At FREEandCLEAR, we follow the Mortgage Bankers’ Association (MBA) mortgage applications index which measures both purchase and refinance applications for mortgage lenders across the country. An increase in the MBA applications index reflects an increase in mortgage applications while a decrease in the index reflects a decline in mortgage applications.
Over the past month, mortgage applications have seemingly jumped up and down on a weekly basis but both applications and interest rates remained relatively flat for the week ended July 17th. Purchase applications increased a modest 1.0% after dropping 8.0% the prior week. Refinance applications decreased 1.0% after increasing 4.0% the prior week. The composite applications index, which includes both purchase mortgages and refinancings, was basically flat, inching up 0.1% after dropping 1.9% for the prior week. Similar to applications, mortgage rates held steady with the average interest rate for conforming loans (mortgage amount less than $417,000) remaining at 4.23% for the third consecutive week. (Source: Bloomberg)
What it Means for Mortgage Borrowers
Flat mortgage applications are a positive for prospective buyers as lenders should be aggressively competing for new mortgage business. Flat interest rates are also a plus for borrowers given the increase in rates over the past several months. If you are thinking about buying a home or refinancing consider taking advantage of the lull in activity to establish relationships with three-to-four lenders. Comparing proposals from multiple lenders is the best way to find the mortgage with the lowest rates and fees. Check out the INTEREST RATES feature on FREEandCLEAR to compare rates and fees for lenders in your area and find the mortgage that is right for you.
The FREEandCLEAR Mortgage Expert