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April 22, 2019
NAHB says homebuilders were more optimistic in April
Doctors: Homebuilder confidence in the market for new single-family homes rose in April as so-called buyer traffic increased to new developments.
The seasonally adjusted National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index rose to 63 points in April from 62 in March. The gauge remained below the 68 points recorded for April 2018.
“Builders report solid demand for new single-family homes, but they are also grappling with affordability concerns stemming from a chronic shortage of construction workers and buildable lots,” said NAHB Chairman Greg Ugalde, a developer from Torrington, Connecticut.
The index measuring current sales conditions increased to 69 points from 68, while buyer traffic rose to 47 from 44. Expectations for the next six months fell to 71 from 72.
“Ongoing job growth, favorable demographics and a low-interest rate environment will help to modestly spark sales growth in the near term,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “However, supply-side headwinds that are putting upward pressure on housing costs will limit more robust growth in the housing market.”
NOTE: The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index gauges builder opinions of single-family home sales and expectations, asking for a rating of good, fair or poor. Builders are also rate prospective buyer traffic from very low to very high. The scores are used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index with a rating above 50 indicating positive sentiment.
Source: HousingWire | Kathleen Howley
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Weekly mortgage applications for homebuyers hit highest level in 9 years
Two weeks of rising rates are taking their toll on homeowners hoping to refinance, but homebuyers are not pulling back.
Mortgage applications to purchase a home rose 1% last week from the previous week and were 7% higher than a year ago. Purchase applications reached their highest level since April 2010.
Total mortgage application volume decreased 3.5% last week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. Volume was 14% higher than a year ago.
Applications to refinance a home loan brought the total down, falling 8% for the week but still rising 26% from a year ago, when interest rates were higher.
“With mortgage rates up for the second week in a row, it’s no surprise that refinancings slid 8%, and average loan sizes dropped back closer to normal levels,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. “The spring buying season continues to be robust.”
The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 41.5% of total applications from 44.1% the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity decreased to 6.6% of total applications.
Mortgage rates continued to move higher this week, hitting their highest level in nearly a month. Rates are rising due to concerns about overseas economies. New data expected Wednesday, however, could have a big impact on rates.
Source: CNBC | Diana Olick