Curve

Mortgage applications rise, indicate strong 2018 ahead

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

Apps are up

It looks like 2018 is going to be another good year for housing. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage applications were up the first week of the year, and last month, they jumped nearly 8 percent. Does that mean more competition’s on the horizon?

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Mortgage apps rise – and so do refis

According to the Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, mortgage applications were up 4.1 percent last week. Refinances also jumped 4 percent from the week prior, while purchases rose 3 percent.

This isn’t the only positive indicator to come out of MBA lately. According to the organization’s December Builder Applications Survey, mortgage applications on new homes were up nearly 8 percent in December, when compared to 2016. Mortgage applications as a whole jumped 7.1 percent over the year.

Mortgage made easy: How to prep for your mortgage application

According to Lynn Fisher, vice president of research and economics at MBA, the growth will continue into 2018.

“Based on December applications, we forecast that new home sales fell in December but remained nearly 16 percent higher than a year ago,” Fisher said. “We are anticipating only modest year over year growth for new home sales in 2018.”

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Good news for buyers

While more mortgage applications might indicate more competition, it seems housing production might finally rise to the occasion. Just last week, the National Association of Housing Builders released data showing 2017’s “significant gains in housing production.” Housing starts, as a whole, were up 2.4 percent for the year, while single-family home starts rose 8.5 percent.

Housing starts reach one-year high in October

“NAHB is forecasting continued growth in housing production this year, led by ongoing single-family gains,” the organization reported. “Total housing starts are expected to grow 2.7 percent to 1.25 million units. Single-family production should increase 5 percent to 893,000 units, while the multifamily sector is expected to edge 1.6 percent lower this year to 354,000.”

All this spells more inventory – and more options – for the 2018 home buyer.

Get today’s mortgage rates

It seems 2018 is going to be a hot year for housing. Get in on the market early, and shop around for rates today.

Verify your new rate (Nov 15th, 2018)