Purchase Mortgages and Refinancing Slump Amid Trade Disputes

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The Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Application Survey’s latest survey cites the ongoing trade dispute with China as a source of worry for potential homeowners holding off home buying. As Treasury yields have fallen in the past few weeks, so too has the 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage (FRM). On a seasonally adjusted basis, refinancing activity fell by 6.0% from the previous week. The following figure shows the relationship between the 30-year FRM, Purchasing Activity, and Refinancing Activity.


The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell significantly towards the end of 2018. Since then, it has maintained a downward trend. Refinancing activity is more sensitive to the change in the fixed-rate mortgage interest rates than purchasing applications. Purchase mortgage activity declined 3% compared to the previous week, but on a year-over-year basis, it was still 7% higher.



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