Mortgage Applications Jumped 2.3% as Fixed Rates Fell

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Mortgage application volume increased 2.3% on an adjusted basis during the week ended March 8, as the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.64%, down from 4.67% the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey.

Applications for refinances decreased 0.2% while applications for purchases increased 4%.

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

Applications for purchases increased 6% on an unadjusted basis and were 2% higher compared with the same week one year earlier.

“Led by a 5.5 percent increase in FHA loan applications, purchase activity picked up last week and was almost two percent higher than a year ago,” says Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting for the MBA, in a statement. “Purchase applications have now increased year-over-year for four weeks, which signals healthy demand entering the busy spring buying season.

“However, the pick-up in the average loan size continues, with the average balance reaching another record high,” Kan adds. “With more inventory in their price range compared to first-time buyers, move-up and higher-end buyers continue to have strong success finding a home.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 38.6% of total applications, down from 40.0% the previous week.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 7.2% of total applications.

The average rate for a 5/1 ARM was 4.09%, up from 4.08%.

Mortgage application volume increased 2.3% on an adjusted basis during the week ended March 8, as the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.64%, down from 4.67% the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey.

Applications for refinances decreased 0.2% while applications for purchases increased 4%.

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

Applications for purchases increased 6% on an unadjusted basis and were 2% higher compared with the same week one year earlier.

“Led by a 5.5 percent increase in FHA loan applications, purchase activity picked up last week and was almost two percent higher than a year ago,” says Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting for the MBA, in a statement. “Purchase applications have now increased year-over-year for four weeks, which signals healthy demand entering the busy spring buying season.

“However, the pick-up in the average loan size continues, with the average balance reaching another record high,” Kan adds. “With more inventory in their price range compared to first-time buyers, move-up and higher-end buyers continue to have strong success finding a home.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 38.6% of total applications, down from 40.0% the previous week.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 7.2% of total applications.

The average rate for a 5/1 ARM was 4.09%, up from 4.08%.

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