Falling Mortgage Rates Kick Season Into Gear

According to the Mortgage Bankers Associations Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates were down across all loan categories last week, including rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with both conforming and jumbo balances, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and 15-year fixed-rate loans. The decline coincided with a surge in demand for mortgage applications. In fact, refinance activity was up 12 percent over the previous week and the purchase index rose 6 percent. Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, says the spring season is off to a good start. “The spring buying season is off to a strong start,” Kan said. “Rates dropped across all loan types, and the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is now more than 70 basis points below last November’s peak. The average loan size increased once again to new highs for both purchase and refinance loans, as borrowers with – or seeking – larger loans tend to be more reactive to the drop in rates.” The MBA’s weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications.

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