Most lenders who offer FHA loan programs have underwriting authority, so they were still able to process the loans during the shutdown, he added.
Hollensteiner said that home affordability has likely decreased in the past six months because mortgage rates shot up so quickly. But when compared to several years ago, affordability is still terrific, which will spur more demand, he said.
As for mortgage rates, he said they'll likely move higher in the future due to still being on the lower end of the historical range. In the near term, however, it's expected they'll hover in the 4.25% to 4.75% range. He added fixed-rate loans continue to be the most popular, due to the lower rates. But in the event rates rise by another 50 basis points, adjustable-rate mortgages would likely gain some traction.
Refinance applications have started to dwindle quite rapidly as well, with rates moving higher. He added the number of eligible homeowners to refinance has dropped significantly in the past 100 days.
Hollensteiner concluded there will likely be more demand from first-time homebuyers, who seem to have a misperception that financing is hard for them to obtain. "There's still a lot of very attractive programs for first time buyers and we hope that spurs [them] to take advantage of today's rates," he said.
-- Written by Bret Kenwell in Petoskey, Mich.