According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates fell last week across all loan categories, including 30-year fixed-rate loans with both conforming and jumbo balances, loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and 15-year fixed-rate loans.
Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s senior vice president and chief economist, said lower rates will likely spur refinance activity. “The Federal Reserve cut rates as expected last week, but the bigger influence on the financial markets was the beginning of a trade war with China. The result was a sharp drop in mortgage rates which will likely draw many refinance borrowers into the market in the coming weeks.
Rates for 30-year fixed-rate loans fell to their lowest level since November 2016. As a result, refinance activity was up 12 percent from one week earlier and up 116 percent higher from last year. The MBA’s weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications.