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Demand for purchase loans up slightly for first time in 7 weeks

Purchase loan applications rose 1% last week despite latest Fed rate hike, but homebuyer demand for mortgages remained close to 2015 lows, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association

The latest Fed rate hike doesn’t seem to have deterred homebuyers, with purchase mortgage applications picking up slightly last week for the first time in nearly two months, according to a weekly survey of lenders by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The MBA’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey showed demand for purchase mortgages was up by a seasonally adjusted 1 percent last week when compared to the week before, but down 41 percent from a year ago. Requests to refinance were down 4 percent week over week and 87 percent from a year ago.

“Purchase applications increased for the first time after six weeks of declines but remained close to 2015 lows, as homebuyers remained sidelined by higher rates and ongoing economic uncertainty,” MBA Deputy Chief Economist Joel Kan said in a statement. “Refinances continued to fall, with the index hitting its lowest level since August 2000.”

Requests to refinance accounted for 28.1 percent of all mortgage applications, down from 28.6 percent the week before, and 12 percent of applications were for adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs).



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