Historically low interest rates and smaller price increases are helping bring homeownership within reach for more Americans. A pickup in employment opportunities that lead to faster wage growth would provide an added spark for a residential real estate market that began to soften in the middle of 2013.

 

Mortgage Applications Escalate – The volume of applications sees an increase from the previous week due to more refinance activity. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the refinance share of mortgage activity accounted for 54.4% of total applications, the highest percentage in four months. Meanwhile, the adjustable-rate mortgage share remained unchanged at 8%.

 

The Foreclosure Fade, and What it Means for the Housing Market   The U.S. housing market appears to be finding its footing after a sharp rise in mortgage rates last summer, on top of some big price gains and deflated sales. However, the housing market is now going to rely more heavily on traditional drivers of growth, including job, wage gains and demographics. Tighter credit standards, higher levels of student debt, and lower incomes for young adults will keep pressure on homeownership, and they could make the housing recovery far bumpier than the steady gains of 2012-13 would have suggested.

 

When It Comes to Housing, Maybe Millennials Aren’t so Different After All    Do younger generations have a different attitude towards owning a home? Generally speaking, marriage and living alone are more prevalent among Americans aged 23 to 34 years old in areas with better housing conditions, while expensive housing markets are linked with people looking for other options. Many of these demographic shifts may simply be postponing purchasing a home, rather than eliminating it.

 

5 Things to Watch on the Economic Calendar  The economic calendar slims down next week. A few key releases will focus on housing demand, consumer inflation, and factory activity for July. Here are five points worth contemplating when the numbers come down.