MetroIntelligence Economic Update by P. DUFFY
CPI slips 0.1% in December, up 6.5% year-on-year
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) declined 0.1 percent in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, after increasing 0.1 percent in November. Over the last 12 months, the all-items index increased 6.5 percent, the smallest increase since October 2021. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.3 percent in December, after rising 0.2 percent in November. The all-items index less food and energy index rose 5.7 percent over the last 12 months.
Purchase loan apps fall 1% from previous week, refinance activity rose
The Market Composite Index for mortgage applications increased 1.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, with purchase loans falling 1 percent (and down 44 percent year-on-year) and refinance activity rising 5 percent (but down 86 percent year-on-year). The average contract interest rate for conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 6.42 percent from 6.58 percent. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity remained unchanged at 7.3 percent of total applications.
Higher conforming mortgage loan limit means 2 million homes no longer require jumbo loan
For the first time, the baseline conforming loan limit in high-cost areas has topped $1 million. There are 163 counties that have a higher loan limit than the national baseline. More than 2 million homes across the country no longer require a jumbo loan. This means customers will have additional available inventory that is covered by a more accessible financing option.