Mortgage rates fell to fresh record lows, and more consumers went shopping for a mortgage this week.
Freddie Mac reported the average 30-year at 4.36 percent — another record low based on data back to 1971.
Half of the panelists surveyed by Bankrate.com for the week Aug. 26 to Sept. 2 agreed that rates will linger at current levels over then next seven days or so. But 30 percent see further declines, while 20 percent projected rates will rise at least 3 BPS.
The one-year Treasury-indexed adjustable-rate mortgage was barely lower than last week at 3.52 percent, Freddie’s report indicated.
Borrowers opting for an ARM over a fixed rate accounted for 5.8 percent of activity in the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ended Aug. 20, up marginally from 5.7 in the previous survey.
Mortgage lenders were busier this past week based on the Mortech-Mortgage Daily Mortgage Market Index — which increased to 355 Wednesday from 350. The index, which reflects new traffic at mortgage brokerage shops, was up for the fourth consecutive week.
The average U.S. loan amount in the Mortgage Market Index report was $214,838, lower than $215,694 last week. Washington, D.C.’s $290,953 average enabled the district to maintain its grip on the highest average loan amount. South Dakota’s $151,741 was the lowest state average.
Refinance share nudged down slightly from seven days earlier, to 64 percent in the Mortech-Mortgage Daily report. Given the lower refinance share and the higher Mortgage Market Index — more homebuyers are likely shopping for a home to purchase.