Despite concerns that rising interest rates, inventory shortages and higher home prices may dampen demand for housing, the latest figures demonstrate that the nation’s real estate market continues to show resilience in the face of these concerns.
Demand for Mortgages
Applications for mortgages jumped 4.8 percent last week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted report. Volume remained unchanged from one year ago.
An increase in refinance and purchase applications drove the weekly rise.
Refinance applications rose 7.3 percent last week from the previous week but was still down more than 10 percent from a year ago.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($453,100 or less) increased to 4.69 percent from 4.68 percent for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans.
Demand for Homes
In the meantime, the National Association of Realtors (NAR’s) pending home sales index increased to a reading of 107.5, up 3.1 percent from the prior month. Home resales surged in February after two straight months of declines but a chronic shortage of homes remains an obstacle to a more robust housing market. Compared to one year ago, pending sales were down 4.1 percent.