Mortgage demand bounces by almost 0.5% as interest prices decline for the third week

June 23, 2023: The average prices on the most popular mortgage, the 30-year fixed, decreased for the third straight week, but the need for mortgages didn’t move much.

Total mortgage application volume increased 0.5% last week, compared with the last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. This after demand increased the week before.

Last week, the average contract interest prices for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with loan balances came down to 6.73% from 6.77%, with points falling to 0.64 from 0.65  for loans with a 20% down payment.

The average contract interest prices for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances increased to 6.80% from 6.79% for loans with a 20% down payment. This marks the second week that jumbo loans have a higher rate than conforming loans.

“The last time jumbo rates were higher was in December 2021. Tighter liquidity conditions have prompted jumbo lenders to pull back, increasing rates in the process,” wrote Joel Kan, an MBA economist, in a release.

Applications to refinance a home loan came down by 2% for the week and were 40% lower than one year ago.

Mortgage applications to buy a home increased 2% for the week but were 32% lower than a year ago. Homebuyers are getting used to higher interest rates, but the persistent drop in new listings of homes for safekeeping sales is low. Federal Housing Administration demand rose more than conventional loan demand.

“First-time homebuyers account for a large share of FHA purchase loans, and this increase signals that while buyer interest is there, activity continues to be constrained by low levels of affordable inventory,” added Kan.

Homebuilders are benefiting from the dynamic. According to the MBA, mortgage applications to purchase a newly built home increased by 17% in May compared with May 2022. In tandem with demand, single-family housing starts increased 18.5% in May compared with April, according to the U.S. Census.

Mortgage rates began this week slightly lower, but that could change Wednesday as investors react to testimony started by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell before the House Financial Services Committee.

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Mortgage demand bounces by almost 0.5% as interest prices decline for the third week