Categories: Economic News

Demand for mortgages fell last week, even as rates fell slightly

On August 16, 2022, a For Sale sign is posted in front of a property in Monterey Park, California.

Frederick J. Brown | AFP | Getty Images

Mortgage rates fell slightly last week, but not enough to spur any kind of recovery in consumer demand for home loans.

The total volume of mortgage applications fell 2% from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. Demand is at its lowest level since 2000. It hit a similar low in July.

Home mortgage applications fell 1% for the week and were 18% lower than the same week a year ago. Prospective homebuyers are not only struggling with higher interest rates, but also inflation in the general economy and concerns that home values ​​are starting to fall.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($647,200 or less) decreased to 5.45% last week from 5.47% the previous week , with points decreasing to 0.57 from 0.80 (including origination fee) for loans. with a down payment of 20%. The rate was just over 3% a year ago.

Although mortgage rates have come down slightly from their recent highs, there are very few borrowers who can benefit from a refinance. Those requests were down 5% for the week and were 82% lower than the same week a year ago.

Mortgage rates haven’t moved much to start this week, but new economic data expected on Wednesday could change that. The Federal Reserve plans to release minutes of its latest meeting, offering more insight into its thinking, but investors are likely more interested in the monthly retail sales report, also due on Wednesday.

“This one report wouldn’t be enough to change the narrative, but if it’s significantly stronger or weaker than expected, rates could be on the move long before the Fed Minutes come out at 2 pm ET,” he said. said Matthew Graham, Chief Operating Officer. of Mortgage News Daily.


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