The foreclosure data continue to trend positively. RealtyTrac reports foreclosure filings declined 3 percent month-over-month in July and are down 10% year-over—year.

We are not surprised by the downward trend in foreclosures; it's simply more remunerative for banks to seek other alternatives than taking back a house. RealtyTrac reports that short sales, on average, sell for $25,000 more than an REO property.

Banks are no doubt being helped by the persistent uptrend in prices. On that front, CoreLogic reports national prices rose 2.5 percent year-over-year in June, and 6 percent in the second quarter of 2012 compared to the first quarter.

Supply is a main price driver: there simply isn't enough supply to meet growing demand, particularly in the starter and low-price segments. Investor demand is impacting supply. Given the strong rental demand in many markets, investors are buying homes and turning them into rentals instead of flipping them; thus keeping the properties off the market.

As for new-home supply, builders only recently began to ramp up construction. New-home inventory is at levels unseen in decades. (Keep in mind; decades ago there were also fewer people.) More demand and less supply can only lead to one outcome – higher prices.

At the beginning of the year, few pundits were expecting prices to rise in 2012. Today, many have changed their tune. Zelman & Associates, a real estate research firm, for one, recently revised its forecast, predicting prices will rise 5 percent nationally in 2012. At the beginning of the year, Zelman's forecast a 1-percent decline.

Negative equity remains a problem in many markets, and that's also helping to keep supply low. But as prices move higher, more of these properties will turn positive. An even stronger price trend will, in turn, draw more buyers and more sellers into the market. That means more overall transaction activity, which means rising mortgage purchase demand.

As for rates on current mortgage demand, they moved up this past week. Most products saw a three or four basis-point increase. Given the trend in 10-year Treasury yields, we don't expect to see a pullback. Over the past two weeks, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note has increased nearly 30 basis points. This suggests that investors are becoming less risk averse, pulling money out of Treasuries and putting that money into riskier investments: Over the same two-week period, the S&P 500 stock index is up over 6 percent.

Yes, the Federal Reserve has stated that it's determined to hold long-term lending rates low for the next two years, but don't assume the Fed can automatically achieve its goal. Markets are dynamic forces, and if more investors sell bonds in favor of other investments, yields on Treasury securities will continue to rise. That means mortgage lending rates will rise too.

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