Sep 25, 2019

U.S. mortgage rates rise while applications and home prices slow

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The housing market continued to slow as mortgage applications fell 10.1% from last week, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) weekly survey.

Why it matters: The MBA survey released this morning follows weak numbers from the Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, which rose just 2% month-over-month in July and did not rise at all on a monthly basis after seasonal adjustments.

  • This represents the slowest rate of home price appreciation since 2012.

The intrigue: Despite a fall in U.S. Treasury yields and the Fed cutting overnight interest rates last week, the average U.S. 30-year mortgage rate ticked up above 4%, MBA's data showed.

  • "[D]espite falling yields, mortgage rates ticked up again and have risen 20 basis points over the past two weeks,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting.
  • “The increase in rates led to fewer refinances, and activity has now dropped 17 percent over the last two weeks.”

Go deeper: Millennials are relandscaping the housing market

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The global real estate rethink

Reproduced from UBS; Chart: Axios Visuals

Housing and real estate are going through a period of systemic change that could reshape how we think about the sector in years to come.

What's happening: Prices in the largest U.S. cities have stagnated for the first time since 2011, mortgage applications are falling and even ultra low interest rates have not been enough to lure buyers back to the market, data shows.

Go deeperArrowOct 1, 2019

Existing home sales remain mediocre

Data: Investing.com; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. existing home sales fell 2.2% in September as the housing market continues to tread water with a dearth of properties for sale, especially cheaper homes, and a lack of interested buyers despite historically low mortgage rates.

Why it matters: It's the latest example of the U.S. real estate market's continued struggles.

Go deeperArrowOct 23, 2019

The missing housing boom

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The real estate market should be experiencing a boom — but it's not. In fact, the U.S. housing market has been stagnant for the last 3 years and is beginning to turn lower, data shows.

Why it matters: Anyone who bought residential property in the last 40 years, even at the height of a bubble, has been able to count on rising home values. But those days may be over: Real estate prices have far outpaced incomes and lost their correlation to them.

Go deeperArrowOct 21, 2019