and USDA’s remained at a 0.9 per cent share.
 
Maryland, Houston increase sales
Data this week from Maryland and Houston show increasing home sales in June. The Maryland Association of Realtors reports that sales were up 22 per cent from June 2014 with pending sales up 8 per cent. Average and median prices were slightly lower though and months of inventory fell to 3.9 from 4.7 in June 2014. “We have had six months of an extremely active residential sales market,” said MAR President Janice Kirkner. “Buyers are clearly enthusiastic, and we are hopeful that inventory keeps pace with demand.”

Meanwhile the Houston real estate market’s see-saw ride continued following May’s sales dip, with June sales volume up 4.1 per cent and home prices setting new record highs. Only homes priced below $150,000 experienced a sales decline. The Houston Association of Realtors says that single-family home sales totaled 7,935 units—the highest one-month volume ever— compared to 7,621 a year earlier. The time it took to sell the average home reached a record low of 43 days. Home prices achieved historic highs, with the average price of a single-family home up 6.6 per cent year-over-year to $302,942. The median price rose 4.9 per cent to $225,000.
 
Jennifer Connelly’s former Brooklyn home sells for $12.4 million
A home formerly owned by actress Jennifer Connelly has sold for a record price. The town house in Park Slope, Brooklyn sold for $12.4 million setting a new high for the neighborhood. The New York Post says that the 6 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom home was bought by Connelly and husband Paul Bettany for $3.7 million in 2003 and they sold it in 2008 to a Google executive for $8.5 million.
 

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