June 23, 2017

Lack of Homes for Sale Constrains Loan Apps

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Lack of Homes for Sale Constrains Loan Apps

Would-be buyers are hard-pressed to find enough homes for sale this spring, and that is chipping away at the number of mortgage applications lenders are processing, CNBC reports.

Total mortgage applications, including those for refinancing and home purchases, dropped 3.4 percent week over week on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday. The MBA’s mortgage application index is now 14 percent lower than a year ago.

"Home sales remain constrained by a lack of inventory across the country, as evidenced by home price growth running almost three times the pace of overall inflation," says Michael Fratantoni, chief economist for the MBA.

Applications to buy a home dropped 1 percent last week. Over the last four weeks, in the height of the spring market, purchase applications have decreased 5 percent. Still, purchase applications remain 7 percent higher than a year ago.

Refinance applications fell 6 percent during the week and are now 31 percent lower than the same week a year ago, the MBA reports. Mortgage rates were lower last year, and this year’s higher rates have decreased incentives for owners to refinance.

The average on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remained at 4.17 percent last week, holding the same average as the previous week, the MBA reports.

Source: “Weekly Mortgage Applications Fall 3.4% as Homebuyers Find Little for Sale,” CNBC (May 31, 2017)