Mortgage applications surged in mid-September 2017, with applications for home purchases and refinances jumping 9.9 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association and as reported by Realtor® Magazine.
Mortgage rates were among the lowest of the past year, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate averaging 4.03 percent during the week ending September 8, 2017, dropping from 4.06 percent the week prior, the MBA reported.
“Overall, mortgage rates continued to decline last week with the 30-year fixed rate decreasing three basis points to its lowest level since the 2016 election,” said MBA Economist Joel Kan. “Rates have decreased almost 20 basis points since mid-July.”
Home purchase applications were up 11 percent in the week ending September 8, seven percent higher than this time last year. Refinance applications increased nine percent in the week ending September 8 but are 35 percent lower than this time last year, when rates were even lower. Even with the recent reduction in rates, however, the weekly index is about 19 percent lower than this time last year, likely attributed to fewer refinancing applications.
Kan believes mortgage applications would have increased further without two major hurricanes hitting populous states along the Gulf Coast. “To illustrate the impact of the two major hurricanes … mortgage applications for the state of Texas ran about 25 percent lower than the state’s weekly average for the year to date, reflecting the impact of Hurricane Harvey,” he said.
“Additionally, in the most recent week we saw mortgage applications in Florida fall 48 percent lower than its 2017 weekly average, as many residents evacuated in anticipation of Hurricane Irma. In comparison, the level of applications for the nation last week was only 12 percent lower than its 2017 average.”