Market Forecast: Existing Home Sales, Mortgage Apps, and New Home Sales

Blog posted On April 20, 2020

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Mortgage rates trended lower last week.  Although coronavirus or Covid-19-related closures have caused many closures and slowdowns, banks and lenders are fully operational.  This week, the existing home sales and new home sales reports are both scheduled for release.  The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) weekly mortgage application survey comes out on Wednesday.

Existing home sales or the sales of previously constructed homes account for approximately 90% of real estate transactions.  In February, existing home sales jumped 6.5% month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 5.77 million, the strongest sales pace since 2007.  This data predates the coronavirus shutdowns, and March’s data will likely reflect the slowdown.

The weekly mortgage application survey showed a composite increase of 7.3% for the week ending 4/10.  More homeowners appear to be taking advantage of lower mortgage rates.  Refinance application submissions jumped 10.0% and new purchase application submissions declined 2.0%. 

New home sales or the sales of newly constructed homes account for approximately 10% of real estate transactions.  New home sales fell 4.4% month-over-month in February to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 765,000 units.  Again, this data was reported before coronavirus closures that will likely impact March’s data.

Parts of the mortgage process have changed due to the state and federal social distancing restrictions.  Many Realtors and real estate agents are also offering virtual tours or video tours of homes to make it possible for buyers to view their prospective new homes from a safe distance.  If you have any questions about buying a home or refinancing a loan, let us know. 


Sources: Econoday, MarketWatch, MarketWatch, Mortgage News Daily, Reuters