Mortgage rates remained at record lows in the latest survey but have inched higher in the latest survey. The MBA reports that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose four basis points to 2.92% with 0.37 in points for the week ended January 15, 2021. The Market Composite Index, a measure of total mortgage loan application volume, fell 1.9%, the Purchase Index was up 3% while the Refinance Index declined by 5%. The 30-yr fixed-rate mortgage increased to 2.92% from 2.88% with 0.33 in points. Spokesperson Joe Khan said, "Purchase applications remained strong based on current housing demand, rising over the week and up a noteworthy 15% from last year."
Home builder confidence slipped in January from December due in part to rising prices for materials. The National Association of Home Builders reports that its Housing Market Index for newly-built single-family homes fell three points to 83 in January from December. The index remains at historically high levels. Lumber prices have risen from $264 in March to the current price of $662. NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke said, “Builders are grappling with supply-side constraints related to lumber and other material costs, a lack of affordable lots and labor shortages that delay delivery times and put upward pressure on home prices."
Fannie Mae recently released its Economic and Housing Outlook forecasting that due to the COVID-19 vaccinations, stimulus and warmer weather ahead, the economic outlook has taken on a brighter picture. Fannie predicts that Gross Domestic Product will rise to 5.3% for 2021 and a more normal level of a 3.6% increase in 2022. Total home sales are expected to rise by 3.8% in 2021 than in 2020, while single-family housing starts are expected to increase 12.5%. Total originations in 2021 and 2022 originations are expected to decelerate to $3.9 trillion and $3.2 trillion, respectively.