Fannie Mae’s November Home Purchase Sentiment Index reports that the US housing market remains solid despite rising economic negativity to its highest level in a decade

MBA Weekly Applications Survey December 8, 2021: Rates Drop; Refis Up

The Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday in its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending December 3rd that mortgage interest rates declined for the first time in four weeks, spurring an increase in refinancing activity. 

The Market Composite Index gained by 2% over the previous week on a seasonally adjusted basis. The unadjusted Refinance Index rose 9% from the prior week, and the refinance percentage of total mortgage applications grew to 63.9 percent from 59.4 percent the week before. 

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index fell by 5% from the week prior. The FHA’s percentage of total applications grew to 9.9% from 8.9% the previous week. The share of overall applications submitted by veterans increased to 10.7%.

Home Purchase Sentiment Unfazed By Negative Economic SentimentM

Fannie Mae‘s November Home Purchase Sentiment Index reports that the US housing market remains solid despite rising economic negativity to its highest level in a decade (HPSI).

In November, the index fell 0.8 points to 74.7, with 74 percent of consumers believing now is a good time to sell a property and 29 percent considering it is an excellent time to buy. The HPSI was down 5.3 points from the same time last year.

However, any bad economic sentiment has yet to convert into a meaningful decline in actual demand for purchase mortgages. According to Mark Palim, Fannie Mae’s deputy chief economist, most of the pessimism about the economy’s direction is likely due to inflation. He also added that “An even greater share of consumers (particularly those with low and moderate incomes) expect mortgage rates to go up in the next 12 months, which may be a signal that some households plan to pull forward their home purchase plans; despite growing economic apprehension.” 

Weekly Jobless Claims Fall To 184,000,  Lowest Level In Over 52 Years

The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly unemployment claims fell to a new 52-year low last week as the US jobs market emerges from its pandemic-era rut.

The week ending December 4th saw 184,000 initial unemployment insurance claims, the lowest since September 6, 1969, when 182,000 were filed. Continuing claims increased from 38,000 to slightly under 2 million, a week below the headline number. The four-week moving average for continuing claims, which smooths out weekly volatility, fell by 54,250 to 2.03 million.

Next week’s potential market-moving reports are:

  • Monday, December 13th – No Report
  • Tuesday, December 14th – Small Business Index
  • Wednesday, December 15th – Home Builders’ Index, Federal Reserve FOMC Announcement
  • Thursday, December 16th – Initial Jobless Claims, Building Permits, and Housing Starts
  • Friday, December 17th – No Report

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