A Slip in Rates Lifts Mortgage Demand

July 8, 2015

Mortgage applications for both refinancings and home purchases gained ground last week, rising 4.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, as interest rates took a slight dip, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports. Total mortgage application volume is 22 percent higher now than it was one year ago. 

Refinance applications rose 3 percent last week over the previous week, while applications for home purchases saw the biggest spike, increasing 7 percent week-to-week. Applications for home purchases, viewed as a gauge of future home buying activity, are 32 percent higher now than a year ago, the MBA reports. 

The MBA also reported that the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate fell from 4.26 percent to 4.23 percent last week. 

"Overall, trends in mortgage applications last week were consistent with the ongoing shift towards a purchase market accompanied by growth in employment and higher interest rates,” says Lynn Fisher, the MBA’s vice president for research and economics. “Although contract interest rates fell by 3 basis points due to economic uncertainty abroad last week, they remain 40 basis points above April levels, and the refinance share of mortgage applications fell to 48 percent, the lowest rate since June of 2009.”

Source: “Weekly Mortgage Applications Rise 4.6% on Rate Dip,” CNBC.com (July 8, 2015)