Low Mortgage Rates Drive Loan Demand Surge

Mortgage application volume soared 9.5 percent last week as mortgage rates took a dip to the lowest levels since February, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Mortgage applications for refinancings for the week ending March 20 rose 12 percent week over week, and are up 35 percent over levels from a year ago. Applications for home purchases, viewed as a leading gauge of future home sales, increased 5 percent, moving 3 percent higher than year-ago levels, the MBA reports.

"Low mortgage rates and more importantly continued improvements in the job market are the likely drivers behind this increase, " says Michael Fratantoni, chief economist for the MBA.

The MBA reports that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.90 percent last week, a drop from a 3.99 percent average the prior week.

Source: “Mortgage Applications at Highest Level Since January,” CNBC (March 25, 2015)