Refinancing Pushes Mortgages Applications Up: MBA

The lowest 30-year mortgage rates since early May spurred a refinancing wave that pushed total mortgage applications higher last week despite a small drop in demand for loans to buy homes, an industry trade group said on Wednesday.

New home sales drop.
New home sales drop.

The Mortgage Bankers Association's mortgage applications index rose by a seasonally adjusted 3.8 percent to 681.7 in the week ended Oct. 26.

Borrowing costs on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, excluding fees, fell to an average of 6.15 percent from 6.21 percent the prior week.

This loan rate was the lowest since 6.13 percent in the May 11 week, helping propel the MBA's refinance index to its highest level since the week of March 9.

The refinancing index jumped 9.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted 2,249.0 last week. Refinancings represented a growing share of total mortgage activity, rising to 49.6 percent from 47 percent the prior week.

Applications to purchase a home, in contrast, declined 0.7 percent last week to a seasonally adjusted 412.9, the MBA said.

Contact Real Estate


    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    › Learn More
  • Diana Olick serves as CNBC's real estate correspondent as well as the editor of the Realty Check section on CNBC.com.

Latest Special Reports

  • With the world becoming more interconnected, it’s getting harder to anticipate and manage global risks. We take a look at some of the biggest risks and ways to mitigate them.

  • From family-run companies to public companies with family ownership, we tackle challenges and rewards facing family businesses.

  • Inside the market's biggest sectors with a look at the trends, companies and trades netting profits for investors.