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Written by Cyndie Martini
on July 18, 2019

Credit Union managers holding out hope that the summer months will be brighter than the winter months for mortgage originations may be in luck. After a no-so-great 2018 and first part of 2019, originations are picking up. With mortgage rates between 3.625 percent to 3.8 percent, credit unions are seeing more mortgage activity in originations and refinancing.

Mortgage rates bottomed at the end of May, reaching their lowest point in nearly a year and a half. These low rates caused the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) to raise its second-quarter forecast for total first mortgages from a 1 percent drop to an 11 percent increase.

It isn't just mortgages that saw a trend change. Refinancing forecasts have improved as well. MBA had forecasted that second-quarter refinancing would fall by 15.3 percent to $100 billion. In May, that forecast changed to a rise of 23.7 percent to $146 billion.

Helping this trend is that fact that home demand is still strong. Although many younger buyers, saddled with large student loans, are getting priced out. Realtor.com's Housing Trend Report showed that home prices reached their highest level at $316,000 in June, which is earlier than expected. Realtor.com is expecting mortgage rates to hit 5.5 percent at the end of the year.

Realtor.com sees 2019 as being a difficult year for both buyers and sellers due to rising mortgage rates and house prices. They expect national inventory rates to remain below 7 percent and contained mainly to upscale homes in high-growth areas.

The effects of rising home cost are being felt in Florida, compounded by a shortage of homes. 

“There has been some modest increase in inventories in early 2019, but not nearly enough to satisfy the demand,” Rich Miller, Suncoast’s VP of mortgage originations, told cutimes.com.

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