April 26th, 2013
Mortgage applications experienced a 0.2 percent increase over last week, according to the Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey released by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). This news came on April 24, just one day before 15-year mortgage rates fell to a record low of 2.61 percent. The former record was set the week of November 21, 2012 at a rate of 2.63 percent.
This downward trend is good news for buyers and owners alike – homeowners can make significant savings by refinancing to a 15-year mortgage from their current 30-year rates. Homeowners have long been utilizing this to their advantage, and continue to do so. Last week, approximately 75 percent of mortgage applications were for refinancing rather than new purchases.
“The housing market is getting a boost, with mortgage rates hovering at or near record lows.” Frank Nothaft, chief economist for Freddie Mac said in a press release.
Current homeowners have received some more good news this year, as nearly 5 million existing homes sold in 2013′s first quarter, the most since 2009. Home prices are also improving, rising at the highest rate since the housing bubble burst. A government report released in March listed the average price of a recently sold home in February as $246,800, up by 3 percent a year earlier.