Borrowers came back to the mortgage market last week, thanks to a slight retreat in interest rates. Total mortgage application volume rose 5.8 percent for the week compared to the previous week.
Still, volume came in 28 percent lower than the same week a year ago. The Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted report includes an adjustment for the Presidents Day holiday.
The gains are not particularly impressive, given how weak mortgage volume has been this year. Applications to refinance a home loan rose 5 percent for the week, reaching the highest level since December, seasonally adjusted, but they are still 45 percent below year-ago levels. That is because interest rates are about 50 basis points higher than a year ago.