Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Daily Economic Update: Mortgage Purchase Applications

Each day the Research staff takes a look at recently released economic indicators, addressing what these indicators mean for REALTORS® and their clients. Today’s update highlights mortgage purchase applications.


  • Mortgage purchase applications rose 12.5 percent for the week ending March 4th, although they were down 14.3 percent from the same week a year ago.  Purchase applications are a leading indicator of home sales.
  • However, purchase applications do not always translate into loan acceptances and transactions. Also, purchase applications do not take into consideration cash buyers who according to the January REALTORS® Confidence Index make up as much as 32 percent of transactions. In Las Vegas and Miami, the cash purchases have said to approach 50 percent.
  • Consumers took advantage of low mortgage rates, which rose slightly to 4.93 percent on a 30-year fixed mortgage. Refinances, which accounted for 65.5 percent of mortgage activity, fell 17.2 percent.
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