Mortgage rates stayed at or near record lows for the fifth straight week and homeowners are taking advantage with refinance activity remaining high. Although purchase demand declined thirty-five percent year-over-year in mid-April, demand has improved modestly over the last three weeks.
As refinance applications continue to surge and lenders work to manage capacity, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage ticked up from last week’s all-time low. Mortgage rates remain at extraordinary levels and many homeowners are smartly weighing their options to refinance, potentially saving themselves money.
The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit a record 3.29 percent this week, the lowest level in its nearly 50-year history. Meanwhile, mortgage applications increased 10 percent last week from one year ago and show no signs of slowing down. Given these strong indicators in rates and sales, as well as recent increases in new construction, it’s clear the housing market continues to be a positive force for the broader economy
Given the recent volatility of the ten-year Treasury yield, it's not surprising that mortgage rates again have dropped. These low rates combined with high consumer confidence continue to drive home sales upward, a trend that is likely to endure as we enter spring.
The sound and fury of the financial markets continue to warn of an impending recession, however, the silver lining is mortgage demand reached a three-year high this week. The decline in mortgage rates over the last month is causing a spike in refinancing activity – as homeowners currently have $2 trillion in conventional mortgage loans that are in the money – which will help support consumer balance sheets and increase household cash flow. On top of that, purchase demand is up seven percent from a year ago.
Sales of new homes are slowing and unsold inventory is rising for the first time in three years. With mortgage rates increasing affordability is becoming an issue and we may see a drop in the market valuations in spite of a growing economy!