US mortgage applications up 2.2% for the week; rate drops again to 6.67%

Mortgage applications in the United States increased 2.2% in the week ended Nov. 18 from the previous week, according to seasonally adjusted data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). The 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate fell for the second consecutive week to 6.67%, nearly 50 basis points below the peak of 7.16% recorded a month ago.

The refinance ratio increased 2% from the previous week, but is still 86% lower than the same week last year. The seasonally-adjusted shopping index rose 3% from the previous week and the unadjusted index rose 9% in the same comparison. And it is 41% below the same week of the previous year.

According to economist Joel Kan, vice president of the MBA, the fall in mortgage rates should improve the purchasing power of potential homebuyers, who were largely marginalized, as interest rates more than doubled in a year. “As a result of falling mortgage rates, purchase orders and refinancing increased slightly last week. However, refinancing activity is still more than 80% below last year’s pace,” he said.

The refinancing share of mortgage activity increased to 28.4% of total orders from 27.6% in the previous week. The share of Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) activity decreased to 8.8% of total applications.

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