U.S. Mortgage Application Activity Surges to 17-Month High


 U.S. Mortgage Application Activity Surges to 17-Month High U.S. home mortgage applications increased last week due to declining mortgage rate, triggering the strongest uptick in mortgage-taking activity in 17 months for the second consecutive week, a report showed.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that its seasonally adjusted gauge of mortgage application activity increased 14.2 percent for the week through Jan. 16. The index tracks both home purchase and refinancing demand.

The MBA’s seasonally adjusted gauge of refinancing requests rose 22.3 percent to a solid 2,746.1. The index of mortgage applications, a key signal of home sales, fell 2.5 percent after touching its strongest level since September 2013 this month.

The average for the fixed mortgage rates stood at 3.8 percent this week, the smallest level since May 2013, compared with 3.89 percent a week earlier. The MBA poll tracks at least 75 percent of all U.S. retail home mortgage applications, reported Reuters.

Meanwhile, another report published by the U.S. Conference of Mayors showed that U.S. cities are expected to register robust job growth in 2014, though only half of them are expected to touch pre-recession levels.

The annual metropolitan jobs projection, which is drafted by IHS Global Insight, showed that all the 363 metropolitan areas are expected to post strong job growth this year, the first time all the cities will register job growth since the 2007-09 financial recession. Nearly all, i.e. 317 metropolitan areas, are expected to post job growth exceeding 1 percent.

At the start of this year, about 164 areas reported job growth equalling their pre-recession levels, peak employment levels. This means 45 percent of metro areas that usually include more than one city and the surrounding suburbs. IHS Global forecasts that this figure will touch 55 percent.

Countrywide, the unemployment rate touched 5.6 percent last month, the lowest level in six years. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.

To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com