More Americans are applying for mortgages as rates fall

Mortgage Loans and lower rates

The number of applications for US loans to purchase or refinance homes booked their biggest weekly rise in three months as mortgage rates fell to their lowest point in five months, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The mortgage industry group said its gauge on overall mortgage application activities rose 21.3% to 398.5 in the week ended January 8.

That is the largest increase in applications since a 25.5% gain in early October 2015.

The average interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages on conforming loans declined to 4.12% from the prior week’s 4.20%.

The seasonally adjusted rate on applications for refinancing increased 23.8% to 1,380.4 from the previous week.

Seasonally adjusted index on loan requests for home purchases grew 17.8% to 231.1 from one week earlier.

“Bolstered by strong fourth quarter growth in jobs and continuing low rates, the results are similar to levels we saw in early December, suggesting that the purchase market’s strong finish to 2015 may be continuing,” said Lynn Fisher, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics.