Mortgage Rate Lock Volume Increased 8.7 Percent in April


Mortgage rate lock volume increased 8.7% in April compared with March and was up 5% compared with April 2022, according to Optimal Blue’s Originations Market Monitor.

It was the first annual gain since the Fed rate hikes began two years ago, in March 2022.

The jump in April was mainly driven by an 11% month-over-month increase in purchase lock volume.

“Purchase lock counts are a key market indicator as they control for changes in home prices and more volatile refi activity, so the year-over-year increase in April is a particularly encouraging sign that mortgage production may be turning a corner,” says Brennan O’Connell, director of data solutions at Optimal Blue, in a statement.

“While we are cautiously optimistic, May figures will provide further confidence in the positive trend, as April 2024 numbers got a boost from the Easter holiday landing in March this year.”

The refinance share of total volume decreased to 12%, tying the low levels seen during the summer of 2023. Rate/term refinance volume fell by 13.7%, and cash-out volume remained flat.

The average rate for a 30-year conforming fixed rate mortgage rose 51 basis points in April to finish the month at 7.24%. That’s 80 basis points higher than one year ago.

Nonconforming loan products, including jumbo and non-QM loans, increased their market share by 1.85% to 13.7%. Meanwhile, shares for conforming, FHA, and VA loans declined.

The average loan amount increased $7,200 to $374.500, and the average home purchase price climbed $14,100 to $477.900.

Photo: Muhammad Zaqy Al Fattah

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