While mortgage rates recently took a tumble, interest in purchasing a home showed some positive signs of improvement.The total level of mortgage applications rose 11.9 percent during the week ending Jan. 10, compared to one week earlier, according to a report from the Mortgage Bankers Association. When this level was measured unadjusted, it spiked more than 60 percent week-over-week.The Purchase Index also experienced positive improvements during the week. The report noted that this measurement spiked 12 percent during the period, while it also jumped 66 percent when unadjusted.
Refinances enjoyed further strengthening during the week, as well. MBA explained that the Refinance Index rose 11 percent week-over-week when adjusted. However, there was a slight dip in the refinance share of mortgage activity, as this fell to 62 percent of all applications during the latest measurement. One week previous, the figure was 63 percent of applications. Additionally, the adjustable-rate mortgage share did not change from the previous week, and posted a share of 8 percent.
Housing options may be temporarily more affordable, and many consumers could be taking advantage of a home purchase despite other economic concerns. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.41 percent during the week ending Jan. 16, according to the Primary Mortgage Market Survey from government-sponsored enterprise Freddie Mac. The latest measurement was down from a week earlier, when it was 4.51 percent. A year ago, the level was 3.38 percent.
Another decline occurred for the 15-year FRM, and this was slightly more significant than the aforementioned drop. The report explained this average fell to 3.45 percent from the previous level of 3.56 percent. One year earlier, the figure was significantly lower, averaging 2.66 percent.For the five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage, the average for the most recent week was 3.1 percent, just slightly lower than the previous period, when it was 3.15 percent. During the same week in 2013, the figure was 2.67 percent.
“Mortgage rates drifted downward this week amid signs of a weakening economic recovery,” said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist for Freddie Mac. “The economy added 74,000 jobs in December, less than the market consensus forecast. Retail sales rose 0.2 percent in December, which was nearly half of November’s 0.4 percent increase. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell to 6.7 percent which was the lowest since October 2008.”
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