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Mortgage Applications Fall Despite Declining Mortgage Rates

Mortgage demand fell for the first time since November as mortgage rates reached their lowest level since June 2023.

Total home loan applications decreased by 1.5% for the week ending Dec. 15 compared to the previous week, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

Mortgage rates for the 30-year fixed loan averaged 6.83%, according to Freddie Mac‘s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. 

“At least as of last week, borrowers’ response to this rate move was rather tepid,” Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s senior vice president and chief economist said in a statement. “VA refinance applications jumped 18% for the week, but otherwise, both refinance and purchase applications showed small declines.”

Purchase applications decreased by 1% week over week on an adjusted basis. Meanwhile, refinance applications decreased by 2% on a weekly basis. 

The share of Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan activity decreased to 15.5%, down from 16.1% the week prior. The share of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loan activity was 15.6%, up from 14.2% over the previous week, while the share of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loan activity remained unchanged at 0.4%.

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