According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, This Week in Real Estate applications to purchase a home last week reached their highest level since April. Contributing factors of the surge in activity are nine straight weeks of increases in new listings to end the summer and mortgage rates hovering at or below 3% for roughly two months. Below are a few newsworthy events from the third week of September that influence our business:
Mortgage Demand From Homebuyers Jumps to Highest Level Since April. Potential homebuyers are seeing a slight rise in inventory and consequently rushing back into the fray. Mortgage applications to purchase a home jumped 7% last week from the previous week according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. That is the highest level since April of this year. Buyers have been hamstrung by the meager supply of homes for sale, but that supply has been rising lately, albeit slowly. The number of new listings rose for nine straight weeks during the summer, but finally fell again last week, according to a Realtor.com report. “Both conventional and government purchase applications increased, and the average loan size for a purchase application rose to $396,800. The very competitive purchase market continues to put upward pressure on sales prices,” said Joel Kan, an MBA economist.
America is Short 5.24M Homes. More real estate listings are coming to the market, but that won’t be able to make up for the fact that America is short millions of homes based on population needs. That likely means home buyers will continue to face inventory shortages and a dearth of homes for sale in the future. The U.S. is short 5.24 million homes. That is an increase of 1.4 million homes from 2019, according to research from realtor.com. New-home construction – at its slowest pace since 1995 – is not making up the difference either. About 12.3 million American households were formed from January 2012 to June 2021. However, only 7 million new single-family homes were built during that period, CNBC reports. Builders would need to double the new-home production pace to make up the gap in five to six years. “No matter how you frame the scenario, it will take a more meaningful shift in the pipeline to meet demand in the foreseeable future,” Hale told CNBC.
Huge Decline in Forbearances, Down 67 Percent From Peak. There was a huge reduction in the number of borrowers in COVID-19 related forbearance plans over the last week as servicers plowed through the remaining plans with August expirations and began processing those with September reviews. Black Knight says a net of 92,000 homeowners exited the program over the week ended September 7, a 5.4 percent decline. The forborne population is now 1.618 million loans, 3.1 percent of the 53 million universe of mortgages. The number of forborne loans has fallen by 129,000 since the first week in August and 3.1 million or 67 percent from the peak in May 2020. The company says nearly 540,000 homeowners are scheduled for review for extension of their plans or removal from the program this month. Of those, 400,000 will reach their final expiration date in September unless allowable terms are extended.
Did you know every home listed for sale with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate and Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Real Estate Professionals are eligible to receive no-obligation home warranty coverage from American Home Shield or 2-10 Home Warranty the first six months the home is listed with our company?