Talking Points

  • Total mortgage application volume—for refinances and home purchases—mostly stayed flat last week, dropping by a mere 0.8 percent compared to the previous week on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported.
  • The MBA reported the average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 4.33 percent last week from 4.46 percent the week prior.
  • Mortgage applications are now 11 percent lower than the same week one year ago, mostly due to a drop in refinancing applications.
  • Refinance applications saw a 3 percent decline last week and are down nearly 26 percent from a year ago, even when mortgage rates were higher. The decrease on the refinance side of business may prompt more mortgage bankers to turn their attention more to the purchase-side of mortgages.
  • Meanwhile, applications for home purchases last week eeked out a 1 percent gain and are 4 percent higher than a year ago. Industry analysts say that purchasE applications could be much stronger if there were higher inventories of homes available for sale.
  • Demand is high but supply remains low. Real estate professionals reported a 26 percent spike in the number of home tour requests in February, according to a monthly survey conducted by Redfin.