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Fewer Mortgage Apps, Steady Homeowner Value Perceptions

Phil Hall
Sep 12, 2018
An uptick in refinancing helped to boost mortgage applications during the week ending Sept. 27, according to new data from the Mortgage Bankers Association

There was a lower level of mortgage application activity and a growing steadiness in owner perception of home values, according to the latest housing industry data.
New numbers from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) for the week ending Sept. 7 found the Market Composite Index down by 1.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, while the unadjusted index collapsed by 13 percent compared with the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index inched up by one percent from one week earlier, but the unadjusted Purchase Index tumbled by 11 percent compared with the previous week—although it was also four percent higher than the same week one year ago. The Refinance Index skidded by six percent from the previous week to its lowest level since December 2000, while the refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 37.8 percent of total applications from 38.9 percent the previous week.
Among the federal programs, the FHA share of total applications increased to 10.4 percent from 10.2 percent the week prior and the VA share of total applications increased to 10.5 percent from 10 percent, while the USDA share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.8 percent.
Separately, Quicken Loans reported that the average appraisal was 0.28 percent lower than homeowners expected in August, according to the company’s Home Price Perception Index. This was the same level recorded in July; one year ago, homeowner estimates were 1.35 percent lower than appraiser opinions. Quicken Loans also reported that its Home Value Index recorded appraisal values were up by 1.08 percent since July and jumped 5.79 percent since August 2017.
“With the summer winding down, there were less ‘for sale’ signs on lawns across America which left the buyers competing over these available houses and driving the prices up,” said Bill Banfield, Executive Vice President of Capital Markets at Quicken Loans. “We are all watching closely to see when more homes will be put up for sale, balancing the markets, because the demand for housing isn’t slowing down.”
Separately, Quicken Loans reported that the average appraisal was 0.28 percent lower than homeowners expected in August

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