Mortgage Rates Remain Stable; Purchases, Refis Dip

Mortgage Weekly Update

Mortgage rates largely held steady this week. According to Freddie Mac, the average rate on 30-year loans sits at 2.88% — up just one basis point from 2.87% last week. 

The bump, however slight, did little to encourage mortgage activity, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Purchase loan activity fell 3% from the week prior and was 18% lower than a year ago. Refinances were down 3% for the week as well.

“Mortgage application volume fell last week to its lowest level since mid-July,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s senior vice president and chief economist. “Refinance volume has been moderating, while purchase volume continues to be lower than expected given the lack of homes on the market.”

Those applications may continue to slip if rates move upward — something Fratantoni expects may happen later on in the year.

“Economic data has sent mixed signals, with slower job growth but a further drop in the unemployment rate in August,” Fratantoni said. “We expect that further improvements will lead to a tapering of Fed MBS purchases by the end of the year, which should put some upward pressure on mortgage rates.”  

More in mortgage & housing news

  • The share of mortgage loans in forbearance dropped to 3.23% this week — down from 3.25% the week prior. According to MBA, about 1.6 million homeowners are still on a forbearance plan.
  • Despite a dip in new listings last week, pending sales increases, jumping 6% over the year, according to Redfin. Home prices were up 14% for the same time period.
  • Black Knight’s latest Mortgage Monitor report shows that tappable home equity has risen 37% over the last year. In the second quarter of the year alone, it jumped 7.4% (a whopping $1 trillion).
  • New listings fell 8.1% last week, according to Realtor.com, breaking the steady increase we’d seen over the past few months. Total active inventory is down 24% compared to last year.

This week in mortgage rates

Mortgage rates remained relatively stable this week, moving by just one basis point up or down on all products.

Here’s how rates looked for each loan type:

Make sure to check back here next week for the latest mortgage rates and news.

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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 AlyJYale.com or on Twitter at @AlyJwriter.