Mortgage Rates Down As New Year Begins

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates fell as 2019 came to a close. Rates were down at the end of the year 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. And while the decline wasn’t enough to reignite refinance activity, demand for loans to buy homes was up after a seasonal adjustment. “The end of the year is the slowest time for home sales, so it is not at all surprising that activity was light,” Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s senior vice president and chief economist, said. “However, after a seasonal adjustment, purchase application volume was up relative to the pre-holiday period and started off 2020 ahead of last year’s pace.” Low mortgage rates, a strong job market, and increasing new home construction is expected to lead to favorable buying conditions and boosted demand this year. The MBA’s weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications.  source

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