Soaring ARM Demand Amid Rising Rates ARM demand saw a significant increase last week, likely due to shifts in interest rates and market conditions. With the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rising to...

By Angela Ruth

entrepreneur daily

This story originally appeared on Due

ARM demand saw a significant increase last week, likely due to shifts in interest rates and market conditions. With the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rising to 7.67%, and that of 5/1 ARMs dropping to 6.33%, ARM demand experienced a 15% growth during the week. This change signifies that borrowers are searching for more affordable and flexible mortgage options in response to the fluctuating financial scenario.

As interest rates remain volatile, prospective homeowners must carefully consider the pros and cons of various mortgage types to find the one most suitable for their financial situation and long-term objectives.

Mortgage application volume and interest rates

The Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted index reveals that mortgage application volume increased by 0.6% from the previous week, as 30-year-fixed mortgage rates reached their highest level since 2000. However, ARM rates saw a decline. The gap between ARM rates and the 30-year fixed rate, which had been unusually narrow lately, expanded last week, indicating that more borrowers may now be gravitating towards adjustable-rate mortgages to capitalize on the slightly lower rates. Consequently, lenders and borrowers are expected to continue monitoring the movement of interest rates closely to make informed decisions about their mortgage and financing options.

ARM demand and applications growth

Joel Kan, vice president and deputy chief economist for the MBA, informed that ARM applications have increased by 15%, accounting for a 9.2% share of all applications – the largest proportion since November 2022. "The yield curve has become less inverted in recent weeks, and ARM pricing has certainly improved," Kan added. This surge in ARM applications suggests that borrowers are exploring alternatives to conventional fixed-rate mortgages to exploit more attractive adjustable-rate offerings. Moreover, the shift in the yield curve and enhanced pricing may continue impacting mortgage trends and decision-making for potential homebuyers in the upcoming months.

Refinancing and purchase applications

Application activity experienced a marginal increase in refinancing applications, up 0.3% from the previous week but 9% lower than the same week last year. Despite the minor rise in refinancing applications, the overall results still demonstrated a downward trend compared to the previous year's figures. Experts believe that the current market conditions could be contributing to the ongoing decline in refinancing.

Mortgage applications for purchasing a home increased by 1% for the week, but they were still 19% below the level seen in the same week one year ago. The rise in mortgage applications indicates that more people are contemplating home purchases despite the current dip compared to last year's figures. Factors such as increasing vaccination rates, economic recovery, and low mortgage rates could contribute to the gradual growth in home buying interest.

Impact on the housing market

Kan emphasized that application activity remains depressed and near multi-decade lows. "Purchase applications are still almost 20% behind last year's pace," he remarked. This statistic indicates a substantial lag in the housing market recovery, as many potential buyers hesitate to commit to home purchases. Ongoing economic uncertainty and constraints brought about by the pandemic persist in affecting individuals' willingness to enter the housing market, contributing to this slowdown in purchase applications.

Affordability and loan size

The current average loan size is at its lowest point since 2017, indicating that the majority of sales activity is focused at the lower end of the market, with participation from first-time homebuyers and people with lower incomes.

This trend highlights the growing affordability concerns in the nation's housing market and the increased efforts to cater to an underserved demographic. Moreover, it raises questions as to whether this market shift will be sustainable over time, considering the factors contributing to high property prices and ongoing housing demands.

FAQs

Why has ARM demand seen a significant increase recently?

ARM demand has increased due to shifts in interest rates and market conditions, with the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rising and that of 5/1 ARMs dropping. This change means borrowers are searching for more affordable and flexible mortgage options in response to the fluctuating financial scenario.

What are the current trends in mortgage application volume and interest rates?

The Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted index reveals that mortgage application volume increased by 0.6% from the previous week. However, the gap between ARM rates and the 30-year fixed rate expanded, indicating that more borrowers may now be gravitating towards adjustable-rate mortgages to capitalize on slightly lower rates.

How has the growth in ARM applications impacted the mortgage market?

This surge in ARM applications suggests that borrowers are exploring alternatives to conventional fixed-rate mortgages to exploit more attractive adjustable-rate offerings. The shift in the yield curve and enhanced pricing may continue impacting mortgage trends and decision-making for potential homebuyers in upcoming months.

What are the recent trends in refinancing and purchase applications?

Refinancing applications increased by 0.3% from the previous week, while mortgage applications for purchasing a home increased by 1% for the week. However, both figures are lower than the levels seen during the same period in the previous year, indicating a downward trend in application activity.

How is the current situation impacting the housing market?

Application activity remains depressed and near multi-decade lows, with purchase applications being almost 20% behind last year's pace. Ongoing economic uncertainty and pandemic-related constraints persist in affecting individuals' willingness to enter the housing market, contributing to this slowdown in purchase applications.

What do the current trends in affordability and loan size tell us about the housing market?

The current average loan size is at its lowest point since 2017, indicating that the majority of sales activity is focused on the lower end of the market. This trend highlights growing affordability concerns in the nation's housing market and increased efforts to cater to an underserved demographic. It also raises questions about the sustainability of this market shift in light of factors contributing to high property prices and ongoing housing demands.

The post Soaring ARM Demand Amid Rising Rates appeared first on Due.

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