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May 25, 2016

Stock Sell-Off Sends Mortgage Applications Up

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Stock Sell-Off Sends Mortgage Applications Up

Global stock markets plummeted last week, but that didn't slow down the U.S. mortgage market. Mortgage applications for both refinancings and home loans surged 9 percent week-over-week on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's survey for the week ending Jan. 15.

Put it in perspective: Mortgage Rates Still on a Downward Trend

Refinance applications saw the bulk of the increases, rising 19 percent week-over-week. Still, they are 40 percent below where they were a year ago, even though mortgage rates are lower, CNBC reports.

Meanwhile, applications for home purchases dropped 2 percent from the previous week. Home purchase applications are still 17 percent higher than the same time a year ago.

"Global stock markets plunged last week, led by weakness in China, but further weakened by continued sharp drops in oil prices. Investors drove down Treasury yields in a flight to safety, and mortgage rates fell to their lowest level since last October," says Michael Fratantoni, MBA's chief economist.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.06 percent last week, from 4.12 percent the previous week, MBA reports.

On Tuesday, mortgage rates were moving higher as the stock market gained ground again.

"It's clear that every time it looks like stocks are considering a bigger bounce, rates quickly get in position for a more meaningful move higher," Matthew Graham, chief operating officer of Mortgage News Daily, told CNBC. "Rates would be in more trouble if stocks happened to make bigger gains [on Wednesday]."

Source: “Mortgage Applications Pop 9% on Stock Sell-Off,” CNBC (Jan. 20, 2016)