Survey: Mortgage Applications Up from Last Year

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s Builder Application Surveyfor May revealed that purchase mortgage applications rose by 15 percent year-over-year. On a monthly basis, mortgage purchase applications for May increased by 4 percent compared to April.

The Survey

According to the survey, about 69.2 percent of the loan applications for the month are conventional loans. FHA loans took 17.5 percent of the whole share, while RHS/USDA loans made up 1.1 percent of the total. VA loans also comprised 12.2 percent of the pie.

The average size of the loans for May dropped to $324,844 from $329,244 in April.

The seasonally adjusted annual rate for new single-family home sales was at 605,000 in May.

What does this mean to an inventory-scarce market?

MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics Lynn Fisher believes continued price growth driven by demand will motivate homebuilding, thereby potentially fueling purchase mortgage applicationsfor the remainder of the year.

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But will it?

In a recent white paper, the National Association of Realtors cites the primary reasons why Americans seem to have lesser appetite for homeownership. Inventory is just one of the problems; people are still wary due to the trauma from the previous crisis, and student and auto loan burdens are on the rise.

Home affordability is also cited as one of the issues. If home prices continue to increase – which is the forecast for 2018, many borrowers might be priced out of homeownership. Not only that – as home prices increase, so does the cost of living, a problem ill-patched by the flat-like incline of wages.

With the recent increase in interest rates, it’s not far off to predict borrowers will reconsider their purchase. Those who plan to do so or refinance their current home loans, should execute before new highs in interest rates kick in.

Builder Application Survey

The BAS provides monthly metrics on loan application activity using data derived directly from home builders for single-family units. The data is inclusive of shares by product type, average loan size and change in application activity.

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