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 ConsumerFinance.gov.
  • 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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