Mortgage Applications Inched Up Slightly Last Week, Driven by Rise in Refis


Mortgage application volume increased 0.5% during the week ended May 10, as the average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 7.08%, down from 7.18% one week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey

Applications for refinances increased 5% compared with the previous week and were up 7% compared with the same week one year ago.

Applications for purchases decreased 2% compared with the previous week and were down 14% compared with the same week one year ago.

“Treasury yields continued to move lower last week and mortgage rates declined for the second week in a row, with the 30-year fixed rate down 10 basis points to 7.08 percent, the lowest level since early April,” says Joel Kan, vice president and deputy chief economist, in a statement.

“The decline in rates led to a small boost to refinance applications, including another strong week for VA refinances. However, the overall level of refinance activity remains low. Purchase applications decreased, driven largely by a 9 percent drop in FHA purchase applications. Conventional home purchase applications were down around one percent.

“While the downward move in rates benefits prospective homebuyers, mortgage rates are still much higher than they were a year ago, while for-sale inventory remains tight,” Kan adds.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 32.0% of total applications, up from 30.6% the previous week.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 7.0 percent of total applications.

Photo: Jungwoo Hong

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