Applications for mortgage loans fell for the second straight month in July, kicking off the third quarter with their second biggest monthly drop so far this year. According to data reported by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and compiled by Capital Economics, mortgage application volumes slipped an addition 3.4 percent in July following June's 0.1 percent decline. So far, applications have fallen on a monthly basis in four of the year's seven months.
Declines were nearly even in both purchase loan volumes, which fell 3.6 percent, and refinances, which were down 3.3 percent. Capital Economics said the drop in refinancing is the easier movement to explain, with mortgage rates stopping their slow descent over the year and flattening at 4.32 percent, the same as in June. As for the drop in purchase loan applications, the company was at a loss, noting that with economic growth accelerating and credit conditions loosening, there’s little reason to believe that segment won’t rebound over this year’s second half.
Housing metrics pulled back nationally to end the second quarter, according to a new report. In its June National Housing Trend Report, Realtor-dot-com reported the national housing market continued to gain some strength as summer got under way, though the rate of recovery in home prices and inventory dimmed somewhat. However, there are a handful of markets the company says are positioned for an extended selling season, including Baton Rouge, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, among others. Though they're geographically dispersed, the company says all of those markets have a few important traits in common, including steady month-over-month inventory growth, decent price appreciation, and faster home sales as local demand outpaces supply.