According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Applications Survey, average mortgage rates were relatively unmoved last week from the week before. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances were flat from one week earlier, while jumbo loans, loans backed by the FHA, and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages all saw declines from the previous week.
Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, says rates remain at record lows. “Mortgage rates are closing the year at record lows,” Kan said. “The 30-year fixed-rate … is a full percentage point below a year ago.” But while Kan says low rates are helping the market end the year strong, he also notes that tight inventory and higher prices may cause affordability challenges for entry-level and first-time buyers in 2021. “Housing affordability will be worth monitoring next year,” he said.
Year-over-year, demand for loans to buy homes was up 26 percent as of last week. Refinance activity was 124 percent higher than one year ago. The MBA’s weekly survey has been conducted since 1990 and covers 75 percent of all retail residential mortgage applications. (source)