Real Estate News

Newest MBA survey shows uptick for March home applications

Published: 16 Mar 2017

Following similar reports in previous weeks, new information from the Mortgage Bankers Association suggested a continuing strong market for mortgage applications. The figures represent accumulating growth that stretches back at least to the week of Nov. 18, with interest for fixed-rate 30-year Federal Housing Administration mortgages at a high that goes back even further to January 2014.

The MBA highlighted February's application activity in a pair of press releases. One explained that the week of March 10 saw mortgage applications grow by 3.1 percent over the previous week, even as the total rate of FHA loans declined by .7 percent. It also said that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages for both the under and over $424,000 bracket hit highs unseen since April 2014.  

The other release specifically looked at the overall mortgages for new homes bought during Feb. 2017 as a whole. The MBA reportedly found that this was 2.2 percent higher than February 2016, and Vice President of Research and Economics Lynn Fisher explained that this could herald further productivity, following this year's Builder Application Index growth.

"The bar was high as last February was a particularly strong month for applications, as was March 2016," Fisher said. "The surprisingly strong employment numbers for the beginning of 2017 suggest that demand for new homes should continue to grow this year."

The statement also said that most of February's loan applications, 66.5 percent, were for conventional loans.

In addition, Mortgage News Daily said that mortgage rates in general have increased to an average of around 4.375, ahead of the expected rate raises coming from the Federal Reserve soon. The article argued that these mortgage rates are set to follow expectations of a possible hike instead of the reality, meaning that the actual actions the Fed take may be less impactful (at least in the short term) than the movement already happening.