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Mortgage Rate Drop Stirs Up Loan Demand

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates fell last week, dropping to new survey lows. Rates were down across all loan categories, including 30-year fixed-rate loans with conforming loan balances, jumbo loans, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and 15-year fixed-rate loans. Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, said favorable rates helped push demand for mortgage applications higher. “Refi activity responded to these lower rates, with the refi share reaching almost 66 percent of all applications, its highest level since May,” Kan said. “Home purchase activity continued its strong run with a 2 percent increase over the week and was up around 22 percent compared to the same week a year ago.” However, though low rates and rising demand are positive signs for the market, challenges remain. Among them, low housing inventory, the coronavirus’ spread, and the job market are lingering concerns that will continue in the week ahead. The MBA’s weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. (source)