Evidence is mounting that homebuyers may be coming back to the market, after demand plummeted in the past month due to the coronavirus.
Mortgage applications to buy a home rose last week, but refinance demand fell, causing total application volume to decline by 3.3% for the week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index.
Mortgage demand from homebuyers jumped 12%, signaling a potential turn in buyer confidence. Volume was still 20% lower than the same week one year ago. Real estate firms and listing websites have been reporting more buyer demand anecdotally over the past two weeks, and some homebuilders say they are also seeing buyers come back.
“The 10 largest states [by application volume] had increases in purchase activity, which is potentially a sign of the start of an upturn in the pandemic-delayed spring homebuying season, as coronavirus lockdown restrictions slowly ease in various markets,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. “California and Washington continued to show increases in purchase activity, with New York seeing a significant gain after declines in five of the last six weeks.”