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Refinance Activity Is Up 88 Percent YoY

Navi Persaud
Nov 04, 2020
Photo of a home in the suburbs.

The Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Application Survey reported a 3.8% increase in mortgage applications on an adjusted basis from the previous week, with refinance activity continuing to fuel the influx of applications.

The Refinance Index increased by 6% and was 88% higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index dipped 1% and was down 3% on an unadjusted basis. That being said, purchase activity is still 25% higher than the same period in 2019.

"Mortgage rates continue to hover at record lows this fall. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate remained essentially unchanged at 3.01 percent last week, but rates for 15-year fixed-rate loans, FHA loans and jumbo loans all fell to new MBA survey lows," said Joel Kan, MBA's associate vice president of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "The drop in rates spurred an uptick in demand for refinances. Activity increased over 6 percent, with borrowers notably seeking conventional and government loans. After a solid stretch of purchase applications growth, activity decreased for the fifth time in six weeks, but was still over 25 percent higher than a year ago, and has increased year-over-year for six straight months. 2020 continues to overall be a strong year for the housing market."

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased from 66.7% to 68.7%, the adjustable-rate mortgage share remained unchanged at 2.1%, the FHA share decreased from 11.7% to 11.1%, the VA share increased from 11.4% to 12.2% and the USDA share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.5%.

Click here to view the MBA's full WMAS.

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