Dec. 16 (UPI) -- With new record lows for mortgage rates in the United States, an industry report on Wednesday said the level of homeowners applying to refinance is now more than 100% higher than it was just a year ago.
The report from the Mortgage Bankers Association said total applications to refinance have risen by 1.1% and mortgage rates fell to a record low for the 15th time this year.
The MBA Refinance Index is 105% higher than this time in 2019. Refinancings are typically most sensitive to mortgage rate fluctuations, experts say.
Total applications to buy a home are up 2% for the week and 26% year-to-year.
"Rates stayed low last week, in part due to uncertainty over the prospects of additional pandemic-related government stimulus, as well as concerns about the continued rise in COVID-19 cases across the country," Joel Kan, MBA associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, said in a statement.
"Mortgage rates as a result fell to another survey low, with the 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropping five basis points to 2.85 percent. Homeowners once again acted on the decline in rates, with refinance activity rising for the second straight week."
The MBA said on Tuesday that mortgage applications for new homes in November rose about 35% over 2019, but fell 16% from October.