Credit agency Equifax recently reported that despite fears that the new disclosure rules would curtail mortgage lending, originations in 2015 far exceeded 2014. The Equifax National Consumer Credit Trends Report for March 2016 revealed that there were a total of $1.82 trillion new first mortgages in 2015, a near 43% increase from 2014's $1.27 trillion. To break the numbers down even further, the average dollar amount of new first mortgages rose to $236,057 in 2015, up from the $217,390 in 2014.
Mortgage application volumes rose in the latest week as interest rates declined after Fed Chair Janet Yellen advised a cautious approach to raising interest rates in 2016. The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that its Market Composite Index, a measure of total mortgage loan application volume, rose 2.7% in the latest week, led by a surge in refinancing. Refinance volume jumped 7%, while the total refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 54.5%. This, however, is still below levels seen last year this time.
The red hot rental market showed signs of a cool down in the first quarter of 2016 after growing like wildfire in the previous seven quarters. Annual rent gains in the first quarter of 2016 were still a somewhat strong 4.1%, but that is below the 5% increase seen in the first quarter of 2015. Rent gains have been the highest in the largest metropolitan markets, but now are starting to cool a bit. Younger workers were priced out of those large metro areas, and subsequently moved to smaller cities, which are now starting to rise.
Mortgage application volumes rose in the latest week as interest rates declined after Fed Chair Janet Yellen advised a cautious approach to raising interest rates in 2016, Mortgage Expert Tim Carroll agrees.
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