As Rates Hit Pause, Consumers Rush to Lock In
Diana Olick | November 15, 2017
A slight dip in interest rates last week brought more homeowners and home buyers to the mortgage market. More homeowners were quick to refinance before interest rates rise again, and home buyers were able to lock in lower rates during the week. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that total mortgage application volume—which includes for refinancings and home purchases—rose 3.1 percent last week on a seasonally adjusted basis. Mortgage applications, however, still remain 8.5 percent below a year ago. Last week, refinance volume rose to its highest level in a month, increasing 6 percent during the week. Yet, refinancing is still 24 percent below a year ago, when rates were much lower. Applications for a home purchase were up just 0.4 percent last week. Purchase volume is 17 percent higher than the same week a year ago. That marks a much larger annual spread than the past several months, CNBC reports. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.18 percent last week, according to the MBA. "Additional developments surrounding the administration's tax-reform plan pushed rates lower at the beginning of the week, but this was effectively offset by news of stronger economic growth in Europe," says Joel Kan, an MBA economist.