Mortgage Applications are Still Rising

December 17, 2018

A sharp drop in interest rates drove mortgage application volume up 1.6 percent last week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted index.

Traditionally, December is a slower month for home sales.  The supply of homes is typically lean and moving in the winter is not a generally appealing idea for much of the nation.  Yet, this December has seen more activity than usual, due to more supply coming to the market and buyers who were outpriced amidst tough competition in the spring and seeing their opportunity to purchase a home. 

"Though the holiday season is not going to give you plenty of options to choose from, there are reasons why you should NOT put your home search on hold for the holidays," said Danielle Hale, chief economist at "Chief among them, December is the best time of year if you want to avoid competitions."

While supply and competition may both be at their low point, motivation is at its high point, for both buyers and sellers.

"That buyer has to move. Either they have a lease expiring Jan. 1, or they have saved enough money for their down payment, so they are motivated to buy," said Fairfield. "A lot of people are more motivated price-wise from the selling standpoint too, because they too want to get to their next location."

Houses stay on the market longer in the month of December, around 5 days longer than the rest of the year.  Sellers will need to be patient, and buyers will need to be more flexible. 

Source: CNBC


Looking Ahead: Upcoming Key Market Dates

Monday, December 17

Home Builders Index

Tuesday, December 18

Housing Starts

Tuesday, December 18

Building Permits

Wednesday, December 19

Existing Home Sales

Friday, December 21

Personal Income

Friday, December 21

Consumer Spending


2018 Was a Big Year for Homeowners

According to the latest data, the average owner saw their home equity jump 9.4 percent since 2018 — an aggregate increase of $775.2 billion across the nation.

American homeowners have gained billions in equity over the past year, according to the latest Home Equity Report from CoreLogic. The average homeowner saw their equity jump by $12,400 in the third quarter of this year and by $16,000 in the second quarter.

Homeowners in California have experienced the biggest increase in equity, with a rise of $36,500 last quarter. Nevada homeowners were close behind at $32,600. Both states claim some of the highest-cost housing markets in the nation (Los Angeles and Las Vegas, to name a few.)

Other states with high jumps in equity included Washington ($27K), Idaho ($21K), Utah ($21K), Colorado ($18K), Hawaii ($18K), Arizona ($16K) and New York ($14K). Almost every state experienced at least some annual increase in home equity.

Homeowners in negative equity continued their steady decline as well.  During the third quarter of the year, CoreLogic data shows homes in negative equity dropped by 4 percent. Currently, only 2.2 million homeowners are in a negative equity scenario. Overall, the number is down 16 percent since last year.

By: Aly J Yale