Purchase Loans Drive Mortgage Applications Higher

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While mortgage interest rates tick upwards to start the year, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported This Week in Real Estate that total mortgage applications increased thanks to the growth in purchase mortgage applications. Inflation hits a 39-year high to end the year. Below are a few newsworthy events from the second week of January that influence our business: 

Experts Predict What The 2022 Housing Market Will Bring. The story of 2021 was how quickly home prices accelerated. The national median home price hit $362,800 in June, an all-time high, according to the National Association of Realtors. The Case-Shiller home price index peaked in August, when prices rose 19.8 percent year-over-year that month. NAR’s profile of home buyers and sellers, an annual report now in its 40th year, found that about a third of buyers in 2021 purchased their homes for above the asking price. First-time buyers increased to 34 percent last year, up from 31 percent in 2020. That was the largest jump since 2017. “All markets are seeing strong conditions, and home sales are the best they have been in 15 years,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors. “The housing sector’s success will continue, but I don’t expect 2022’s performance to exceed 2021’s.” He said sales may decline this year but predicts that they will exceed pre-pandemic levels. His forecast is based on an expectation of more inventory in the coming months. The increased supply will be generated, in part, from new housing construction as well as from the end of forbearance for struggling mortgage payers, a situation that will cause some homeowners to sell. 

Purchase Loans Drive Mortgage Applications Higher. Mortgage applications climbed 1.4% for the week ending Jan. 7, 2022, according to a survey published by the Mortgage Bankers Association this week. The growth was buoyed by a 2% increase in the trade group’s seasonally adjusted purchase index, the MBA said. Per the report, the unadjusted purchase index increased 51% compared to the previous week but was 17% lower than the same week one year ago. The trade group remarked that it “expects solid growth in purchase activity this year, as demographic drivers and the strong economy support housing demand. However, the strength in growth will be dependent on housing inventory growing more rapidly to meet demand,” said Kan. On the refinance front, the trade group’s refi index dipped by 0.1% from the previous week, coming in 50% lower than the same week one year ago.

Inflation Hits 39-Year High. Led by higher prices for shelter and used vehicles, consumer prices soared by 7.0% in December from a year ago. It was the largest year-over-year gain since June 1982. During the past twelve months, on a not seasonally adjusted basis, the CPI rose by 7.0% in December, following a 6.8% increase in November. The “core” CPI increased by 5.5% over the past twelve months, following a 4.9% increase in November. It was the largest annual growth since February 1991.

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?

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