Mortgage Applications Increase For The First Time In 6 Weeks

U.S. home
mortgage applications rosefor the first time in six weeks, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

In the week ended Dec. 6, mortgage applications edged up 1%.

Though, “It was not spectacular,” according to UBS’ Art Cashin. “Purchase apps rose by merely 1% and [re-financing] by 2%. The good news is that the multi-week decline has ended or at least paused.”

CNBC’s Diana Olick writes that “the days of the 3.5% 30-year fixed are over.”

“Rates are already up well over a full percentage point from a year ago, and as the Federal Reserve begins its much anticipated exit from the bond-buying business, I believe rates will inevitably go higher,” she writes.

“How much that affects home sales will depend entirely on job and wage growth. Mortgage underwriting will remain tight, but buyers with solid credit should be able to weather slightly higher rates. By historical standards, they are still relatively low. It is less rate and more availability that will continue to hamper sales.”

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