U.S. mortgage rates continue to climb while the number of Americans applying for a new mortgage fell by 3.7% last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest seasonally adjusted index.
Applications to refinance a home loan declined 11% for the week and were 84% lower than the same week one year ago, according to the association’s latest figures.
The drop comes amid rising uncertainty in the housing market as the U.S. Federal Reserve continues to raise the benchmark interest rate.
Refinancing levels are now at a 22-year low, with few borrowers that can benefit from today’s higher rates.
The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed mortgage sat at 6.12% on Wednesday, which is up from 5.81% at the same point last week, according to Forbes.
Mortgage rates have hit a 14-year high.
“Applications for both purchase and refinances declined last week as mortgage rates continued to increase to multi-year highs following more aggressive policy measures from the Federal Reserve to bring down inflation,” MBA associate vice president Joel Kan said in a statement.
“Additionally, ongoing uncertainty about the impact of the Fed’s reduction of its MBS and Treasury holdings is adding to the volatility in mortgage rates. The 30-year fixed rate was 6.52% its highest level since mid-2008. After a brief pause in July, mortgage rates have increased more than a percentage point over the past six weeks.”
The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 30.2% of total applications from 32.5% the previous week. Mortgage applications to purchase a home decreased 0.4% for the week and were 29% lower than the same week the previous year.
“With rates now more than double what they were a year ago, the pace of refinancing is running at a 22-year low and last week was more than 80% below last year’s level. Similarly, purchase activity was 29% lower than a year ago, with higher rates and economic uncertainty weighing on buyers’ decisions,” said Kan.
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