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Housing Finance Watch (Week 44, 2023)
AEI
2023.11.08
The median purchase rate dropped by 1/4 ppts. to 7.5% in week 44.
Mortgage News Daily reported a daily avg. 30-year rate of 7.48% on November 6th.
Boosted by the falling rates, purchase volume was up 15% from last week and down 30% from the same week in 2019. This 30% decline compared to 2019 is about the same as the YTD decline.
Y-o-y HPA was 4.8% in September 2023, up from 4.6% in August 2023 but down from 8.9% in September 2022. It is projected to remain around 5% for October, November, and the first half of December 2023.
Despite the subdued rate of purchase activity and historically high rates, y-o-y HPA has begun to accelerate. This is because buyers are well-qualified and highly motivated by a historically tight supply. While unemployment is increasing, it is still low at 3.9%, along with low levels of foreclosures in most areas, work from home, and continued home price arbitrage opportunities help provide support for HPA.
As interest rates have moved sharply higher since mid-2022, no cash-out volume has disappeared almost entirely.
Cash-out volume has also contracted sharply due to higher rates, but has hovered between 30,000 to 42,0000 loans since November 2022. This is down over 80% from a peak of 250,000 loans in October 2021.
For the mortgage industry, things will almost certainly get worse before they get better. We are expecting the total agency loan volume (refi and purchase loans combined) to decrease to 125,000-150,000 by January 2024. This would be a 15%-30% decline from the series low (combined volume of 175,000) set in January 2023.