Mortgage Applications on the Rise

Mortgage applications to purchase a home rose recently and were 7% higher than a year ago. Purchase applications reached their highest level since April 2010. While total mortgage application volume decreased 3.5% during the same time, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index, overall volume was 14% higher than a year ago.

Purchase applications drove the gains. Applications to buy a home increased 5% from one week earlier based on the unadjusted Purchase Index and 5% higher than a year ago.

According to the MBA’s survey, mortgage rate movements were mostly unchanged. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) slightly decreased in late April into early May.

At $335,600 from $332,000, the average loan size to purchase a home also stayed elevated. Government purchase applications rose to the highest in the survey. home prices are still rising enough to push average loan sizes higher, even with slower price appreciation in higher-priced markets. With points decreasing to 0.42 from 0.47, inclusive of the origination fee, loans with a 20% down payment showed the average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) increased to 4.44% from 4.40%, nearly a quarter of a percentage point lower than a year ago. During the same time adjustable-rate mortgage activity share decreased to 6.6% of total applications.

Refinancings decreased 8%, 37.9% from 38.8% last week, the lowest level since last November. The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 41.5% of total applications from 44.1% in recent weeks.

The 2019 spring real estate season continues to be very active.

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