Demand for mortgage applications typically increases as the spring season approaches. Buyers hoping to find a home to buy look to get a jump on their competition by applying for a loan before the rush. This year is no exception. In fact, mortgage application demand was up 3.3 percent last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The increase puts demand for loans to buy homes 4 percent higher than it was at the same time last year. Some of that interest is seasonal, of course, but it also might have to do with buyers who are concerned about future mortgage rate increases. Last week, for example, average mortgage rates rose across all loan categories, including 30-year fixed-rate loans with both conforming and jumbo balances, FHA loans, and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Joel Kan, an MBA economist, said the increase had to do with a couple of factors. “Mortgage rates increased last week as remarks by several key Federal Reserve officials strongly signaled a March rate increase,” Kan told CNBC. “This was further supported by a few solid economic releases, including GDP, inflation and manufacturing gauges.” Whether to lock in low rates or because of the approaching sales season, buyers seem eager to take advantage of current conditions. More here.

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