Mortgage purchase applications increased by 12 percent week-over-week, according to the latest data released Wednesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) weekly mortgage applications survey. The increase may be a signal that buyers are returning to a static market.
“The news in this week’s release is that purchase applications, still recovering from a five-year low, increased 12 percent last week to the strongest level in almost a month,” Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting said in a statement.
“The 10 largest states had increases in purchase activity, which is potentially a sign of the start of an upturn in the pandemic-delayed spring homebuying season, as coronavirus lockdown restrictions slowly ease in various markets.”
The overall measure of loan applications decreased 3.3 percent from the week prior due to the week-over-week decline in refinance activity. Refinance activity decreased 7 percent from the week prior but was up 218 percent from the same week in 2019 due to historically low mortgage rates.
Mortgage purchase applications were down 20 percent year-over-year, despite the weekly increase.
Meanwhile, 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 3.43 percent, from 3.45 percent last week, marking a new record low, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
“Contributing to the uptick in purchase applications was that mortgage rates fell to another record low in MBA’s survey, with the 30-year fixed rate decreasing to 3.43 percent,” Kan said.
“However, refinance activity declined 7 percent, as rates for refinances likely remained higher than those for purchase loans,” Kan added. “Lenders are still working through pipelines at capacity, and observed changes in credit availability for refinance loans have also in turn impacted rates.”