Mortgage refinance demand pulls back as interest rates rise


An ‘open house’ sign is displayed as potential home buyers for sale in Columbus, Ohio arrive.

Ty right Bloomberg Getty Images

Record-low mortgage rates may now be a title of the past.

Now, several weeks of declining rates that were incredibly high demand for refinancing. Total weekly mortgage volume declined by 1.9% in the past week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index.

The average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a loan balance ($ 510,400 or less) increased from 2.88% to 2.92%, with loans less than 20% ranging from 0.33 to 0.37 (including origination fees). are grown. payment. The rate was 95 basis points higher than a year ago.

The 15-year fixed average rate rose to 2.48% for the first time in seven weeks.

With higher rates now offering less potential savings, applications to refinance home loans fell 5% for the week, but 87% more than a year ago. This annual comparison was more than 100% compared to the previous year.

Joel Kahn, MBA associate of economic and industry forecasting, said, “Market expectations, which are expected to drive economic growth and lower unemployment, compared to the anticipated fiscal stimulus package, boosted treasury yields over the past two weeks Have given.” “After the recess after the refinance surge, the higher rate moved away on refinancing demand.”

Demand for homebuyers, however, increased despite higher rates. The mortgage application to buy a home for the week increased by 3% and was 15% higher than a year ago. The coronavirus epidemic fueled strong demand for large, suburban homes. Despite the vaccine rollout, this demand does not end. The biggest hurdles for homebuyers right now are high house prices for sale and record-low inventory.

“Beginning in 2021, homebuyers continue to look for new, larger homes,” Kahn said. “The average loan size for purchase loans jumped to $ 384,000, the second highest level in the survey,” which dates to the 1990s.

The upcoming Biden administration is preparing to take a number of steps in the housing market that can favor both homebuyers and builders. However, the week rate started flat, as traders await the first major economic policy announcements before taking a step.

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