Mortgage Applications Up Slightly Last Week, Despite Rising Rates

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Mortgage application volume increased 0.6% on an adjusted basis during the week ended Oct. 25, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey.

Applications for refinances decreased 1%, due to higher rates, while applications for purchases increased 2%.

On a year over-year-basis, applications for refinances were up 134%.

On an unadjusted basis, total volume increased 0.3% compared with the previous week. Applications for purchases increased 2% on an unadjusted basis and were 10% higher than compared with the same week one year earlier. 

“The 10-year Treasury rate rose slightly last week, as markets expected more progress toward a trade deal between the U.S. and China,” explains Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting for the MBA, in a statement. “Mortgage rates increased for the second straight week as a result, with the 30-year fixed rate climbing to 4.05 percent – the highest level since the end of July.

“Mortgage applications were mostly unchanged, with purchase activity rising two percent and refinances decreasing less than one percent,” he adds. “Purchase applications continued to run at a stronger pace than last year, finishing a robust 10 percent higher than a year ago. Considering how much lower rates are compared to the end of 2018, purchase applications should continue showing solid year-over-year gains.” 

The refinance share of mortgage activity fell to 58.0% of applications, down from 58.5% the previous week.

The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 5.2% of total applications. 

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, based on closings, was 4.05%, up from 4.02%.

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