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The pre-Thanksgiving housing data found dreary results on a weekly measurement and vibrant news on a quarterly report.
The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending Nov. 20 found different readings on seasonally adjusted and unadjusted readings. The Market Composite Index down 3.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, although the index was up six percent on an unadjusted basis. Likewise, the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased one percent from one week earlier, but unadjusted index rose five percent and was 24 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
Government loan programs were mostly down in the latest survey. The FHA share of total applications decreased to 13.7 percent from 14.4 percent the week prior, while the VA share fell to 11 percent from 11.7 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.7 percent.
The Refinance Index decreased five percent from the previous week, but the refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 58.7 percent of total applications from 58.6 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 6.4 percent of total applications. The average loan size for purchase applications reached a survey high at $303, 600.
Separately, the latest Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI) found house prices were up 1.3 percent in the third quarter, which marks the 17th consecutive quarterly price increase in the purchase-only, seasonally adjusted index. The FHFA’s seasonally adjusted monthly index for September was up 0.8 percent from August, while third quarter house prices rose 5.7 percent on a year-over-year basis.
West Virginia was the only state that did not experience a year-over-year house price increase in the third quarter. The District of Columbia had the greatest annual appreciation per area (15.4 percent) while Florida’s North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton market saw the greatest metro price hike (16.1 percent).
“The long-anticipated slowdown in home price appreciation did not occur in the third quarter,” said FHFA Principal Economist Andrew Leventis. “The factors that have contributed to extraordinary price growth over the last few years—low interest rates, tight inventories, strong buyer confidence, and improving income growth—continued to drive prices upward in much of the country. However, as prices continue to rise, reduced affordability will be a stronger market headwind.” Leventis said.