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Mortgage Demand Stays Strong Into Fall

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates fell last week from the week before. Rates were down for 30-year fixed-rate loans with both conforming and jumbo balances. They also fell for 15-year fixed-rate loans, while rates for mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration were up slightly. Overall, mortgage application demand climbed 1.7 percent from the previous week, with refinance activity up 3 percent and demand for loans to buy homes virtually unchanged. Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, says purchase activity has been strong so far this fall. “Mortgage applications to buy a home were flat compared to the prior week, but overall activity remains strong this fall,” Kan said. “Applications jumped 24 percent compared to last year, and the average loan size reached another record high at $372,600. These results highlight just how strong the upper end of the market is right now, with outsized growth rates in the higher loan size categories.” The MBA’s weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. (source)