Mortgage Applications Rise, Despite Increasing Interest Rates

Mortgage Weekly Update

Mortgage applications jumped last week, rising nearly 7% over the previous week and 18% over the year. 

Refinance loan activity rose the most, with an 18% jump, while purchase applications increased 13%. Refinances are now 86% higher than the same week last year and account for 64.3% of all loan activity.

According to Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting at the Mortgage Bankers Association, rates also rose, hitting their highest point since last month.

“Mortgage applications activity remained strong last week, even as the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and 15-year fixed-rate mortgage increased to their highest levels since late August,” Kan said. “Purchase applications were up over 25% from a year ago, and the demand for higher-balance loans pushed the average purchase loan size to another record high. The strong interest in home buying observed this summer has carried over to the fall.”

Interest rates did indeed rise on most loan products, with the exception of jumbo loans and 5/1 ARMs, which saw a slight dip over last week. 

More in mortgage and housing news

  • The share of mortgage loans in forbearance dropped to 6.93% this week, according to the MBA. An estimated 3.5 million American homeowners are currently in forbearance.
  • New CoreLogic data revealed that homeowner equity jumped by $620 billion in the second quarter of 2020 — a 6.6% increase over the year. Meanwhile, the number of homes with negative equity dropped, hitting their lowest point in over a decade.
  • According to MBA, a whopping 11 million Americans fell behind on their rent or mortgage during the first three months of the coronavirus pandemic. More than 10% of renters missed at least one payment. About 5% of mortgage borrowers did. Another 20% received permission to delay or reduce their payment.

This week in mortgage rates

Rates increased slightly across most loan types this week. Only 30-year jumbo loans and 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages saw a drop (though just a small one).

Here’s how rates shook out across loan types:

  • All 30-year, fixed-rate loans: 3.10%, 0.46 points
  • Jumbo 30-year, fixed-rate loans: 3.35%, 0.42 points
  • FHA 30-year, fixed-rate loans: 3.23%, 0.37 points
  • 15-year, fixed-rate loans: 2.64%, 0.47 points
  • 5/1 ARMs: 3.19%, 0.64 points

Check back here next week for the latest mortgage rates.

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Aly Yale

Aly J. Yale is a freelance writer focusing on real estate, mortgage, and the housing market. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Bankrate, The Motley Fool, Business Insider, The Balance, and more. Prior to freelancing, she served as an editor and reporter for The Dallas Morning News. She graduated from Texas Christian University's Bob Schieffer College of Communication with a major in radio-TV-film and news-editorial journalism. Connect with her at or on Twitter at @AlyJwriter.