U.S. Home Mortgage Applications Rise – Consumers Unfazed by Higher Interest Rates:
U.S. applications for home mortgages increased last week according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The MBA index rose by 1.3 percent and shows some evidence of increased activity in the housing sector. The MBA said today increased demand for new loans and refinancing occurred last week while interest rates rose. Demand for refinancing rose 1.3 percent while demand for loans for new purchases rose 1.1 percent although interest rates increased.
The MBA said refinancing is still the majority of all mortgage applications at around 80 percent and interest rates for fixed 30 year mortgages rose from 4.18 percent to 4.25 percent in the prior week which had didn’t impact overall activity negatively. The impact of rising interest rates was offset by a decrease on loan size amounts which were down for both home purchases and refinancing.
It’s still largely a buyers market and housing numbers from September were mixed negative with data from Case Shiller showing home prices rising and new home sales down 2.3 percent. The housing market is still dragging down overall economic growth and a large portion of people owe more than their houses are actually worth.