Mortgage applications soared to the highest level since January last week, thanks to the lowest interest rates since February. Total volume rose 9.5 percent for the week ended March 20 from the previous week on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).
Applications to refinance loans increased 12 percent week to week and are up 35 percent from a year ago. Applications for mortgages to purchase a home, which are an indicator of future home sales, rose 5 percent and are now 3 percent higher than a year ago.
"Low mortgage rates and more importantly continued improvements in the job market are the likely drivers behind this increase, " said Michael Fratantoni, chief economist for the MBA.