"Purchase applications increased for the fourth time in five weeks as we proceed further into the spring home buying season," Mike Fratantoni, chief economist for the MBA, told CNBC. "Applications for FHA
[government insured] purchase loans remained strong as well."
Applications for home purchases rose 5% over the previous week – a total of 16% over the same week last year. While refi applications are up just 1% week over week, they are still up 41% over last year – little surprise given that rates back then were around the 4.25% mark.
Amid the news that house prices across the nation are continuing to rise, the good news that total mortgage application volume rose 2.3% last week underlines that we are well on the way to a full housing recovery. The MBA’s latest figures tell an interesting story: despite lower mortgage rates, the gains are being driven by purchasers rather than by refinancers.