Purchase Applications Slip, Refis See Boost

Mortgage applications rose slightly last week, buoyed by a refi turnaround even as purchase demand faltered. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey shows that the adjusted Market Composite Index — a measure of mortgage loan application volume — rose by 0.5%, adding to last week’s 2.6% increase. Adjusted purchase applications declined, however, by 2%, while the unadjusted index was down 2% and 17% lower YOY. Refinances instead drove the rising data this week. Rates declined for a second week, down another 10 BPS to 7.08%, their lowest level since April. “The decline in rates led to a small boost to refinance applications, including another strong week for VA refinances. However, the overall level of refinance activity remains low. Purchase applications…

Good Jobs Report Means Bad News for Borrowers, Experts Say

Americans watching cable news might have been cheered when they saw the latest jobs report: the United States added 303,000 new nonfarm jobs in March and unemployment fell to 3.8%. Both numbers exceeded expectations. But viewers who are also shopping for a mortgage may have had a different reaction. Economics and housing experts say less unemployment means more pressure on Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to keep interest rates high. And the result has been an uptick in rates. Powell has made it clear his priority is getting inflation under control. His target number for rising prices is a 2% annual rate. Instead, prices have been rising nearly twice that fast, and the inflation rate has been higher than expected…

Rates Near 7% Send Applications Tumbling

Mortgage applications are yo-yoing as affordability-minded buyers respond to fluctuating rates. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey shows that the adjusted Market Composite Index — a measure of mortgage loan application volume — decreased by 1.6%, following the week prior’s 7.1% bump. Adjusted purchase applications slipped by 1%, while the unadjusted index was down 1% and 14% lower YOY.  Rates drove the downturn, as they jumped to 6.97% after three weeks of decreases. Too-hot inflation data is moving rates around, though they have mostly stayed in the mid- to high-6’s. “Mortgage applications continued to show sensitivity to rate movements, and both purchase and refinance activity decreased over the week. With housing supply low and prices high, the average loan size…

Applications Reverse, Refis Fall

Mortgage applications are swinging up and down, falling last week as rates posted increases. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey shows the adjusted Market Composite Index – a measure of mortgage loan application volume – decreased by 2.3%, countering the week prior’s 3.7% rise. Adjusted purchase applications slipped by 3%, while the unadjusted index increased by 4% and was 12% lower YOY. Rates rose to 6.87%, their highest point since December, but have stayed in the mid-6% range since the beginning of 2024. “Purchase applications remained subdued as elevated rates continue to add to affordability challenges along with still-low existing housing inventory. Refinance applications declined and remained depressed, with rates still higher than a year ago,”  said Joel Kan, MBA’s…

Applications Rise, Reversing After A Dip

Mortgage applications shot up last week, reversing a slip, as rates remain stable into February. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey shows the adjusted Market Composite Index – a measure of mortgage loan application volume – increased by 3.7%, countering the week prior’s 7.2% dip. Adjusted purchase applications slipped by 1%, while the unadjusted index increased by 6% and was 19% lower YOY. Rates actually rose slightly, clocking in at 6.8%, but have stayed in the mid-6% range since the beginning of 2024. “Mortgage rates have stayed close to where they started the year, despite swings in Treasury yields because of slowing inflation offset by stronger than expected readings on the job market,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and…

Mortgage Rates Tick Up But Remain Under 7%

Mortgage rates inched up but remained within the mid-6% range, a welcome moment of stability after a rollercoaster year. Officials at Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.69%, up from the week prior’s 6.60%. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.13%. The 15-year fixed also rose to 5.96% from 5.76%. A year ago, it averaged 5.17%. “The 30-year fixed-rate has remained within a very narrow range over the last month, settling in at 6.69% this week,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist.  “Given this stabilization in rates, potential homebuyers with affordability concerns have jumped off the fence back into the market. Despite persistent inventory challenges, we anticipate a busier spring homebuying…

Starts Slipped, Permits Surged In December

Home construction slipped for the first time in four months in December, with single-family starts taking a hit. Residential home construction fell 4.3% last month to a 1.46 million annualized rate, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. They were up 7.6% from December 2022’s rate of 1.36 million, however. The dip comes on the heels of a surge in November that sent new construction to a 6-month high. Notably, the decline was driven by single-family construction. Multi-family starts actually rose to a 5-month high. Permit applications also fared well after performing poorly the month prior. Single-family permits soared to their highest rate since May 2022, and multi-family also ticked up.  Permits offer an indication of future construction, suggesting…

Mortgage Applications Inch Up

Mortgage applications rose for yet another week, though the increase was mild compared to previous weeks’ jumps. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey shows the adjusted Market Composite Index – a measure of mortgage loan application volume – increased by a modest 0.3%. Adjusted purchase applications rose by 5%, while the unadjusted index slipped 31% from the week before and was 19% lower YOY. An adjustment for Thanksgiving is included in the data. Mortgage rates slipped to 7.37%, the fourth decline in five weeks and the lowest level in 10 weeks. “There was a slight increase in applications overall, driven by a five percent increase in purchase applications, but refinance applications decreased over the week,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice…

Mortgage Rates Make Biggest One-Week Drop In More Than A Year

U.S. mortgage rates took their biggest one-week drop in more than a year last week. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported the contract rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage fell 25 basis points to 7.61%. That’s the lowest level since the end of September. Market watchers point to the Federal Reserve’s decision last week to hold interest rates steady as one reason for the slide in mortgage rates, adding to hopes the housing sector will improve in the coming months. The MBA also reported mortgage applications for home sales rose 3%. Mortgage brokers say it’s no surprise that with a tight market and plenty of frustrated would-be buyers, there was a surge in demand. Refinancing activity ticked up as the refinance…

ARM Applications See Boost Again As Buyers Struggle With High Costs

Mortgage applications slipped again last week, though ARM applications soared in response to ongoing affordability pressures. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey shows the adjusted Market Composite Index – a measure of mortgage loan application volume – decreased by 2.1%, slightly up from the week prior’s 1% dip. Adjusted purchase applications slipped by 1%, while the unadjusted index fell by 2% from the week before and was 22% lower YOY. Applications decreased despite the 30-year fixed mortgage cooling slightly to 7.86%, breaking a weeks-long streak of increases. Rates remain close to 23-year highs, however, and all rates are approximately 30 bps higher than a month ago. “The impact of higher rates continued to be felt across both purchase and refinance…