Refi Apps Soar to 3-Year Highs

October 4, 2012

Mortgage applications for refinancings and home purchases posted strong gains this week following news of record low interest rates, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports in its weekly mortgage market survey. The gains were led by a surge in applications for refinancings. 

Applications for home refinancings rose to their highest level since April 2009, soaring 19.6 percent over the week. 

Overall, the MBA reported that mortgage applications — including applications for refinancing and home purchases — soared 16.6 percent for the week ending Sept. 28. 

Applications for home purchases — viewed as a main indicator for home sales — increased 3.9 percent last week, MBA reported. 

Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s vice president of research and economics, says that the Fed’s latest move to boost the economy is putting downward pressure on mortgage rates and leading to the rising number in loan applications. The Fed announced recently it would buy $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities each month until the job market improves. The program, known as “quantitative easing” or “QE3,” is causing mortgage rates to fall.

Source: “Mortgage Applications Jump as Low Rates Spur Refinancing Demand,” Reuters (Oct. 3, 2012)