After several recent drops, mortgage applications reversed course last week, with those for home purchases jumping 5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest report. The rise, which reflects data from the week ending Feb. 20, also came despite higher mortgage interest rates, MBA notes. (The survey includes adjustments for the President’s Day holiday.) Nevertheless, purchase applications still remain 2 percent lower than the same week a year ago.
Meanwhile, applications for refinancings continued to fall last week, dropping 8 percent to its lowest level this year. The drop prompted MBA’s overall mortgage application index, which reflects both applications for home purchases and refinancings, to fall 3.5 percent for the week.
“The one exception to this trend was VA refinance volume, which increased 27 percent last week as certain lenders refocused on VA production,” says Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s chief economist. “The VA share of total applications increased to 9.6 percent from 8 percent the week prior as a result.”
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.99 percent last week, up from 3.93 percent the previous week, MBA reported.