Mortgage

Mortgage applications on the rise again

Mortgage rates rising, but not scaring away buyers yet

Mortgage applications jumped 8.15% from the week ending Jan. 29, breaking a two-week streak of decreases, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The refinance index also increased 11% from the previous week – up to its highest level since March 2020 – and was 59% higher year-over-year. The seasonally adjusted purchase index increased 0.1% from one week earlier, though the unadjusted purchase Index increased 8% compared with the prior week and was 16% higher than the same week in 2020.

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate did see a slight drop, down to 2.92% after hitting a three-month high last week of 2.95%.

Historically low mortgage rates became the norm in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession. As rates begin to creep up closer to 3% in recent weeks, the number mortgage applications had begun to slip before last week’s jump.

Still, rates are low enough to appeal to homebuyers, noted Joel Kan, the MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting.


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“The one-week reversal in the recent upswing in rates drove an increase in both conventional and government refinance activity, as borrowers continue to lock in these historically low rates,” Kan said. “Average purchase loan amounts in early 2021 continue to rise across all loan types, driven by a strong pace of home sales, tight housing inventory and high home-price growth.”

The FHA share of total mortgage applications decreased to 9.1% from 9.4% the week prior. The VA share of total mortgage applications decreased to 12.1% from 12.4% the week prior.

Here is a more detailed breakdown of this week’s mortgage application data:

  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($510,400 or less) decreased to 2.92% from 2.95%
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $510,400) decreased to 3.12% from 3.17% – the second week in a row of decreases
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 2.94% from 2.88%
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 2.44% from 2.43%
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 2.88% from 2.60%

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