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Are Mortgage Applications on the Decline?

Enthusiasm in the housing market fell this week, as CNBC reports that the overall volume of mortgage applications for the week fell 1.9%. 

The volume, however, is still 34% higher than it was last year, and the average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell to 4.08%. 

Also declining this week was refinance applications, which fell 2%, but 81% higher than in 2018.

Declines could also be fell in home sales, as the National Association of Realtors (NAR) stated that existing-home sales fell by 1.7% in June month-over-month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.27 million. Additionally, half of the major U.S. regions recorded minor sales jumps while the other half experienced greater declines.

“Home sales are running at a pace similar to 2015 levels – even with exceptionally low mortgage rates, a record number of jobs and a record high net worth in the country,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. 

According to Yun, the nation is in the midst of a housing shortage and much more inventory is needed. “Imbalance persists for mid-to-lower priced homes with solid demand and insufficient supply, which is consequently pushing up home prices,” he said.

One of the few areas that has seen increases is home-sales prices, which, according to Redfin, rose year-over-year by 3.4% in June to an average of $321,000, which is the third-consecutive month of growth. The report states that the growth rate of home prices was similar to May’s rate, but down 5.5% year-over-year increases in June 2018. 

Redfin reveals that just six of the 85 largest metros tracked by Redfin saw annual declines in sale prices. San Jose, California, was the biggest market to see decreases, with home prices falling 4.9% from 2018.

Other areas that saw decreases were Oxnard, California (-4.8%), Oakland, California (-2%), Seattle, Washington (-0.5%), Lake County, Illinois (0.1%), and Los Angeles, California (-0.1%).

“As national home price growth stabilizes, we’re continuing to see supply and demand dynamics play out differently in affordable inland markets than in expensive coastal markets,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. 

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.
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