Applications to refinance loans rose 3 percent from the previous week, seasonally adjusted, adding to bigger gains seen earlier this month, when rates were falling precipitously. Refinance volume is up 18 percent in the past four weeks.
Mortgage applications to purchase a home decreased 1 percent for the week, but are 17 percent higher than the same week one year ago. Homebuyers are out in force this spring but are being met by higher prices and steeper competition. Homebuilders are less confident about current sales than they were last month, even though they are reporting higher buyer traffic, according to a separate survey released Monday by the National Association of Home Builders.
"Builders remain cautiously optimistic about construction growth in 2016," NAHB chief economist Robert Dietz said in the report. "Solid job creation and low mortgage interest rates will sustain continued gains in the single-family housing market in the months ahead."