Mortgage Rates Stay Flat; Purchase Loan Apps Jump

Mortgage Weekly Update

Mortgage rates remained flat this week, sitting at the same 2.87% on 30-year loans seen last week, according to Freddie Mac.

Though rates remain well below 3% — and have for months, overall loan applications were down 2.4% for the week, data from the Mortgage Bankers Association shows. Purchase loan activity actually jumped 1%, while refinances fell 4% over the week prior.

“Even with a slight increase, purchase activity hit its highest level since early July, as applications for conventional and government loans increased,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. “Home purchase activity continues to be dominated by higher price tiers of the market, with the purchase average loan size now at $396,500, the highest average in five weeks.”

Refinances accounted for 66.8% of all mortgage loans — down slightly from the 67.3% share seen last week. 

“Despite low rates, refinance applications declined, with some borrowers still waiting for rates to drop even lower,” Kan said. “Recent uncertainty around the economy and pandemic have kept rates low over the past month, which is why the refinance index has oscillated around these levels.”

More in mortgage & housing news

  • The share of mortgage loans in forbearance held steady this week, at 3.25% of all loans. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, about 1.6 million homeowners are still in forbearance.
  • Pending sales rose just 9% in August, the slowest rate of growth since June last year and down from the 2021 peak by 8%. Homes are also selling slower than they were this summer. The typical home sold in 18 days — up from the 15 seen in June and July.
  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency released its latest House Price Index, showing home prices up 17.4% over the year in second quarter of 2021. That’s a nearly 5% jump over Q1.
  • Realtor.com’s August Housing Market Report shows listings up 4.3% over the year. There’s been a particular jump in smaller homes in the 750 to 1,750 range, which could help first-time homebuyers.

This week in mortgage rates

Mortgage rates held steady once again this week, moving by just one basis point up or down, if any.

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 / September 2nd, 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.