Morning Briefing: Mortgage applications dip as rates increase

by Steve Randall02 Jul 2015
Mortgage applications dip as rates increase
Higher mortgage rates have led to a decline in the level of applications for the week ending June 26. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey dipped by 4.7 per cent from a week earlier on a seasonally-adjusted basis. The refinance index hit a 6 month low with a 5 per cent drop (4 per cent seasonally-adjusted) while the unadjusted purchase index was down by 4 per cent although 14 per cent higher than the same week in 2014.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 48.9 per cent of total applications from 49.0 per cent the previous week. The ARM share remained unchanged at 7.0 per cent while he FHA share increased to 14.0 per cent from 13.9 per cent the week prior and the VA share decreased to 10.8 per cent from 10.9 per cent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications increased to 1.0 per cent from 0.9 per cent the week prior.
Builders celebrate log cabins
For the fourth consecutive year, members of the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Log and Timber Homes Council (LTHC) are celebrating National Log Home Open House Month. For those interested in owning an environmentally-friendly home cabins, and other timber-built properties, offer an alternative to bricks and mortar. Log and Timber Homes Council Chairman Mark Elliott of Coventry Log Homes in Woodsville, N.H. “We welcome builders and home buyers to join us in the National Log Home Open House festivities by attending our special events and factory tours across the U.S."
Joan Rivers’ apartment sold to royalty
Middle East royalty are believed to have purchased the former home of the late Joan Rivers. CNBC reports that the Manhattan triplex apartment closed this week for the $28 million asking price. The home on the Upper East Side has 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, high ceilings and a gilded balcony. The new owners are believed to have paid cash.
Texas townhouse and condo sales slower
Condo and townhouse sales in the major metros in Texas for the first half of 2015 have kept pace with the same period last year but have slowed from the second half of 2014. The Texas Association of Realtor’s mid-year report shows that Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio experienced an average 1 per cent decrease in condo sales between January and May 2015. While Dallas and San Antonio posted small annual gains of 3 per cent and 6 per cent respectively, condo sales decreased 1 per cent year-over-year in Houston and 12 per cent year-over-year in Austin in the first half of the year.

Scott Kesner, chairman of the Texas Association of Realtors commented: “The demand for condos remains strong, as condos continue to spend less time on the market and sell at higher prices. Higher prices, however, could be impacting some Texas homebuyers’ ability to afford condos, especially in our state’s metro areas.”


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