Homebuyers are finally easing up on their purchasing frenzy thanks to rising mortgage rates, according to CNBC.
What’s happening: “Mortgage applications to purchase a home dropped 10% last week compared with the previous week, seasonally adjusted, and were 12% lower year over year, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The average loan size hit another record high at $446,000, indicating that most of the buying activity is on the higher end of the market, where there is comparatively more supply.”
- The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage increased from 3.78% to 3.83% last week.
Why: Total for-sale homes inventory declined 28% nationally from January 2021 to January 2022, and new listings fell 9%, according to Realtor.com.
- “‘We’re forecasting a whirlwind year ahead for buyers, and, if January housing trends are any indication, 2022 competition is already heating up. Homes sold at a record-fast January pace, suggesting that buyers are more active than usual for this time of year,’ said Danielle Hale, Realtor.com’s chief economist.”
The fallout: Refinance applications dipped 7% for the week and were 52% lower than in the same week last year.
- “There is a shrinking population of borrowers who can benefit from a refinance now, about half as many as there were one year ago.”
The NAM’s take: “The housing market has struggled with issues of affordability over the past year, with soaring building costs, historically low inventories, worker shortages and rising rates sending home prices dramatically higher,” said NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray. “Affordability is likely going to continue being a challenge this year, with home prices likely squeezing out some would-be homebuyers.”