Home purchases in the US reached their highest level in almost nine years, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association purchase applications index.
Even as mortgage rates rose for two weeks in a row, homebuyers’ loan application activity climbed 0.9% to 280.7 in the week ending April 12. The increase marked MBA’s strongest reading since 291.3 in 2010.
“With mortgage rates up for the second week in a row, it's no surprise that refinancings slid 8%, and average loan sizes dropped back closer to normal levels,” said Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting at MBA. “The spring buying season continues to be robust, with activity more than 7% higher than a year ago and up year-over-year for the ninth straight week.”
The report showed that interest rates on conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, with loan balances of $484,350 or less, averaged 4.44% last week, increasing four basis points from the previous week.
The average of the other mortgage rates MBA tracked moved up anywhere from one basis point to ten basis points.
Refinancing applications on a seasonally adjusted-basis dropped 8.2% to 1,453 in the past week, according to MBA. The refinancing index was at 1,786, its highest level since November 2016. In addition, the share of refinancing requests versus total application declined to 41.5% from 44.1% the week prior.
Lastly, MBA’s seasonally-adjusted gauge on overall mortgage application activity went down 3.5% to 459, declining further from a two and a half year peak made two weeks ago.