Saturday, November 12, 2022 / by Dave Magua
The latest Fed rate hike doesn’t seem to have deterred homebuyers, with purchase mortgage applications picking up slightly last week for the first time in nearly two months, according to a weekly survey of lenders by the Mortgage Bankers Association.
The MBA’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey showed demand for purchase mortgages was up by a seasonally adjusted 1 percent last week when compared to the week before, but down 41 percent from a year ago. Requests to refinance were down 4 percent week over week and 87 percent from a year ago.
“Purchase applications increased for the first time after six weeks of declines but remained close to 2015 lows, as homebuyers remained sidelined by higher rates and ongoing economic uncertainty,” MBA Deputy Chief Economist Joel Kan said in a statement. “Refinances continued to fall, with the index hitting its lowest level since August 2000.”
Requests to refinance accounted for 28.1 percent of all mortgage R ...
Friday, November 4, 2022 / by Dave Magua
As happened during the Great Recession, home prices today are beginning to fall after experiencing an extended period of red-hot price gains.
But unlike those days, most homeowners have a trump card in hand: They’re still swimming in positive equity.
In fact, nearly half of U.S. residential properties with a mortgage in the third quarter of 2022 had equity that was greater than the remaining amount owed on their respective loans, according to a report Wednesday from Attom.
The real estate data provider found that nearly 49 percent of properties were “equity rich” by this standard last quarter. That represents a slight uptick from the previous quarter and a significantly higher share than in the same period in 2021 when 40 percent of homes were considered equity rich.
The amount of equity built up since the Great Recession — including a significant rise over the past three years alone — ensures a softer landing for many homeowneN ...
Tuesday, November 1, 2022 / by Dave Magua
Homebuilders who have watched seesawing lumber prices plunge back to pre-pandemic levels were hit with a reminder in recent weeks that the market for this essential construction material can still be extremely volatile.
Lumber futures were trading at $454 per thousand board feet Monday after ascending to $539 per thousand board feet the week before, according to numbers tracked at Nasdaq.com. That’s a 16 percent drop following a similar-sized climb over a short span in late October.
The jagged up-and-down movement in prices comes after markets appeared to be settling back to pre-pandemic levels in the low- to mid-$400s in late September and early October. Prices stayed there for weeks before the recent runup and fall.
Lumber futures, last six months
The volatility in lumber prices remains a thorn in the side of homebuilders, who have had to sift through strained supply chains and bear wildly fluctuating prices just t ...
Thursday, October 27, 2022 / by Dave Magua
Sales of newly built homes continued a free-fall in September, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.
New home sales dropped 10.9 percent from August 2022 levels to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 603,000, 17.6 below the levels recorded in September 2021, according to the new data.
The median sales price of a newly built single family home hovered at $470,000, up from the median sales price of $436,000 in August, while the average sale price clocked in at $517,700, down from the August average of $521,000.
The seasonally adjusted estimate of new homes for sale at the end of September stood at 462,000, representing a supply of 9.2 months at the current sales rate, flat from the levels seen in August but a significant expansion of the inventory levels seen just months ago as builders have trouble filling homes.
“Even though many builders are holding up on starting new projects, the inventory of new homes has expan ...
Wednesday, October 26, 2022 / by Dave Magua
Home prices underwent an even steeper downturn in August after they had already dipped the previous month for the first time in years, according to two recent estimates.
In the latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller report, home prices dropped by 0.9 percent nationwide from July to August even after accounting for normal seasonal patterns. That’s a quickened pace compared to the 0.2 percent drop from the previous month.
The declines were part of a broad trend. None of the 20 cities monitored regularly by the Case-Shiller report escaped a monthly price decline in August.
And while home prices remain 13 percent higher than this time last year, annual growth is decelerating quickly with each passing month, S&P Dow Jones Indices Managing Director Craig J. Lazzara said in the report.
“As the Federal Reserve moves interest rates higher, mortgage financing becomes more expensive and housing becomes less affordable,” Lazzara said. “Given N ...