Mortgage Application Volume Improves

The final week of March saw mortgage applications climb thanks to the refinance reboot

Mortgage Application Volume Improves
April 7, 2016

While mortgage application rates had previously dropped for six weeks in a row, the final week of March saw the total volume of applications improve by 2.7 percent, adjusted seasonally. This increase, however, had very little to do with new homebuyers. While the spring housing market remained in a slump, the number of refinances was up and accounted for most of the applications. The total volume of refinances improved 7 percent.

The total number of mortgage applications is now slightly more than three percent higher than it was during this time period last year. However, overall refinance applications are down. The final week of March 2015 saw the volume of refinance applications at around two percent more than what the market currently shows. This is most likely owed to the fact that interest rates have been steadily increasing during March, and many homeowners seeking to refinance have already done so at a lower rate. The total number of refinances to new mortgages currently stands at 54.5 percent, up from the previous week’s 52.4 percent.

According to Joel Kan, an MBA economist, only conventional refinance mortgages actually increased. They rose by about 9 percent, while refinance loans obtained through government programs did not change. New mortgage applications dropped by about 2 percent, although they are still higher than the same week of 2015 by 11 percent. While there are a number of potential homebuyers looking to make a purchase, the fact that there are fewer properties on the market has many waiting to find their dream home.

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