The median obligation in purchase loan applications rose 8.8% to $1,889 in April from $1,736 in March, marking the third consecutive month with an average increase of roughly $100.
The national numbers illustrate the price buyers might pay if they wait to finance. Collectively, rising rates and high home prices have added $363 to monthly home-loan payments over the last three months, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Compared to a year ago, monthly payments are $569 higher.
“Mortgage payments are taking up a larger share of homebuyers’ incomes, and sky-high inflation is making it more difficult for some would-be buyers to save for a down payment or come up with the additional cash they need to afford a higher monthly payment,” said Edward Seiler, MBA’s associate vice president, housing economics, in a press release. Seiler also is executive director, Research Institute for Housing America, a nonprofit affiliate of the MBA.
The $153 increase came in higher than what was reported in March, when the median payment size was up by 5% or $83, and also exceeded an 8.3% jump in February, when the MBA first published its Purchase Applications Payment Index. Between January and February, the median payment size rose by $127.
The index measures payment-to-income ratios, and an increase in it signals declining borrower affordability conditions, while a decrease signals improvement. In April, the index rose 7.8% to 162.7 from 150.9 the previous month. The base value of 100 on the index represents March 2012.