Slowing to a Standstill: 18-Year Low for Mortgage Refinancings

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  • With no major move in interest rates and continued weakness in home affordability, there was not a lot of incentive for homebuyers to make a move last week, and there was even less for homeowners looking to save money on their mortgages.
  • Total mortgage application volume moved 0.1 percent lower last week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
  • Volume was 22 percent lower than a year ago.

With no major move in interest rates and continued weakness in home affordability, there was not a lot of incentive for homebuyers to make a move last week, and there was even less for homeowners looking to save money on their mortgages.

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Total mortgage application volume moved 0.1 percent lower last week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. Volume was 22 percent lower than a year ago.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($453,100 or less) decreased to 5.16 percent from 5.17 percent, with points decreasing to 0.48 from 0.55 (including the origination fee) for loans with 20 percent down payments.

With rates still at the highest level in eight years, mortgage applications to refinance a home loan continued their downward spiral, falling 5 percent for the week to the lowest level since December 2000. Refinance volume was 40 percent lower than a year ago. The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 38.5 percent of total applications from 39.4 percent the previous week.

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“Treasury rates declined last week, as equity markets continued to see large swings amidst investor concerns over global economic growth,” said Joel Kan, an MBA economist. “As a result, mortgage rates inched back across most loan types, including the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, 5/1 ARM, and 30-year jumbo mortgage rate. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage also declined, stopping a run of six straight weekly increases.”

www.cnbc.com/2018/11/21/mortgage-refinance-applications-hit-18-year-low.html

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