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Mark Hemingway

Mortgage Market Update for August 16th

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - Article by: Mark Hemingway - Security Financial Services, LLC - Message

July Housing Starts fell 4.8% from June to an annual rate of 1.155 million units, below the 1.217 million expected. Homebuilders cite a lack of skilled labor and lots to build on and higher costs for materials for the decline in new home building. Year-over-year starts were down 5.6%.

Building Permits, a sign of future construction, fell 4.1% from June to an annual rate of 1.223 million annualized units, just below the 1.247 million expected. Within the report it showed that single-family starts, which make up the biggest share of the housing market, fell 0.5%, while multi-family dwellings (five or more units) plunged 17.1% from June to July.

Mortgage rates hit their lowest levels in 2017 as reported by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). The MBA reports that the 30-year fixed conforming mortgage rate fell 2bp to a new year-to-date low of 4.12%. In addition, the 30-year jumbo mortgage rate fell 3bp to a year-to-date low of 4.04%, while the FHA fixed mortgage rate slipped 1bp to 4.01%, just above its year-to-date low of 4%. Those rates do carry at least 0.30 in points added on top of the rate. The MBA's Market Composite Index, a measure of total mortgage loan application volume, saw a slight 0.1% increase in the latest week. The MBA's refinance index rose 1.6% and the purchase index declined 1.5%.

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