Mortgage rates have been up and down in recent weeks, so when borrowers saw little fluctuation last week, they jumped at a chance to lock in a rate. Home refinancers, in particular, took advantage.
Total mortgage application volume rose 5.1% last week on a seasonally adjusted basis compared to the previous week.
The gain was fueled by homeowners who were refinancing. Refinancing applications increased 6% for the week. However, such applications remain 31% lower than a year ago when interest rates were lower.
Mortgage applications for home purchases increased 4% last week and are now 3% higher than a year ago.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.83% last week, unchanged from the previous week.
“It was a mixed week for rates in [the] MBA’s survey,” says Joel Kan, an MBA economist. “Treasury yields finished the week slightly higher as a hawkish statement from the FOMCand market jitters caused by trade concerns and other geopolitical uncertainty offset each other.”
As rates have risen over the last few months, more home buyers are taking out adjustable-rate mortgages, opting for a product with initially lower interest rates that will later rise after a set period. ARMs rose to 7% of total applications last week, the MBA reports.