For the first half of 2013, expectations for mortgage volumes were on the low end of the spectrum. Today's Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) numbers downplay the underlying strength of the housing market. Although total mortgage volume for the first quarter of 2013 dropped 6% quarter-over-quarter, it remains up 6.8% on a year-over-year basis. The same goes for purchase and refinancing volumes, which are up 14.4% and 8% year-over-year, respectively.
Despite a slight increase in rates (up 0.1%) for Federal Housing Authority loans on April 1st, overall demand remains strong. Housing data continues to show improvement and low mortgage rates should help motivate buyers from both an affordability and action standpoint.