Weekly mortgage applications slow, but remain high compared to last year

Weekly mortgage applications remained relatively flat last week compared to the previous week amid record-low U.S. mortgage rates, according to data released Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

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Total mortgage application volume decreased 0.1 percent for the week, but was 41 percent higher than the one-year ago period. Applications to refinance a home loan, meanwhile, slipped by 1 percent, but were more than 93 percent higher than the same period last year.

“In continuation of the gradual growth trend seen throughout the first half of 2019, purchase activity was almost 10 percent higher than a year ago,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “A still-strong job market, improving affordability and lower mortgage rates continue to support growth.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances -- $484,350 -- increased to 4.07 percent from 4.06 percent. That’s 72 basis points lower than the rate one year ago.

“In a week of mixed mortgage rate movements across the various loan types, the 30-year fixed rate finished slightly higher than last week, but was still close to lows last seen in 2016,” Kan said.

Mortgage applications to purchase a home rose by 1 percent, compared to the previous week -- which is 10 percent higher than the same week last year.


As previously reported by FOX Business, Freddie Mac estimated that mortgage and refinance originations would rise 20 percent in 2019 compared to last year. House prices are expected to increase by 3.6 percent.