Sign in front of a home for sale on May 11, 2023 in San Francisco, California.

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Mortgage rates have retreated from recent highs, but demand has fallen for the fourth straight week.

Total mortgage application volume last week decreased 1.4%, compared to the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with matching loan balances ($726,200 or less) fell to 6.81% from 6.91%, with the score falling to 0.66 from 0.83 (including origination fees) for loans of 20%. premium. However, it was the second highest weekly average for 2023 so far.

Home loan refinance applications fell 1% during the week and were 42% lower than in the same week a year ago. The share of refinancing in mortgage activity rose to 27.3% of total applications from 26.7% in the previous week.

Home mortgage applications fell 2% for the week and were 27% lower than a year ago.

“Buying activity is constrained by reduced purchasing power from higher rates and a persistent lack of inventory to sell in the market, while there remains very little rate incentive for refinancing borrowers,” said Joel Kahn, MBA’s deputy chief economist. “There was a smaller decline in government orders last week, which is consistent with the growing share of first-time home buyers in the market.”

Mortgage rates didn’t move much this week, as there was little economic data to push them either way. The monthly inflation report from the government next week is likely to be the next major reading on the economy to influence mortgage rates.


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