Lower Mortgage Rates Still Leave Buyers Cold

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Despite a downward tick in mortgage rates, applications rose only 0.1 percent last week, perhaps signaling few reasons to refinance and low inventory for new buyers.

Total application volume rose just 0.1 percent last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Refinance activity nudged up 1 percent, leaving it 17 percent higher than one year ago, but purchase applications fell by 0.2 percent.

The 30-year rate averaged 3.96 percent, down slightly from 3.99 percent the previous week, the MBA reported.

“Rates dipped slightly last week, and conventional refinance application volume rose to its highest level in two weeks, as borrowers locked in amidst forecasts of rising rates,” said Michael Fratantoni, chief economist for the MBA. “However, FHA refinance volume declined 10 percent last week, following several weeks of very strong volume in response to the decrease in FHA mortgage insurance premiums.”

And the record temperatures and snow fall have left many cold too and didn’t help.  With the lower interest rates, FHA mortgage insurance premiums drop, and more homes coming on the market after this long winter season is over, buyers will be out looking to purchase a home in force.

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