As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage on, the market is still experiencing significant activity. One of the latest developments in the US housing market is the decrease in mortgage rates. In fact, the 30-year fixed mortgage has dropped to its lowest rate since February whereas the 15-year fixed rate has reached its lowest level since 1990.
Morgage Activity Has Increased in the Wake of Rate Cuts
As a result of the drop in interest rates, the number of applications to refinance home loans has skyrocketed over the last few days. According to CNBC, refinancing applications have increased by 9% from the previous week. Moreover, loan refinancing constituted 67.2% of all mortgage activity compared to 64.9% from the previous week.
It is worth noting that refinancing applications are not the only mortgage activity that has increased in recent days. As a matter of fact, interest in securing a mortgage has increased by 5.7% since the interest rate cuts. Joel Kan, the Associate Vice President of Economic & Industry Forecasting for the Mortgage Bankers Association had this to say about this recent development in mortgage activity:
The 10-year Treasury yield fell last week, as investors grew concerned about increasing COVID-19 case counts and the downside risks to the current economic recovery. Refinance applications jumped, as the 30-year fixed mortgage rate declined to its lowest level since February 2021, and the 15-year rate fell to another record low dating back to 1990
Industry experts have been eagerly awaiting the federal reserve’s statement on Wednesday. As most have expected, the Fed opted to leave interest rates unchanged. The decision is in line with the federal reserve’s overall strategy, one that is rooted in optimism regarding the health of the economy.
High Home Prices Are Still Keeping Buyers at Bay
While interest in mortgages has picked up significantly over the past few weeks, buyers are still hesitant to jump in. High home prices have persisted for months and are still putting off buyers who would otherwise have purchased property. In fact, the purchase index has been sliding for weeks and has decreased by 2% for a second consecutive week.