Home Loan Demand Recedes Again

Total mortgage application volume – which encompasses applications for refinancings and home purchases – nudged down 3.4 percent week-to-week on an adjusted basis, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday. The decrease came as interest rates edged slightly higher last week.

Mortgage application volume still remains 14 percent higher than a year ago when mortgage rates were at about the same average. MBA reported that refinance demand has seen the biggest downfall in recent weeks, dropping 6 percent last week. That demand is 15 percent higher than a year ago.

“Refinance activity decreased for the second-straight week because fewer borrowers have an incentive to refi at the current level of rates,” says Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s chief economist. “But there are still some who respond to the small changes we have seen in recent weeks.”

Mortgage applications for home purchases remained mostly flat last week. However, applications are about 13 percent higher than a year ago. The average on the 30-year rate mortgage rose to 3.87 percent from 3.85 percent, MBA reported.

Source: “Mortgage Applications Down 3.4% on Another Slight Rate Gain,” CNBC (May 4, 2016)