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"Mortgage Demand Declines Weekly as Interest Rates Reach 22-Year High"

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Mortgage Demand Drops as Interest Rates Reach 22-Year High

Impact of Rising Mortgage Rates

Last week, mortgage rates increased for the third consecutive week, reaching a 22-year high. Consequently, mortgage demand experienced a decline. According to the Mortgage Banker's Association's seasonally adjusted index, total mortgage application volume was 29% lower compared to the same week one year ago.

Contract Interest Rates and Points

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances rose to 7.16% from 7.09%. Additionally, points decreased to 0.68 from 0.70 for loans with a 20% down payment. These figures mark the third consecutive weekly increase and the highest level since October 2022.

Factors Influencing Mortgage Demand

Elevated Treasury Rates and Economic Resiliency

Joel Kan, an MBA economist, noted that elevated Treasury rates, driven by mixed data on inflation and indications of economic resiliency, pose a challenge to the Federal Reserve's efforts to lower inflation. Consequently, mortgage demand from homebuyers remained relatively flat week to week and was 26% lower compared to the same week one year ago.

Refinancing Applications and New Home Purchases

Applications to refinance a home loan fell by 2% for the week and were 35% lower compared to the same week one year ago. However, applications for mortgages to purchase newly built homes increased by 35.5% in July year over year, according to a separate MBA report. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) share of these applications reached its highest level since May 2020, indicating a growing preference among first-time homebuyers for new homes due to limited inventory and affordability challenges in the existing housing market. In conclusion, the rise in mortgage rates has resulted in a decline in mortgage demand. While refinancing applications have decreased, there is an increasing trend in applications for mortgages to purchase newly built homes, particularly among first-time homebuyers. The impact of rising interest rates on the housing market continues to be a significant factor to monitor.

Hot Take: Implications for New Businesses Amidst Rising Mortgage Rates

Understanding Market Dynamics

The rise in mortgage rates and subsequent drop in mortgage demand highlight the importance of understanding market dynamics for new businesses. The current scenario underscores the need for businesses, especially those in the real estate and financial sectors, to stay abreast of economic indicators and adjust their strategies accordingly.

Opportunities Amid Challenges

Despite the overall decline in mortgage demand, the increase in applications for mortgages to purchase newly built homes presents an opportunity. This trend suggests a shift in consumer preference towards new homes, which could be a potential growth area for businesses in the housing and construction sectors.

Adapting to Changing Market Conditions

The impact of rising interest rates on mortgage demand illustrates the need for businesses to adapt to changing market conditions. New businesses, in particular, must be flexible and responsive to market shifts to stay competitive and seize emerging opportunities. In conclusion, the current mortgage market dynamics offer valuable insights for new businesses. By understanding these dynamics and adapting to changing market conditions, new businesses can navigate challenges and capitalize on opportunities, thereby driving their growth and success in the market.
Article First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/08/16/weekly-mortgage-demand-drops-again-as-interest-rates-match-a-22-year-high.html
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