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Mortgage activity drops despite dip in rates

Posted by The Aramco Group on Thu, May 31, 2018 @ 14:05 PM

Mortgages rates declining for the second consecutive week was not enough to rouse applications to purchase or refinance a home last month. Total mortgage application volume fell by 2.9 percent for the week ended May 25, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Applications to refinance, which are most rate sensitive, were unmoved by the lower borrowing costs.

"Rates slipped slightly over the week as concerns over U.S. trade policy and global growth sent some investors back to safer U.S. Treasurys," said Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting at the MBA. "Both purchase and refinance activity decreased despite the drop in rates, part of which was due to slowing activity before the Memorial Day holiday."

Refinances fell five percent for the week, dropping to their lowest level since December 2000. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index was two percent lower from the prior week. Mortgage rates have continued to decline in recent days, falling roughly .125 percent this week alone, which may lead to a upswing in activity in the coming weeks.

Today, conforming no-point 30-year fixed mortgage rates are averaging 4.375 percent, 15-year rates are near 3.875 percent and the 5-year ARM is averaging 4.0 percent.

Do you have a question for Real Estate & Mortgage Analyst Mehran Aram? Submit your queries about a home purchase, refinance, or reverse mortgage via Aramco.Biz, social media (#AramcoReport), or over the phone at (866) 381-8888 and your questions may be featured in an upcoming article.