Magazine article Mortgage Banking

Tough to Call

Magazine article Mortgage Banking

Tough to Call

Article excerpt

Even the experts are having a hard time putting their finger on home-purchase volume this year. That's partly because home sales started the year so badly, but the spring months finally started to heat things up a bit.

Mike Fratantoni, chief economist of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), released a new forecast at the MBA National Secondary Market Conference & Expo on May 19 and the new numbers show purchase origination volume this year will be down over last year. In 2013, purchase originations totaled $652 billion. This year MBA's research team now expects that number to dip to $621 billion. But Fratantoni added that the second half of the year will be stronger than the first.

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And if you can wait around until 2015, things will be looking much brighter. Purchase lending in 2015 is forecast to reach $807 billion, according to MBA.

Fratantoni told a press lunch that a decline in existing-home sales this year over last year is a new element of the forecast. MBA is forecasting total existing-home sales in 2014 to drop below 5 million and total just 4.976 million. Last year the number was 5.073 million.

The weak start for home sales was evident in the purchase lending volume for the first quarter in the forecast. …

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