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Trade War Could Be Hurting Mortgage Applications

September 4, 2019

 The Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey of mortgage applications dipped last week. The trade group says it may be attributable to the ongoing trade war with China.


HousingWire reports the MBA’s survey, for the week ending Aug. 30, 2019, shows mortgage applications fell by 3.1% on a seasonally adjusted basis from last week. On an unadjusted basis, the Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, fell 3.1% compared with the previous week.


“Ongoing trade tensions between the U.S. and China led to volatile, yet declining Treasury rates last week, causing the 30-year fixed mortgage rate to fall to 3.87%, its lowest level since November 2016,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting.


That’s in line with a recent poll from Reuters. The overall response to the poll saw 70% of respondents leaning on the side of negative effects in the housing market outlook. Reuters determined the current 3% average rise expected for residential property across the United States this year is the weakest since quarterly polling for calendar 2019 began in February 2017, despite a complete reversal in Fed policy and market expectations for at least two more rate cuts this year.


Click on the image above for more perspective on the trade war’s impact on the mortgage industry.

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