Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Applications for Purchase Mortgages

  • Applications for purchase mortgages eased 0.6 percent for the week ending October 23rd after a 3.1 percent decline in the prior week, but the 4-week moving average remains strong. A boom and bust pattern developed around the implementation of the new TILA RESPA Integrated Documentation (TRID) closing documents and process also known as the Know Before You Owe rule on October 3rd.

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  • Subsequent to the implementation, purchase applications have fluctuated, but the 4-week moving average, a means of smoothing this weekly volatility, is still 15.4% stronger than a year earlier, though it slipped 8.3% from a week earlier as the strong post-TRID jump cycled out of this measure.
  • Conventional applications rose 0.8 percent relative to last week, while government applications slipped 3.8 percent.
  • The average contract rate on a 30-year fixed inched 3 basis points higher to 4.01 percent. Though slightly up from last week, it is well below the 4.17 percent average rate at the same time in 2014.  That difference is a savings of more than $220 a year on a $200,000 mortgage.
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