Academy Mortgage is pleased to report that the real estate industry is continuing to strengthen, as mortgage applications rise while mortgage rates remain affordable.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage applications have increased for the second week in a row. For the week ending Sept. 3, 2014, total mortgage applications increased 0.2 percent when compared to the week before.

As reported by the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates were largely unchanged for the week ending Aug. 28, 2014. At that time, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.1 percent, which were unchanged from the week before, while 15-year mortgages hit 3.25 percent.

“Existing-home sales rose for the fourth consecutive month to an annualized pace of 5.15 million, the highest of the year,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist at Freddie Mac. “On the other hand, new-home sales fell for the third consecutive month to an annualized rate of 412,000 units. Also, the S&P/Case-Shiller national home price index confirmed the slowing in national house-price appreciation that has occurred in other metrics, with the seasonally adjusted national index down 0.1 percent in June but on a year-over-year basis up a solid 6.2 percent.”

Another positive factor in the real estate industry is slightly relaxed standards in lending. The average credit scores for all first-lien loans was 727 in July 2014, which was down from 728 in June 2014 and 737 in July 2013. In addition, 32 percent of all closed loans in July 2014 had an average FICO score of less than 700, which is compared with just 25 percent in July 2013. As the average credit score needed to secure a loan continues to decrease, more prospective home buyers will become eligible borrowers and therefore homeowners.

Overall, purchasing a home is still an extremely affordable option for most prospective buyers. With a strengthening market and rising inventory, more and more Americans will soon be living in the home of their dreams.


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