You Won’t Believe How Quickly the Housing Market Is Heating Up

  • A closely-watched gauge of housing market demand hasn’t just recovered – it’s surged 18% over previous-year levels.
  • Mortgage applications for home purchases have climbed for seven consecutive weeks.
  • Threats remain, but for now, the housing market is heating up faster than almost anyone expected.

There was always hope that the U.S. housing market would recover quickly from its lockdown blues.

But it’s unlikely that even the most bullish economists foresaw that it would snap back this rapidly.

This Housing Market Data Is Seriously Impressive

Mortgage applications for home purchases are 18% higher than a year ago – and any week during 2019. | Source: Yardeni Research, Data via MBA

The latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association confirms that homebuying activity is going from strength to strength. Mortgage applications for home purchases – a proxy for demand – rose for a seventh consecutive week, climbing a seasonally adjusted 5% to close out the last full week of May.

It would be tempting to brush off this data as evidence of how much demand disappeared during the lockdown rather than an indication of the housing market’s fundamental strength.

But that’s just not the case. Demand isn’t merely bouncing back. It’s getting closer and closer to breaching a new yearly high.

Unadjusted purchase volume is up an unfathomable 18% from the same week a year ago.

In fact, volume is higher than at any point in 2019.

And while applications for home purchases haven’t quite reached their pre-pandemic peak, they’re higher than at any level since the first-time homebuyer tax credit expired in 2010.

“Purchase applications continued their recent ascent, increasing 5 percent last week and 18 percent compared to a year ago. The pent-up demand from homebuyers returning to the market continues to support a recovery from the weekly declines observed earlier this spring,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of…

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