Mortgage Demand Crashes Suddenly

( )- Despite impressive fourth-quarter earnings of $5.1 billion in revenue, mostly from existing sales, PulteGroup, one of the biggest homebuilders in America, saw a decline in new house orders.

Nick Gerli, CEO and founder of Reventure Consulting, tweeted, “PulteGroup, the third biggest builder in America, recently announced a catastrophic -41% decrease in sales in Q4 2022.”

In the fourth quarter, the homebuilder’s new orders decreased by 41% to 3,964 units due to higher mortgage rates, less affordability, reduced consumer confidence, and weaker demand.

Even though there has been a slowdown in interest rate increases and a healthier start to the year in January, mortgage demand is falling.

According to the seasonally adjusted index released by the Mortgage Bankers Association on February 1st, the total number of mortgage applications fell by 9% for the week ending January 27 compared to the week before.

In contrast to the 3.78 percent rate during the same time in 2022, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with conforming loan balances—$726,200 or less—fell from 6.20 percent to 6.19 percent.

After the sluggish Christmas season, homeowners saw a modest increase in their borrowing opportunities. However, because of the high rates, there are still very few borrowers who can profit from refinancing at this time, and while demand starts to decline again in February, it witnessed an increase for most of January.

Mortgage applications for house purchases decreased by 10% for the week and were 41% lower than a year ago.

Although mortgage rates and house prices seem to have peaked for the time being, there are still a historically low number of available properties, which may keep mortgage demand and affordability low.

“As the spring homebuying season gets begun, purchase activity is anticipated to increase, supported by lower rates and moderate home-price increases. According to Kan, both factors may benefit some purchasers in regaining their spending power, who anticipates a modest market recovery in the second quarter.