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September 18, 2013

Is Housing Losing Momentum?

September 18, 2013

Is Housing Losing Momentum?

MBA Mortgage Applications (Week ended 9/13/2013)

– Purchase Index Week/Week +3.0%. Previous weeks were -3.0%, -0.4%, +2.0%, +1.0%, -5.0%, +1.0%, -3.0%, -2.0%, +1.0%, and 3.0%.

– Refinance Index Week/Week +18%. Previous weeks were -20%, +2.0%, -5.0%, -8.0%, -4.0%, +0.0%, -4.0%, +1.0%, and -4.0%.

– Composite Index Week/Week +11.2%.  Previous weeks were -13.5%, +2.0%, -2.5%., -4.6%, -4.7%, +0.2%, -3.7%, -1.2%, -2.6%, and -4.0%.

The week-to-week gains are only because the previous week was extraordinarily terrible. Applications are flat if we look back several weeks.

Housing Starts (August 2013)

– Starts (seasonally adjusted, annualized) 891,000. Previous revised to 883,000

– Permits (seasonally adjusted, annualized) 918,000. Previous revised to 954,000.

August Starts were higher that July because July was revised down.  Single-family was +7.0%. Multi-family was 11.1%.

Housing Starts are losing the momentum they had and are flattening.  Higher rates are one factor and, at the start of next year, tougher mortgage qualifying standards mandated by CFPB will become a factor.