MReport December 2020

TheMReport — News and strategies for the evolving mortgage marketplace.

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54 | M REPORT O R I G I NAT I O N S E R V I C I N G DATA G O V E R N M E N T S E C O N DA R Y M A R K E T THE LATEST DATA Has Demand Reached Its Peak? BuidFax report details slowing growth in housing activity. T he experts at BuildFax, a leading provider of property condition and history data for insurance and financial institutions, recently released its report covering housing activity for October. According to the report, housing activity is still on the rise. However, the rate of growth of this activity has slowed a bit from September's numbers. Specifically, BuildFax data showed that the number of single- family housing authorizations during October rose (increasing 2.24% year over year and 3.72% month over month) yet did not experience as much growth from the month prior (September authorizations rose 6.09% year over year). The report revealed that while the economy may be recovering since taking a hit due to the pan - demic, driving new construction forward, homebuyer demand may have peaked. Fueling this belief is the fact that data showed October's mortgage applications remaining flat essentially flat overall. Some experts predict that this slowing of housing activity could continue as we approach and en - ter the winter months, with many professionals pointing to how the housing market will be affected by the recent conflicting news regarding the coronavirus vaccine. The maintenance and remodel - ing activity remained robust, a healthy showing that experts credit much to the current histori- cally low mortgage rates currently being enjoyed and a robust hous- ing demand coupled with tight supply. Specifically, maintenance volume rose (5.23% year over year) during October. The spending, however, stayed somewhat static (dipping a mere 0.05% year over year). Regarding remodels (which included in its criteria covers things like home renovations, additions, and alterations), this niche experienced an uptick in the volume of 4.59% and a rise in spending of 2.48% (both year over year). Jonathan Kanarek, Managing Director at BuildFax, summed up the report and offered the next steps for the future: "Housing activity remains robust in October spurred by historically low mort - gage rates and strong demand. However, this trend may begin to slow—as seen with new con- struction this month. The recent announcement of a vaccine candi- date against COVID-19 has shown conflicting signals within housing stocks. We're closely monitoring how the news could impact a po - tential reversal in mortgage rates and homebuilder trends."

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