Mortgage Rates, Applications Tick Up Slightly

Mortgage Weekly Update

Both mortgage applications and average interest rates jumped last week — but only slightly. According to the latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association, overall mortgage activity was up 0.3% for the week.

Purchase applications were up 11%, while refinance activity was down 3%. Refinance activity was still 201% higher than this time last year, though.

Here’s how Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting explains it: “Mortgage rates stayed close to record lows, but refinance applications decreased for the fourth consecutive week, driven by a 5% drop in conventional refinances. Despite the downward trend over the last month, mortgage lenders remain busy. Refinance activity was up 200% from a year ago.”

Though refis are on the decline, purchase loans continue to surge back. New York has seen the biggest uptick in purchase activity with a 14.3% jump in just the last week. Illinois, Florida, Georgia, California, and North Carolina also saw purchase loans rise 10% or more.

“We expect this positive purchase trend to continue at varying rates across the country as states gradually loosen social distancing measures, and some of the pent-up demand for housing returns in what is typically the final weeks of the spring homebuying season,” Kan said.

More in Mortgage and Housing News

  • The CFPB, HUD, and FHFA launched a coronavirus housing assistance website, which breaks down all the options that renters and homeowners have during these trying times. You can find it at
  • The MBA’s latest Forbearance and Call Volume Survey showed that nearly 8% of all mortgage loans are now in forbearance. Loans backed by Ginnie Mae have the highest rate of forbearance.
  • A new report from the National Association of REALTORS® shows that home prices rose in 96% of America’s housing markets during the first quarter of the year. The national median home value now sits at $274,600 — a 7.7% increase from Q1 2019.

This Weeks’ Mortgage Rates

The average rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage rose ever so slightly, increasing from 3.4% to 3.43%. Rates on other loan products were all over the map.

Here’s how they shook out over the last seven days:

  • All 30-year, fixed-rate loans: 3.43%, 0.29 points
  • Jumbo 30-year, fixed-rate loans: 3.69%, 0.33 points
  • FHA 30-year, fixed-rate loans: 3.37%, 0.21 points
  • 15-year, fixed-rate loans: 2.92%, 0.28  points
  • 5/1 ARMs: 3.26%, 0.04 points

Check back here next week for the latest update on 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.