Market Recap: Mortgage Apps Up, Builder Sentiment Improves, Housing Starts and Building Permits Delayed

Blog posted On January 18, 2019

As of Friday, 1/18/19, the US government remains partially shutdown.  Due to the government shutdown, the release of the housing starts and building permits reports have been delayed.  Mortgage application submissions increased across the board and builder sentiment has improved.

The Mortgage Bankers Associations (MBA) weekly mortgage application survey improved again for the week ending 1/11.  New purchase application submissions increased 9.0% and refinance application submissions increased 19.0% for a composite increase of 13.5%.  MBA chief economist Mike Fratantoni noted the data may be indicative of a strong home buying season ahead “If rates stay lower, inventory continues to grow, and the job market maintains its strength, we do expect to see a solid spring market.”

The National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) housing market sentiment index was positive in January, gaining two points to a level of 58.  Current sales conditions increased to 63, sales expectations for the next six months are up to 64, and buyer foot traffic improved to 44.  Any reading above 50 is considered positive.  After two months of declines, home builders’ outlook has improved.  Recent strength in mortgage application submission suggests home buyers are back on the market after a December hiatus.

The release of housing starts and building permits was delayed due to the government shutdown.

Although the US government is still in a state of shutdown, most mortgage origination activity will continue uninterrupted.  If you have a question about your current mortgage or a particular loan program, please let me know. 


Sources: CNBC, Econoday, MarketWatch, MarketWatch, Mortgage News Daily