June 3 (UPI) -- U.S. homebuyers are returning to the market in record numbers as much of the United States has begun to reopen following weeks of unease during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday applications are up 18 percent over last year, and they increased by 5 percent since last week.
Just six weeks ago, applications nationally were down 35 percent year-to-year.
Joel Kan, the association's associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, said the seasonally adjusted index measuring purchase applications indicates there are eager buyers looking to move forward when coronavirus pandemic restrictions are lifted.
"Pent-up demand from homebuyers returning to the market continues to support a recovery from the weekly declines observed earlier this spring," Kan said.
The MBA said applications for refinancing fell 9 percent, but the level was still 137 percent higher than it was at the same time in 2019.
"However, there are still many households affected by the widespread job losses and current economic downturn," Kan said. "High unemployment and low housing supply may restrain a more meaningful rebound in purchase applications in the coming months."
Among the findings in this week's mortgage application data: Applications for Veteran Affairs loans fell 0.4 percent; and mortgage interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell to 3.37 percent.