Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

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 applications declined 4.3 percent during the week ending September 30, continuing a trend of unpredictable activity, as interest rates on 30-year fixed mortgages declined from 4.24 to 4.18 percent.
  • Purchase applications posted a slight decline of 0.8 percent, while refinancing applications slid 5.2 percent.
  • Cash purchases—which account for 30 percent of transactions—were not captured in the data.
  • Based on the September ADP National Employment report, nonfarm private business employment increased by 91,000 jobs between August and September. Employment increased among small (<50 workers) and medium-sized (50-to-499 workers) businesses, and declined in large businesses.
  • The ADP figure does not include government jobs.  Friday’s employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is viewed as the most thorough measurement of the job market conditions and is likely to show slower job growth since many state and local governments have been cutting staff due to budget constraints.
  • Employment growth is slow by historical standards, and needs to pick up in order to reach sustainable economic growth.

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