According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates fell again last week, continuing to hover near record lows. Rates fell across all loan categories, including 30-year fixed-rate loans with both conforming and jumbo balances, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and 15-year fixed-rate loans. Consistently low mortgage rates have been a bright spot for the housing market this year, as low inventory and higher prices strain affordability conditions. Between mortgage rates near record lows and a stronger job market, demand for home loans has been higher than at the same time last year, even as conditions have become more challenging. In fact, refinance demand is now 48 percent higher than last year at this time and purchase activity is 10 percent higher than year-before levels. However, lower rates last week weren't enough to keep mortgage demand from falling from one week earlier. In fact, the Market Composite Index – which measures both refinance and purchase demand – fell 4 percent from the week before. The MBA's weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. More here.
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