Mortgage applications up last week
There was a 1.6 per cent increase in mortgage applications last week according to new figures from the Mortgage Bankers Association. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 1.6 per cent on a seasonally adjusted basis and 1 per cent on an unadjusted basis compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 2 per cent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 1 per cent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index was unchanged compared with the previous week and was 18 per cent higher than the same week one year ago.
The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 49.0 per cent of total applications from 48.5 per cent the previous week. ARM’s accounted for 7.0 per cent, the highest level since December 2014, while FHA
’s decreased to 13.9 per cent from 14.2 per cent the week prior. The VA
share of total applications decreased to 10.9 per cent from 11.5 per cent a week earlier and the USDA share was unchanged at 0.9 per cent.
Boomers choose to rent
Baby boomers may have the wealth but would rather give their money to landlords than invest in property. A Harvard study shows that renter growth is at a 30 year high, while homeownership is at a 25 year low. Those in the 45-64 year old demographic accounted for twice the percentage of rental growth than those under 35. Higher earners account for 43 per cent of the growth in renting. Douglas Firstenberg, principal of Stonebridge Carras, a real estate development and investment firm, told CNBC: "It's an older renter, looking to downsize that doesn't want to own anymore.”
Banderas, Griffiths continue real estate sell-off
Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffiths are selling more of their real estate as their 18 year marriage comes to an end. The former Hollywood ‘power couple’ are offloading their mountain retreat in Aspen, CO, which is listed at $9.9 million. The New York Post says the two-story main house comes with a separate guest house and cabin plus its own private ski run.
International coalition aims to standardize home sizes
More than 30 professional bodies from around the world met last week at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington D.C. to launch a major initiative which seeks to create international standards in construction measurement. The International Construction Measurement Standards (ICMS) Coalition was established by non-profit organisations representing professionals in more than 140 countries including RICS and aims to create overarching international standards that will harmonise cost, classification and measurement definitions in order to enhance comparability, consistency and benchmarking of capital projects. It’s the first time that a range of real estate professionals have come together to seek to agree international standards in this way and RICS vice president Amanda Clack commented: “It was evident there was a real willingness to work together collaboratively for the benefit of the public and our clients.”