AB Data: Purchase Applications Up 18% Year Over Year

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The housing bubble 2.0 boys are quiet lately?

Take the extremes out of housing, both bearish and bullish, and make the conversation more in the middle, and you will find the truth.

18% year over year growth is the best rate of growth in 2020, and it happened in the highest volume heat month of the data line. It has been a wild ride with this data in 2020 due to the virus. Here is a look at purchase application data during the AD (After the Disease) stage. Remember, purchase application data was showing positive double-digit growth year over year all the way until March 18th. Then lockdown protocols took over due to the virus.

AD data
-11% –
-24%
-35%
-31%
-20%
-19%
-10%
-1.5%
+9%
+18%

From Calculated Risk:
https://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2020/06/mba-mortgage-applications-decreased.html

MBAJune32020

Like I have stressed recently, be patient with housing data, wait until July 15th, and then take a look at all of June’s housing data to get a more realistic starting point. Then we can take it from there because the data is simply too wild and can lag. Also, the best sales data we have had in housing came in the winter months, excluding the previous cycle high in demand that we saw in February of 2020. Don’t be locked into the mindset that the best sales data has to come in the spring or the summer months.

From Doug Short:
https://www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/2020/05/21/existing-home-sales-drop-in-april

May Existing Home Sales Report
June's Pending Home Sales

Recently I gave an update on the 5 things I need to see get U.S. economy to the AB (America is Back) stage of the economic cycle.

Is the housing market already rebounding from COVID-19?

With housing, stay in the middle and don’t go into the record-breaking demand, no homes to buy crowd either. Stay away from the extremes in housing, and you will walk the right path.  We have a lot of economic issues still to deal with due to this virus, but don’t ever forget that the housing economy is driven by demographics and mortgage rates. Both of these 2 things are looking good in America. This is one factor why we didn’t see the crash in purchase application data continue. This doesn’t mean a housing boom, but it takes away the marketing campaign of a housing bubble crash off the headlines.

Logan Mohtashami is a financial writer and blogger covering the U.S. economy with a specialization in the housing market. Logan Mohtashami is a senior loan officer at AMC Lending Group, which has been providing mortgage services for California residents since 1987. Logan also tracks all economic data daily on his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Logan.Mohtashami and is a contributor for HousingWire.

4 thoughts

    1. Credit got tight on non QM loans, Jumbo loans and lower fico score FHA loans. Outside of that things are moving a long the same. Those areas of the housing market are relatively small. I would estimate 4.5%-6.2% of loans that could have been done before March 9th are having a harder time getting done. However, recently things are getting better on the credit side.

  1. Thanks. I appreciate your “middle of the road” take. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the next six months. Price action happens in the margins. Pent up demand from the lockdown may boost prices in the near term. The more interesting question to me is around forbearance turning to default and affecting price action in a negative direction. If the lenders sort it out with those in forbearance it could be no big deal.

    1. 1. I don’t believe in the pent up demand thesis, I think it’s more of a marketing tool for economics.

      2. Home price growth is way too strong this year, we need to root for a lower rate of growth of pricing.

      3. The foreclosure issue will never be as big as people make it out to be because the velocity of scale is much smaller during a stronger demographic patch. It’s the opposite of what happened from 2006-2011. However, it’s a 2021 story for sure as we will see foreclosure happen. However, they will delay this as much as they can.

      4. My biggest fear in years 2020-2024 is price growth is much stronger than 4.6% nominal growth each year because we have the biggest housing demographic patch ever recorded in history from years 2020-2024 with the lowest mortgage rates ever recorded in history. As long as mortgage rates stay below 4.5% that is bad backdrop for accelerated price growth. This isn’t what we want to see in housing.

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