Home Purchase Activity Hits Six-Month High

Mortgage applications for home purchases jumped during the third week of November to their highest level since May. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported Wednesday that its index of purchase applications soared 14.4 percent for the week ending November 19th.

MBA says the increase suggests growing consumer confidence. It offset a 1.0 percent decline in applications for mortgage refinancing, which in contrast, hit their lowest mark since the end of June. The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 78.6 percent of total applications from 80.3 percent the previous week.

Overall, MBA’s composite index – which takes into account applications for both purchases and refinances – edged up 2.1 percent compared to the week before. The trade group noted that the week prior included Veteran’s Day and no adjustment was made to the survey for the holiday.

“The increase in purchase applications last week aligns with other incoming data suggesting that consumers are feeling somewhat more confident with their financial situation,” said Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s VP of research and economics.

Fratantoni added, “While the increase was magnified somewhat by the comparison to the holiday week, the level of purchase applications on a seasonally adjusted basis is now at its highest level since the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit.”

MBA also reported average contract interest rates for the week that ended November 19th. Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.50 percent, up from 4.46 percent the week before. MBA says it’s the highest 30-year fixed rate observed in the survey since the week of September 3, 2010.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, on the other hand, declined to 3.83 percent from 3.87 percent the prior week.

This article is from DSNews.com.

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