Mortgage Applications Jump 3.8 Percent as Refinance Activity Remains Strong

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Mortgage applications increased 3.8% during the week ended Oct. 30, driven mainly by a 6% increase in refinance volume, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey.

Applications for purchases decreased 1% compared with the previous week. 

On an unadjusted basis, total volume increased 3% compared with the previous week.

Year-over-year, applications for refinances were up 88% while applications for purchases were up 25%.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage continued to hover near its all-time low – 3.01% compared with 3.00% the previous week.

“Mortgage rates continue to hover at record lows this fall,” says Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, in a statement. “The 30-year fixed mortgage rate remained essentially unchanged at 3.01 percent last week, but rates for 15-year fixed-rate loans, FHA loans and jumbo loans all fell to new MBA survey lows.

“The drop in rates spurred an uptick in demand for refinances,” Kan adds. “Activity increased over six percent, with borrowers notably seeking conventional and government loans. After a solid stretch of purchase applications growth, activity decreased for the fifth time in six weeks, but was still over 25 percent higher than a year ago, and has increased year-over-year for six straight months. 2020 continues to overall be a strong year for the housing market.”  

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 68.7% of total applications, up from 66.7% the previous week.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity remained unchanged at 2.1%.

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