Home Buyers Not Deterred By Rate Increase

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, demand for loans to buy homes rose 3 percent last week despite a bump in mortgage rates. Average rates rose for 30-year fixed-rate loans with both conforming and jumbo balances, as well as 15-year fixed-rate loans. Rates for loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration were unchanged from one week earlier. Higher rates didn’t stop buyers, however. In fact, the MBA’s purchase index is now 13 percent above where it was last year at this time. That’s due, in part, to the fact that rates – though at their highest level since June – are still low by historical standards. Refinance activity, on the other hand, is more sensitive to rate increases and saw a 1 percent decrease last week. Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s chief economist, says average mortgage rates are as high now as they were the week of the Brexit vote in June. “Refinance applications dropped to the lowest level since the week of the Brexit vote, as mortgage rates reached their highest level since then,” Fratantoni said. 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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