Refinance applications hit 7-month low

Meanwhile, mortgage applications to buy homes continued to rise


Mortgage applications to buy homes continued to rise last week, as refinance applications hit the lowest level in seven months.

An index tracking applications to purchase homes increased 2 percent week over week, seasonally adjusted, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The uptick comes despite historically low levels of housing inventory and skyrocketing home prices.

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“Activity was up 5 percent from a year ago, as the recovering job market and demographic factors drive demand,” Joel Kan, head of industry forecasting, said in a statement.

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MBA’s index tracking refinance applications dropped 4 percent last week — the lowest level since September. Kan attributed that to increasing rates.

“Rates have jumped 36 basis points since the end of January,” he said.

The average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.28 percent, up 2 basis points from 3.26 percent. The average rate for jumbo loans was flat at 3.34 percent.

The average purchase loan size last week was $406,200, down from $409,900 the week before.

MBA’s indices cover 75 percent of the residential mortgage market on a weekly basis. The report has been running since 1990.