Jump in rates doesn’t deter homebuyers, as mortgage applications increase 4%

Mortgage rates moved solidly higher last week, but lenders saw no letup in loan demand.
Mortgage application volume rose 4 percent from the previous week. The Mortgage Bankers Association included an adjustment for the Martin Luther King Day holiday. Volume continues to lag last year, however, by 18 percent, mostly due to the falloff in loan refinances since rates shot up after the presidential election. 

Housing Starts Cool Off in January

Overall housing production declined in January after an unusually robust reading in the multifamily sector in December, but economists were unfazed. “As we move forward in 2017, we can expect the multifamily sector to continue to stabilize and single-family production to move forward at a gradual but consistent pace,” says Robert Dietz, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders.

New-Home Prices Hit Record High

The median price for a new single-family home reached a record high in May of $345,800, the Commerce Department reports. Buyers will be paying a huge premium for new construction, as new-home prices are now 16.8 percent higher than they were a year ago.