Weekly mortgage refinances demand jumps on brief drop-in rates

Weekly mortgage refinances demand jumps on brief drop-in rates

May 13, 2021: -A brief drop-in mortgage interest rates sent some borrowers rushing to their lenders to see if they could get any savings, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, which sent total mortgage application volume up 2.1% last week.

The contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances decreasing to 3.11% from 3.18%, with points going down to 0.32 from 0.34, which includes the origination fee for loans with a 20% down payment. That is the lowest rate from February, and it is 32 basis points lower than one year ago.

As a result, applications to refinance a home loan have been weak lately, high 3% from the previous week but were 12% less than a year, according to the MBA’s seasonally adjusted index.

“The declining rates helped the refinance index reach the high level in eight weeks, driven by a 4 percent increase in conventional refinances,” Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, said.

“Additionally, refinance loan balances increased for the fourth straight week, an indication that higher-balance borrowers acted to take quick advantage of lower rates.”

The demand for mortgages from homebuyers increased just 1% for the week and was 13% higher a year ago. The annual comparison has been skewed for some weeks since the housing market ground to a halt as the pandemic started and then returned by June.

“Most markets this spring continue to see robust demand, but activity continues to be constrained by insufficient inventory levels, as well as homebuilder challenges related to the ongoing shortages and price increases for building materials,” Kan said.

Already the mortgage rates are popping back up this week, especially Tuesday, because of a surge in the supply of bonds being offered, Treasury and corporate bonds.

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