Mortgage Rates Still Near Record Lows

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates were mostly flat last week, with little change seen for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming and jumbo balances, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and 15-year fixed-rate loans. But though rates remain near record lows, overall mortgage demand fell, with most of the decline due to a drop in refinance activity. Joel Kan, MBA's associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, said refinance demand may be slowing but purchase applications are still strong. “With the flurry of refinance activity reported over the past several months, demand may be slowing as remaining borrowers in the market potentially wait for another sizeable drop in rates,” Kan said. “Applications to buy a home also decreased last week, but the underlying trend remains strong. Purchase activity has outpaced year-ago levels for 17 consecutive weeks, with a stronger growth in loans with higher balances pushing MBA's average loan size to a new survey high of $370,200.” The MBA's weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. Last week's results contained an adjustment for the Labor Day holiday. (source)

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