Mortgage rates have hit their lowest levels since November, but it is still not enough to entice people to apply for loans to buy homes.
While the lower rates did push mortgage applications to refinance higher by 4 percent last week from the previous week, they did nothing to push potential home buyers into the market. Applications to purchase a home fell 3 percent week to week and are now nearly 12 percent lower than a year ago.
"Rates on conforming loans hit six month lows and jumbo rates hit 12 month lows," said Mike Fratantoni, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association. "Refinance volume picked up somewhat as a result, but it still remains more than 65 percent below last year's pace."
Meanwhile, U.S.mortgage rates continued lower, after another week of economic uncertainty in Europe and weak data at home. Investors fleeing to the safety of the bond market pushed yields lower, and mortgage rates loosely follow those yields. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 4.33 percent, the lowest rate since November, from 4.39 percent the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.