Mortgage applications jump in U.S. housing market

Xinhua News Agency | Nov 14, 2019 at 6:00 AM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 (Xinhua)-- Mortgage applications increased significantly in the United States as mortgage rates remained near 4 percent, according to a report from Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) on Wednesday.

For the week ending Nov. 8, MBA's market composite index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 9.6 percent from a week earlier.

"Mortgage applications increased to their highest level in over a month, as both purchase and refinance activity rose despite another climb in mortgage rates," said Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting of MBA.

"Positive data on consumer sentiment, and growing optimism surrounding the U.S. and China trade dispute, were behind last week's rise in the 30-year fixed mortgage rate to 4.03 percent," said Kan.

Besides, the refinance index, which measures the activity to replace higher rate mortgages with lower rate mortgages, increased 13 percent from the previous week, according to MBA.

"Refinance applications jumped 13 percent to the highest level in five weeks, as conventional, FHA and VA refinances all posted weekly gains. With rates still in the 4 percent range, we continue to expect to see moderate growth in refinance activity in the final weeks of 2020," said Kan.

MBA's purchase index before seasonal adjustment increased 2 percent from the previous week. After removing the influences of predictable seasonal patterns, the seasonally adjusted purchase index increased 5 percent from a week earlier, according to MBA.

"Last week was a solid week for homebuyers. Purchase applications increased 2 percent and were 15 percent higher than a year ago. Low supply and high home prices remain a key characteristic of this fall's housing market, which is why the largest growth in activity continues to be in loans with higher loan balances," Kan added.