Home sales up, mortgage applications drop
Posted February 22, 2012
We’re seeing continued good news for housing both here in the Triangle and across the nation.
The latest existing home sales report from the National Association of Realtors showed a 4.3% increase in existing home sales for January. This increase was the fastest rise the market has experienced since May 2010. Inventories have also dropped, giving us a six month supply which is much closer to what housing economists define as a healthy level of supply, and it’s also the lowest level we’ve seen in almost seven years. Home prices are still depressed in many parts of the country, and lower prices combined with low interest rates are a big reason that sales are continuing to climb.
Not surprisingly, because of the recent uptick in mortgage rates, mortgage applications were down for the week ending February 17th according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Refinances dropped almost five percent for the week, and purchases slipped about three percent. The overall percentage of refinances as it relates to total mortgage transactions also dipped slightly as well.