Industry News

Refi applications climb 16.9%

Lower rates fuel rush, but tighter credit could deny many

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Applications for home loan refinancings jumped by double digits last week as interest rates continued to fall, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today. The group's market composite index, a measure of home loan application volume, got an 8.3 percent boost last week on a seasonally adjusted basis from the second week of January as refinance applications climbed 16.9 percent during the period. Filings for purchase loans, however, fell 4.6 percent, MBA reported. Since the beginning of November 2007, refinance applications have risen 92 percent and purchase-loan applications are up 7 percent, according to Jay Brinkmann, MBA's vice president of research and economics. "With tighter credit conditions we do not know how many of these applications will become loans, but it is clear that borrowers are responding to the 40- to 80-basis-point drop in rates we have seen since Nov. 2 across products." Borrowing costs on all loan products sank again last week, as the average cont...