Morning Briefing: Mortgage applications for purchases up, refi’s down

by Steve Randall10 Mar 2016
Mortgage applications for purchases up, refi’s down
Purchase applications increased in the week ending March 4. according to date from the Mortgage Bankers’ Association. Its weekly survey of mortgage applications revealed a seasonally-adjusted 0.2 per cent increase (1 per cent unadjusted) in the Market Composite Index compared to the previous week with the seasonally-adjusted Purchase Index up 4 per cent (unadjusted up 6 per cent) while the Refinance Index was down 2 per cent.

The refinance share was down to 56.7 per cent of total applications from 58.6 per cent the previous week. ARM share decreased to 5.2 per cent; FHA share remained unchanged at 12.0 per cent; VA share increased to 12.6 per cent from 12.1 per cent; USDA share increased to 0.8 per cent from 0.7 per cent the week prior.
Millennials are choosing the ‘burbs
The proportion of homebuyers that are in the millennials generation is growing and so is their interest in suburban living. The National Association of Realtors latest survey of generational trends reveals that 17 per cent of millennials bought in urban areas or cities compared to 21 per cent a year ago. Their choice of home has changed too with 10 per cent opting for a multi-family home compared to 15 per cent last year.

It seems that more young American home-buyers are choosing to move from renting to a single-family home in the suburbs while the slightly older Gen X are the largest buyers of multi-family homes.

Debt is delaying home purchase for buyers of all ages by a median of 4 years. Boomers are delaying for 6 years while millennials wait for half as long. Saving for a downpayment is the main reason for the delay with student debt (for millennials) and credit card debt (Gen X and younger Boomers) the main barrier to saving.
Iowa starts 2016 with price rises, faster sales
Home sales in Iowa have started strongly in 2016 according to new figures. The Iowa Association of Realtors reports prices rose 12 per cent in the year to January to a median $135,500 and although sales volume was down slightly (1.6 per cent) from a year earlier, homes were selling faster. With active listings down more than 15 per cent, days on market was down to 87 from 91 a year earlier.


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