Mortgage applications continue rise in mid-January

Mortgage applications continue rise in mid-January

Positive growth in the residential market may be few and far between during the typically slower winter months, but any gains may be positive as the year heads toward the spring.  Changes were notable in the volume of mortgage applications, as this figure rose 4.7 percent during the week ending Jan. 17, compared to the previous period, according to the Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association. When unadjusted, this level rose 7 percent from a week earlier.

Refinances also had a positive tilt, as this index jumped 10 percent week-over-week, the report noted. When unadjusted, the level inched up 2 percent during this period. When examining the refinance share of mortgage activity, further positives were noticeable. This measurement rose to 64 percent of all applications, and it was the highest level recorded in the past month. A week earlier, the figure was 62 percent of the total share.

The only aspect in the report that declined was the Purchase Index, as it slipped 4 percent from the previous week, the report added. However, the unadjusted measurement rose 2 percent during the same period.

Many Americans feel confident in market going forward
While mortgage conditions slowly improve, there also may be other reasons for consumers to be optimistic about the state of the residential market.

Nearly half of consumers think that home prices will improve in the next year, according to the December edition of Freddie Mac’s National Housing Survey. One year earlier, just 43 percent felt that this would occur.

“The marked improvement in housing market sentiment over the course of 2013 bore out our view going into the year that the housing recovery was on a firm footing,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Year-over-year gains in home price expectations and attitudes about the current selling environment were particularly notable. Going into 2014, housing attitudes are recovering from a recent dip that coincided with the heated fiscal discussions between the Administration and Congress late last year.”

When examining how much prices will climb in the next 12 months, the average response was 3.2 percent, the report explained. This was notably higher than a year earlier, when the sentiment was to see a rise of around 2.6 percent. Furthermore, 33 percent of consumers noted they think now is a good time to purchase a home, which was improved from the previous measurement of 21 percent.

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