|Since last month, projections for U.S. home financings this year have improved $400 billion. An increase in conventional refinances is responsible for the bright outlook.
First-quarter residential originations are expected to reach $0.430 trillion, Freddie Mac said in its March Economic and Housing Market Outlook. Estimated U.S. production is 46 percent higher than estimated fourth-quarter 2008 volume of $0.294 trillion. Originations during the first-quarter 2008 were approximately $0.486 trillion.
During all of 2009, Freddie projects home fundings will climb to $2.400 trillion -- a $400 billion increase from last month's forecast and a $700 billion improvement over last year's estimated activity. But production is expected to moderate to $2.125 trillion next year.
Conventional business is projected to account for $1.945 trillion of this year's activity -- a big jump from the $1.490 trillion estimated last month.
This year's government originations are expected to hit $0.455 trillion, an increase from last month's estimate of $0.440 trillion.
Refinances will represent more than two-thirds of 2009 fundings, Freddie said. Refinances made up 68 percent of 1003s tracked in the Mortgage Bankers Association's application survey for the week ended March 6.
Adjustable-rate mortgages will make up 5 percent of this year's originations. ARMs accounted for just 2 percent of applications in MBA's latest survey.
The yield on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is predicted to bottom out at 5.1 percent this quarter, then steadily climb to 5.7 percent by 2010. The 30-year was 5.9 percent in the fourth-quarter 2008.
In its Primary Mortgage Market Survey for the week ended today, Freddie reported the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at 5.03 percent.