Mortgage Rates Hover Near Three-Year Lows

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, mortgage rates fell across all loan categories last week, including 30-year fixed-rate loans with both conforming and jumbo balances, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Rates were down from the week before and started the week at their lowest point in three years. Lynn Fisher, MBA’s vice president of research and economics, told CNBC that mortgage rates continue to defy expectations. “Despite expectations that rates would slowly rise this year, the 30-year fixed rate last week was 18 basis points lower than a year ago, continuing to provide a favorable rate environment for the housing market,” Fisher said. Favorable rates, however, failed to spur much demand for mortgage loan applications. In fact, mortgage application demand was essentially flat from the week before, with both the refinance and purchase index up less than one percent. On the other hand, when compared to last year, refinance demand is now up 23 percent and applications for loans to buy homes have increased 14 percent. The MBA’s weekly applications survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. More here.

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