LOS ANGELES (7/14/14)--After months of sluggish activity, mortgage lending is starting to gain steam, according to numbers reported by Inside Mortgage Finance this week (Los Angeles Times July 10).
Roughly $310 billion in mortgages were logged in the second quarter, about a 32% jump from the first quarter, according to the trade magazine.
With refinancing activity slowing in recent months, consumers finally appear to be taking advantage of rising, but still historically low interest rates and easing price inflation, Inside Mortgage Chief Executive Guy Cecala told the Los Angeles Times.
"We're not looking at a housing boom by historical standards," Cecala said. "But I think we're looking at a more sustainable housing market where more people are buying homes to live in, not just for investment purposes."
Climbing interest rates in 2013 pinned down the market through the end of last year, and unusually harsh winter weather in the beginning of 2014 plugged up the market as well, but as mortgage interest rates have paused and as inventory has steadily risen, mortgages have become more feasible for homebuyers, analysts say.
"I think people who had been hesitating about buying a home started feeling some incentives to move forward," Rick Sharga, Auction.com executive vice president, told the Los Angeles times.