Mortgage demand ticks up for second consecutive week 

The increase was mainly driven by purchase applications, even as rates reached their highest point since December

Mortgage demand increased for the second week in a row on the back of a strong economy. Applications increased by 3.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis during the week ending April 12, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) weekly mortgage applications survey. 

“Rates increased for the second consecutive week, driven by incoming data indicating that the economy remains strong and inflation is proving tougher to bring down. Mortgage rates increased across the board, with the 30-year fixed rate at 7.13% – reaching its highest level since December 2023,” Joel Kan, MBA’s vice president and deputy chief economist, said in a statement.

“Despite these higher rates, application activity picked up, possibly as some borrowers decided to act in case rates continue to rise. Purchase applications drove most of the increase, but remain at low levels of around 10% behind last year’s pace. Refinance applications increased very slightly, driven by a 3% gain in conventional applications.”

​​Purchase loan application volume shot up by 10% from one week earlier, while refinance volume picked up by 3% from the prior week. The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 32.1% of total applications, down from 33.3% the previous week.

The MBA survey shows that the average mortgage rate for 30-year fixed loans with conforming balances ($766,550 or less) increased to 7.13%, up from 7.01% last week. Meanwhile, rates on jumbo loans (balances greater than $766,550) also increased week over week to 7.40%, up from 7.13%. 

On Wednesday,  HousingWire’s Mortgage Rates Center showed the average 30-year fixed rate for conventional loans at 7.27%, up from 7.17% one week earlier. That’s roughly 40 basis points above the rate at the start of the year.

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