Six weeks, six jumps in mortgage applications to buy homes

Gain indicates shoppers are returning to the housing market

National /
May.May 27, 2020 07:00 AM
(Credit: iStock)

(Credit: iStock)

Homebuyers are back in the game as reopening continues.

The volume of mortgage applications to purchase homes increased by 9 percent last week, according to the seasonally adjusted weekly index kept by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

It marks the sixth consecutive week the purchase index has risen. According to Joel Kan, MBA’s executive at the helm of industry forecasting, last week’s increase was the highest since mid-March.

“The home purchase market continued its path to recovery as various states reopen, leading to more buyers resuming their home search,” Kan continued in a statement. The purchase index was up 8.7 percent compared to the same week in 2019.

New York led last week’s increase in purchase applications again with an unadjusted jump of 19.7 percent from the previous week. California saw purchase loans surge 11.6 percent week-over-week, while the state of Washington saw a 3.5 percent increase.

The gains came as mortgage rates ticked up slightly. The average contract interest rate for a 30-year mortgage of $510,400 or less was 3.42 percent, a 1-basis-point increase from the prior week. The rate for jumbo loans increased to 3.71, a jump of 5 basis points.

MBA’s adjusted refinance index showed the number of applications was flat after five weeks of declines. Refinance activity is still up year-over-year by 176 percent, however.

Overall, seasonally adjusted home-loan applications ticked up 2.7 percent. The MBA metric tracks 75 percent of the market.

Its share of refinancing activity fell again last week to 62.6 percent of loans, down from 64.3 percent.

Write to Erin Hudson at [email protected]


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