Friday
December 15, 2017

As Rates Rise, Loan Demand Softens

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As Rates Rise, Loan Demand Softens

Mortgage applications dropped across the board last week as interest rates surged to their highest levels since July, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Total application volume dropped 2.1 percent week-to-week on a seasonally adjusted basis, the MBA reported Wednesday.

Most of the drop in applications came from those looking to refinance, the group that tends to be the most rate sensitive. Refinance applications dropped 4 percent last week and are now down 38 percent from a year ago.

Meanwhile, mortgage applications to purchase a home mostly were flat last week, easing down just 0.1 percent week-over-week. Purchase applications still remain 7 percent higher than a year ago. However, the dollar volume of mortgage applications is up 12 percent from a year ago, a signal that more mortgage activity is happening in higher price ranges.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.16 percent last week, up from 4.12 percent the week prior, the MBA reports. The 30-year rate increased 4 basis points to reach its highest level since July.

Source: “Mortgage Applications Drop 2.1% as Interest Rates Hit Highest Level Since July,” CNBC (Oct. 11, 2017)