Applications to refinance a home loan rose 1 percent from the previous week, seasonally adjusted, and are 24 percent higher than one year ago. Mortgage rates were slightly higher a year ago at this time, but not by much.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) remained unchanged at 3.82 percent, with points unchanged at 0.34 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans, according to the MBA.
Credit availability is a much bigger issue in the market than interest rates today, as big bank lenders continue to shy away from riskier borrowers. JPMorgan Chase did recently launch a new 3 percent down-payment product, mirroring another product available through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The program, however, requires borrowers to have strong credit.