Record-low mortgage rates in U.S. spur wave of new applications

6 months ago 13
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Nov. 25 (UPI) -- Mortgage applications in the United States have risen by 4% as interest rates continue to set new lows, an industry report said Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said interest rates have declined to a record 2.92%, from 3%, spurring the new applications as well as a number of refinancings, which are up 5%.

Refinancing activity made up 71.1% of all mortgage applications last week, the group said, up from slightly under 70% a week earlier.

More than 4 million homeowners have refinanced this year and 19 million could still take advantage of the lower rates, mortgage technology and data provider Black Knight said.

"Weekly mortgage rate volatility has emerged again, as markets respond to fiscal policy uncertainty and a resurgence in COVID-19 cases around the country," Joel Kan, the MBA associate vice president of industry and economic forecasting, said in a statement.

The MBA said despite U.S. home prices being at their highest level in six years, mortgage applications are still close to 20% higher than they were a year ago.

"Amidst strong competition for a limited supply of homes for sale, as well as rapidly increasing home prices, purchase applications increased for both conventional and government borrowers. Furthermore, purchase activity has surpassed year-ago levels for over six months," Kan added.

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