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Mortgage applications surge to highest level in six weeks: MBA

Follows a drop in mortgage rates

Mortgage applications rose to their highest level in six weeks after the 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell to 7.44% last week.

Total home loan applications increased 3% for the week ending Nov. 17 compared to the previous week, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

Mortgage rates for the 30-year fixed loan averaged 7.44%, falling 6 basis points in one week, according to Freddie Mac‘s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. 

On a seasonally adjusted basis, purchase applications rose by nearly 4% over the week, with increases in both conventional and government purchase loan demand.

The average loan size on a purchase application was $403,600, the lowest since January 2023. Joel Kan, MBA’s vice president and deputy chief economist, said this corroborates with other sources of home-sales data pointing to a rising share of first-time homebuyers entering the market.

Meanwhile, refinance applications rose slightly by 1.6% last week but remained subdued. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity fell to 8.3% of total applications, down from 8.8% the previous week.

The share of Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan activity increased to 14.8% of all applications, down from 14.4% the week prior. The share of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loan activity was 11.3%, up from 11.2% over the previous week, while the share of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loan activity fell to 0.4% from 0.5% week over week.

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