Demand for purchase loans rose the first week in April even though interest rates rose slightly from record lows, even outreaching the demand for refinancing. This gives hope to the hard-hit housing market as Spring approaches, generally the high season for purchases.
The Mortgage Bankers Association and various lenders have reported an increase in applications these past few weeks. We,at InSight Mortgage Group, have been blessed with many new applications. Many economists believe that our economy will begin to emerge from its slump when the housing market stabilizes. And the growing demand of refi’s due to the low rates available, can provide some relief to burdened consumers by providing them with lower monthly payments.
A ray of hope is actually found in Calilfornia, the hardest hit state in the housing bust. The median single family home price recently was down 41% from a year earlier and new home construction starts had almost disappeared. But, is the worst now over? Inventory is shrinking, investors are coming back, and sales volume is increasing.
More than 600,000 homes were purchased in February this year. The numbers show that the majority of the sales were bank owned foreclosures. And some areas, according to the California Association of Realtors spokesperson, are seeing slight increases in price per square foot, which is a hopeful indicator. The market is seeing an increase of investor purchased properties too.
The best indicator of positive change is in the inventory supply. A year ago it was 15 months, now it’s at 6.5 months! Generally a six-seven month supply of homes is considered a “normal” market. Nationally, the market has an overall 9.7 month supply.
And, according to the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders), model homes are seeing a lot more foot traffic due to combination of the first-time homebuyer credit, low interest rates, and affordable prices. Joe Robson, NAHB chairman, reports "consumer interest is increasing”. He also reported that approximately 1.5 M visitors have logged on to their website to learn more about the $8,000 tax credit for first time homebuyers.
And for us, locally the numbers are good too. According to the National Association of Realtors home sales in the Midwest jumped 14.5%. We should have the local Kansas City regional numbers for March soon.
If the hardest hit area begins to show signs of slight improvement, what does that mean for the rest us?
Call us at InSight Mortgage Group, 913-642-3334, for the good news on purchase and refinance rates. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your good news stories to share. Have a blessed day.