Mortgage Applications Bounce Back

After four weeks of big declines, applications for home mortgages, viewed as a leading gauge of future home sales, reversed course and ticked up 9.4 percent last week, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports.

“Purchase applications improved dramatically this week, the first hint of stabilization following a steady downward trend since January,” notes Ken Fears, the National Association of REALTORS®’ manager of regional economics and housing finance policy, on NAR’s Economists’ Outlook blog.

The MBA’s seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, increased 9.4 percent for the week ending Feb. 28. Refinancing applications rose 9.6 percent.

With both purchase and refinance application indexes showing improvement this week, “this pattern would suggest that the trend was driven by financial market improvements rather than a shift in consumer tastes or weather,” Fears notes on NAR’s blog.

The MBA reports that mortgage rates inched down last week, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage falling 6 basis points to a 4.47 percent average.


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