Mortgage Rates Remain Steadily Under 3%

Mortgage Weekly Update

Mortgage rates inched up only slightly this week, coming in at an average 2.87% on 30-year, fixed-rate loans. That’s up from last week’s 2.86%, but down from the 2.91% seen this time last year.

As a result of the low rates, mortgage applications increased incrementally as well, rising 1.6% over the week. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, purchase loan activity was up 3% on a seasonally adjusted basis.

“The purchase index was at its highest level since early July, despite still continuing to lag 2020’s pace,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. “There was also some easing in average loan sizes, which is potentially a sign that more first-time buyers looking for lower-priced homes are being helped by the recent uptick in for-sale inventory for both newly built homes and existing homes.”  

Applications jumped on both conventional and FHA loans, though VA loan activity decreased slightly compared to the week prior. Overall, refinances accounted for 67.3% of all mortgage applications — the same share seen last week. According to MBA’s data, government-backed refinance applications are now at their highest point since May.

More in mortgage & housing news

  • New listings were up 2% this week, according to Realtor.com. While total inventory still lags last year’s numbers by 25%, that gap has shrunk for 20 weeks in a row. “We could see inventories on par with last year before the end of 2021,” said Danielle Hale, Realtor.com’s chief economist. 
  • Home price cuts are beginning to get more common. Data from Redfin shows that about 5% of all home sellers reduced their prices recently. That’s the highest point since last 2019.
  • Rents are soaring, according to a new ZIllow report. U.S. rents jumped 9.2% in July, the biggest increase since at least 2015. The average rent now clocks in at well over $1,800 per month.

This week in mortgage rates

Mortgage rates largely held steady this week, moving by just one basis point up or down on all loan types.

Here’s how rates looked for each loan product:

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

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By Aly Yale / August 26th, 2021 / Categories: / Tags:

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.