New statistics imply possible warming of market

Home prices rose for the second quarter this year, according to Freddie Mac, buttressing data suggesting that the nation’s housing market is warming up.

Its home-price-growth index rose 0.9 percent in the third quarter, following an upwardly revised 2 percent pickup in the second quarter.  The increases of the past two quarters made up for about two-fifths of the declines registered during the final quarter of 2008 and the first quarter of 2009.  U.S. home-sale prices were down 3.9 percent year-over-year. Continue reading

Loan applications shoot up, but lag last year

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) says loan application volume for the week ending Dec. 4 increased 8.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the change was 54.0 percent compared with the previous week, which was shortened by Thanksgiving.

Activity for refinancings was up 11.1 percent from the previous week, rising on a seasonally adjusted basis by 4.0 percent from the previous week.

Unadjusted, purchase volume was 41.7 percent higher than the previous week but 18.8 percent lower than the same week one year ago. Continue reading