The Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday that weekly mortgage applications rose 7.4%, with refinance applications up 18% on the week, but 75% lower than a year ago. Photo by Dan Moyle/Flickr
Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Seasonally adjusted mortgage applications were up 7.4% for the week ending Feb. 3, according to the Mortgage Banker's Association's Market Composite Index. Mortgage refinance applications jumped 18% from the prior week, but was 75% lower than a year ago.
"Both purchase and refinance applications increased last week and have shown gains in three of the past four weeks because of lower rates," bankers association Vice President Joel Kan said in a statement.
"Overall applications remained 58 percent lower than a year ago and rates are still significantly higher, however, this week's results are a step in the right direction."
The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 3% from one week earlier, according to the association. "The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 4% compared with the previous week and was 37% lower than the same week one year ago," the association said in a statement.
Mortgage interest rates decreased to 6.18% from 6.19% on 30-year, fixed-rate loans.
Kan said home purchase activity put on hold last year by rapidly rising mortgage interest rates "is gradually coming back as rates ease and housing demand remains strong, driven by supportive demographics and the ongoing strength in the job market."
In July 2022, mortgage demand dropped to a 22-year low as higher interest rates and inflation took their toll on home sales.
According to the MBA, the average mortgage on an application was up to $428,500, which was the largest since May 2022.