Mortgage Rates Hold Steady Near Lows

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates were relatively flat last week across all loan categories, including 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with both conforming and jumbo balances, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and 15-year fixed-rate loans. With rates still hovering just above historic lows, demand for mortgage loan applications saw a bump over the week before. In fact, the seasonally adjusted purchase index rose 1 percent from the week before, while the refinance index – which is generally more sensitive to rate movement – saw a 4 percent increase. Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s chief economist, says with rates as low as they are, there should be an even greater increase in the number of borrowers taking advantage of favorable conditions. “The last time rates were at these levels, the refi index was almost twice as high,” Fratantoni told CNBC. “At these rate levels, there are borrowers who still stand to benefit, but there are many homeowners who have already taken advantage of refinancing and are not yet incentivized to do it again.” The MBA’s weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. More here.

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