Mortgage rates are up in what is typically a slow time of the year. Lower interest rates, coupled with strong job growth and modest wage growth in 2018, have helped boost mortgage application volumes by 1.6% from last week to this week. The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) says this, however, was 16% lower than a year ago.
"Mortgage rates fell across the board last week, driven by a similar slide in Treasury. Trade fears dominated investors' concerns for another week, and this was amplified by data released by the U.S. Commerce Department showing a widening trade deficit," said Joel Kan, MBA's associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($453,100 or less) decreased to 4.96%, the lowest level since September, from 5.08%, with points increasing to 0.48 from 0.44 (including the origination fee) for loans with 20% down payments.