Looks like a better functioning refi market with new construction and prices remaining relatively low as the tax credit ends.

No sign of credit growth coming from this sector any time soon.

US Home Refinancing Jumps While Purchasing Slumps

By Julie Haviv

May 26 (Reuters) — U.S. mortgage applications to refinance home loans jumped to a seven-month high last week as rates neared record lows, but purchase demand remained stuck at a 13-year low.

Interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, the most widely used loan, reached their lowest level since late-November 2009, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday.

Low mortgage rates may prove to be the saving grace for the housing market as it copes with the expiration of popular home buyer tax credits.

The MBA said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage applications, which includes both purchase and refinance loans, for the week ended May 21, increased 11.3 percent.

The four-week moving average of mortgage applications, which smoothes the volatile weekly figures, was up 4.4 percent.

“Refinance application volume jumped last week as continuing financial market turmoil related to the budget crises in Europe extended the opportunity for homeowners to lock in at historically low mortgage rates,” Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics, said in a statement.

2 Responses

  1. “No sign of credit growth…”

    Credit growth can come from increased a) volume or purchases or b) house prices.

    But increased house prices are not a good thing, the opposite – low prices, are good (home buyers are getting more house for their dollars).

    So the fact, that we see no sign of credit growth is not necessarily a bad thing, is it?

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