Mortgage Applications Rise, but Mostly for Wealthy Buyers

March 18, 2019

With mortgage rates lower than they have been in previous months, more buyers are jumping into the market, at least at the high-end. Total mortgage application volume increased 2.3 percent over the last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Applications for loans to purchase a home are up 4 percent from the week before, and up 2 percent from a year ago, which is good news for a market facing low affordability and availability. The bad news is that, while there may be more homes available, they are not necessarily more affordable. The average loan size reached a record high of $326,000. This is well above the median home value, which in January stood at $247,500, according to the National Association of Realtors. This suggests that any momentum in the housing market is being driven by high-end buyers, and that first-time, entry-level buyers may continue to have a hard time purchasing.  

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