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Mortgage Demand Up 14% on Falling Rates

Total volume for mortgage applications jumped 14 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis this week, as interest rates continue their freefall in the wake of the "Brexit" vote, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday. The volume level is now 66 percent higher than a year ago.

Refinancings are mostly fueling the spike. Refinancing applications are up 21 percent week-over-week and are 113.5 percent higher than a year ago, when rates were about three-quarters of a percentage point higher, CNBC reports.

"Mortgage rates have been low for years, but the impact of Brexit has brought us close to record lows once again, with jumbo rates already at their lowest levels, giving more borrowers a larger incentive to refinance," says Mike Fratantoni, MBA's chief economist.

Applications for home purchases saw a smaller rise last week, but still were up 4 percent week-over-week and 23 percent higher than a year ago, MBA reports.

"Even though financial market volatility may be causing some anxiety, the combination of low rates and a still-strong job market in the U.S. outweighs those fears for these home buyers," Fratantoni says.

The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 3.66 percent last week, the lowest level since May 2013, MBA reported. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage on jumbo loans — usually considered to be mortgages with balances of more than $417,000 — dropped to 3.67 percent, the lowest level since January 2011.

Source: "Mortgage Refinances Jump 21% on Near Record Low Rates," CNBC (July 6, 2016)