Spring is the busiest season for home buyers. Naturally, there’s a lot of analysis of buying conditions as it approaches. Things like mortgage rates, the economy, prices, for-sale housing inventory, and home buyer demand can all be used to predict how busy or slow the season will be.
One early sign came with this week’s Applications Survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association. The survey measures demand for refinance and home purchase loans. The most recent results show a significant surge in demand over the previous week. In fact, total mortgage loan demand was up 13.5 percent (seasonally adjusted) from one week earlier and requests for loans to buy homes was 11 percent higher than the same time last year.
Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s senior vice president and chief economist, said the spike might be a hopeful sign. “Uncertainty regarding the government shutdown, slowing global growth, Brexit, a more patient Fed, and a volatile stock market continued to keep rates from increasing,” Fratantoni said. “The spring home buying season is almost upon us, and if interest rates stay lower, inventory continues to grow, and the job market maintains its strength, we do expect to see a solid spring market.”