According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates decreased last week across all loan categories, including 30-year fixed-rate loans with both conforming and jumbo balances, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s chief economist, says the Fed’s decision to leave rates unchanged led to the drop. “Treasury rates fell through the course of last week, as the Fed left their target rate unchanged, and concerns grew again about global growth, particularly in Europe and Japan,” Fratantoni said. “Refinance volume dipped for the week, but purchase application volume continues to show 2016 as a strong year.” Last week, demand for loans to buy homes was up slightly from the week before and 10 percent higher than the same week one year earlier. The size of the average loan was also up, however – which indicates that much of the buying activity remains on the higher end of the market. Refinance activity, on the other hand, was down 2 percent from the previous week, despite declining rates. The MBA’s weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications.
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