Sunday, 18 November, 2018

USA mortgage applications fall to lowest level since 2014

What effects will a cooling housing market have on the economy? Mortgage rates hit 7-year high, crimping home sales
Rhonda Young | 11 November, 2018, 04:36

For the week ending November 2, the Market Composite Index fell by four percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier to its lowest level since December 2014.

US borrowers filed the fewest applications to buy a home and to refinance one in almost four years last week as some 30-year mortgage rates increased to their highest levels in about 8-1/2 years, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday. On an unadjusted basis, the Index was down by two percent compared to the previous week. The seasonally adjusted purchase index decreased by 5% compared with the week ended October 26.

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"Application activity decreased over the week for both purchase and refinance applications, with the overall market index down to its lowest level since December 2014", said Joel Kan, MBA Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasts.

Mortgage loan rates for top-tier borrowers increased last week from a prior week's ending value of 4.94% to 5.04% for a 30-year fixed-rate loan, according to Mortgage News Daily. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.24 percent. While interest rates held steady this month, an increase is anticipated in December. A year ago, the rate averaged 3.9 percent.

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15-year FRM this week averaged 4.33 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 4.23 percent. "It's evident that housing inventory shortages continue to impact prospective homebuyers this fall".

The share of refinancing as a part of total applications shrank to 39.1 percent from 39.4 percent the week before. That was the highest for the popular loan product since February, 2011.

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The average fee on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages was unchanged from last week at 0.5 points. The Fed has been meeting this week to discuss interest rates and the state of the economy.

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