Rates Hit New Low as Refis Jump Once Again

Mortgage Weekly Update

Mortgage rates hit another record low this week, and it sent refinances surging. According to the latest report from the Mortgage Bankers Association, refinance applications jumped 5% and are now 79% higher than a year ago. 

Purchase loan applications were up, too, rising 4% from the previous week. They’re now 19% higher than one year ago and have outpaced 2019’s numbers for six straight months.

“The decline in rates ignited borrower interest, with applications for both home purchases and refinances increasing on a weekly and annual basis,” said Joel Kan, associate vice president of industry and economic forecasting at MBA. “The ongoing refinance wave has continued into November. Both the refinance index and the share of refinance applications were at their highest levels since April, as another week of lower rates drew more conventional loan borrowers into the market.”     

The average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage loans came in at 2.92% — down from 2.99% the week prior. Rates also fell on FHA loans, 15-year fixed-rate loans, and 5/1 ARMs.

More in mortgage and housing news

  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced new conforming loan limits for 2021. The new baseline limit is now $548,250 — up from $510,400 this year. In high-cost areas, the limit goes up to $822,375.
  • The share of mortgage loans in forbearance increased this week, rising from 5.47% of all loans to 5.48%. It’s the first time since June that the share has jumped. According to MBA, about 2.7 million homeowners are now in forbearance.
  • Applications to purchase a new home are up nearly 33% over the year, according to MBA. They rose 5% in just October.
  • According to Black Knight, 19.4 million homeowners could reduce their interest rate by at least 0.75% by refinancing in today’s market. It would save the average household around $309 every month.

This week in mortgage rates

Mortgage rates fell on everything but jumbo loans this week, which saw an increase from 3.11% to 3.18%.

Here’s how rates looked for each loan product:

  • Conforming 30-year, fixed-rate loans: 2.92%, 0.35 points
  • Jumbo 30-year, fixed-rate loans: 3.18%, 0.27 points
  • FHA 30-year, fixed-rate loans: 2.99%, 0.27 points
  • 15-year, fixed-rate loans: 2.51%, 0.34 points
  • 5/1 adjustable-rate loans: 2.63%, 0.44 points

Make sure to check back here next week for the latest on interest 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 AlyJYale.com or on Twitter at @AlyJwriter.