Industry NewsMortgage

Refi applications down as rates reverse

30-year fixed rebounds above 5%

Mortgage applications fell last week as the rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages available to borrowers with good credit popped back above 5 percent, reversing nearly three months of falling rates. The Mortgage Bankers Association said applications for mortgages fell 9.8 percent during the week of Jan. 16 from the previous week, driven by a 12.4 percent decline in applications for refinancings. Applications for purchase mortgages were up 2.5 percent, but refinance applications now account for more than eight in 10 mortgage applications. Applications for refinancings accounted for 83.3 percent of applications, down from 85.3 percent the previous week. Freddie Mac said rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages this week averaged 5.12 percent with an average of 0.7 point, up from 4.96 percent a week ago. Fixed-rate mortgages followed bond yields higher during a holiday-shortened week, said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist. Despite the first increase in...