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Mortgage Purchase Applications Rise by 2%

The Mortgage Bankers’ Association reported on August 26 that its Weekly Applications Survey that mortgage applications for purchases were up by 2%.

This report is seen as a leading indicator of housing and mortgage finance activity in the US.

In the US (IVV), mortgage applications for purchases and refinances rose by 0.2% for the week ending August 21,as compared to the prior week. Mortgage applications for purchases were up by 2%. However, applications for refinances were down by 1%.

Low Interest Rates Increase Demand for Mortgages

Northeast’s Pending Home Sales Surge By 4%

In general, buyer demand trended higher in July from June.

The National Association of Realtors reported that its index of pending home sales for July eased higher, from the prior month.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the index has risen 7.4% from 2014.

Fast Stats
• Demand and sales continue to be stronger than earlier this year.
• Closed sales of existing homes increased two percent in July.
• Inventory of homes for sale remains low.
• The higher home prices continue to impede the first-time home buyer from jumping in.

New Jersey's Top 12 Towns by New Jersey Monthly

Town County Population Avg Prop Tax Median Sale Px Difference
1 MENDHAM Morris 5,018 $13,515 $570,000 12%
2 WARREN Somerset 15,716 $12,469 $706,450 23%
3 NOR. CALDWELL Essex 6,340 $14,481 $702,500 13%
4 NORWOOD Bergen 5,815 $12,194 $526,481 3%
5 UNION TWSP Hunterdon 5,737 $8,152 $313,750 43%
6 WOODCLIFF LAKE Bergen 5,827 $14,203 $693,500 3%

Mortgage Bankers Association Predicts 14 Million New Households

The Mortgage Bankers Association is predicting that over the next decade, they expect a significant number of new households formed, creating a significant demand for housing.

The new report published on Tuesday August 25 says that though, in general, homeownership has plunged to its lowest level in half a century, by 2024 we can expect to see a surge in new household formation, with a significant percentage of those families choosing to own rather than rent.

The Mortgage Bankers Association is pointing to the rank of new household formation to be between 14 million and 16 million.

Breaking News: S&P Home Price Index Climbs to 5%

Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index inched higher to 5% on a year-to-year basis for June. This represents a slight increase form the May 2015 which showed a 4.9% increase.

This confirms that the positive momentum is continuing. Strong demand along with low mortgage rates and short inventory has been lifting prices. According the National Association of Realtors, he average rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages remains below 4%.

Stock Market, Housing & Real Estate

Yesterday the Dow Jones was down 588. This morning the Dow Futures are up 602.

I am not making this up. One of the benefits of working in our industry is that homes are physical things, hard assets. A stock is a piece of paper that draws its value based upon what other people say it's worth. But you can't live in a stock portfolio, but you can live in a home; you might get dividends from stock, but you can't grow vegetables and go swimming in the pool like a home.

Black Knight Reports: Year Over Year Up 5.5% and Up .9% in June from May

Black Knight Financial Services reported that U.S. home prices in June were up 5.5% from this time in 2014.

In general, home appreciation continues to slow with the last 3 months reporting year-over-year increases in May 5.9%, April: 6.4% & March: 7.0%.

Th Black Knight report continues to post gains in every one of the 20 largest states and 40 largest metros showed positive month-over-month movement.

National Association of Realtors Reports 2% Rise In Home Sales

The National Association of Realtors reported for existing home sales contained some important data:

■ Existing home sales rose in July 2015 by 2% from June 2015
■ July 2015's sales pace was the highest since February 2007 and 10.3% higher than a year earlier
■ Low inventory and high prices could hold future market gains back
■ Total housing inventory fell 0.4% at the end of July to 2.24 million existing homes
■ Current inventory is put at 4.8 months which is down from 5.6 months a year ago
■ There is also some concern over potential rising inventory

CFPB Report Discloses Results from eClosing Pilot

The CFPB report encourages industry professionals to use the report as a beginning point to become more familiar with the new methodologies.

Overall, the CFPB 90-page report released on August 5 summarizes the results of its eClosing pilot program which was launched in April 2014. The purpose of the pilot was to explore and investigate whether electronic closing processes offer measurable benefits to mortgage borrowers.

The link to the CFPB report pdf:

Home Builder Index Hits 10 Year High

Not since November 2005 has the National Association of Home Builders Index [HBI] reached 61, but that is exactly where it is today. The data by the association simply confirms that demand for homes and in particular new homes remains unabated.

The report issued on August 17, 2015, stated: “Builder confidence in the market for newly built, single-family homes in August rose one point to 61 on the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This is the highest reading since November 2005.