Homebuyer Demand For Mortgages Jumps 28% Over Last Year

Pending home sales soar
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The great American home rush has pushed mortgage applications from home buyers 20 percent above last year’s level.

Mortgage applications to buy homes rose 9 percent last week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally and holiday adjusted index. That pushed purchase applications up to a level 28 percent higher than a year ago.

Refinancing applications have been running incredibly high thanks to very low mortgage rates. Last week, the MBA’s index of refinance applications decreased 5 percent from the previous week but was a jaw-dropping 102 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

“Purchase activity continued to show impressive year-over-year gains, with both the conventional and government segments of the market posting another week of growth,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting.

Rising prices have pushed up the average size of mortgages to the highest on record.

“Purchase loan amounts continue to be significantly higher than their average over the past decade and hit $375,000 last week, the largest since the inception of MBA’s survey in 1990. Housing demand remains strong, and despite extremely tight inventory and rising prices, home sales are running at their strongest pace in over a decade,” said Kan.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances—$510,400 or less—remained unchanged at 2.92 percent, with points decreasing to 0.31 from 0.35 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances—greater than $510,400—increased to 3.19 percent from 3.18 percent, with points increasing to 0.30 from 0.27 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate for jumbos increased from last week.

Home sales have boomed in the wake of the pandemic lockdowns. Shuttered schools, social distancing, remote work, anti-police political movements, urban rioting, a crime wave of shootings and murders, closed amenities, and health concerns have combined with low-interest rates to drive up demand for homes.





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