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What is a Mortgage?

A mortgage represents a loan or lien on a property/house that has to be paid over a specified period of time. Think of it as your personal guarantee that you'll repay the money you've borrowed to buy your home.

Mortgages come in many different shapes and sizes, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Make sure you select the mortgage that is right for you, your future plans, and your financial picture.

Mortgage News
Borrowers Pick Up Pace of Refinancing    
April 10 2024
The interest rate for conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) again topped 7 percent last week, but mortgage application activity still squeezed out a tiny gain.  The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Market Composite Index, a measure of application volume, increased 0.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 0.2 percent compared with the previous week. But that tiny gain was due solely to a 10.0 percent increase in refinancing (plus 4.0 percent year-over-year) while the purchase mortgage level fell 5.0 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis. Refinancing accounted for 33.3 percent of applications during the week compared to 30.3 percent a week earlier. [refiappschart] The non-seasonally adjusted Purchase Index was 4.0 percent lower last week and down 23 percent from its level the same week one year ago. [purchaseappschart] “Mortgage rates moved higher last week as several Federal Reserve officials reiterated a patient posture on rate cuts. Inflation remains stubbornly above the Fed’s target, and the broader economy continues to show resiliency. Unexpectedly strong employment data released last week further added to the upward pressure on rates,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist. “The 30-year fixed rate increased to 7.01 percent, the highest in over a month. Purchase applications were down almost five percent to the lowest level since the end of February, but refinance applications were up 10 percent, driven particularly by VA refinance applications.”
Persistent High Rates Have Application Volume Stuck in Neutral
April 03 2024
Mortgage application activity drifted lower again last week , the third straight week of mostly fractional declines. The Mortgage Bankers Association’s Market Composite Index, a measure of application volume, decreased 0.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier and 0.1 percent before adjustment. The Refinance Index declined by 2.0 percent from the previous week and was 5.0 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The refinance share of mortgage activity slipped to 30.3 percent from 30.8 percent the previous week. [refiappschart] The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index ticked down by 0.1 percent week over week but did move 1.0 percent higher on an unadjusted basis. Purchase activity was 13.0 percent lower than during the same week in 2023.    [purchaseappschart] “Mortgage rates moved lower last week, but that did little to ignite overall mortgage application activity. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate declined slightly to 6.91 percent, while the 15-year fixed-rate decreased to its lowest level in two months at 6.35 percent,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist. “Elevated mortgage rates continued to weigh down on home buying. Purchase applications were unchanged overall, although FHA purchases did pick up slightly over the week. Refinance applications decreased to fall 5 percent below last year’s pace.”  Other Highlights from MBA’s Weekly Mortgage Application Survey
Little Change in Mortgage Application Volume, Despite Lower Rates
March 27 2024
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its Market Composite Index moved lower last week, apparently indifferent to a slight improvement in mortgage interest rates. The Index, which measures loan application volume, decreased 0.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier.  On an unadjusted basis, the Index declined 0.4 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 2.0 percent from the previous week and was 9.0 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The refinance share of mortgage activity accounted for 30.8 percent of total applications compared to 31.2 percent the previous week. [refiappschart] The Purchase Index ticked down 0.2 percent both before and after its seasonal adjustment.  It was 16.0 percent lower than the same week one year ago. [purchaseappschart] “Mortgage application activity was muted last week despite slightly lower mortgage rates. The 30-year fixed rate edged lower to 6.93 percent, but that was not enough to stimulate borrower demand,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Vice President and Deputy Chief Economist. “Purchase applications were essentially unchanged, as homebuyers continue to hold out for lower mortgage rates and for more listings to hit the market. Lower rates should help to free up additional inventory as the lock-in effect is reduced, but we expect that will only take place gradually, as we forecast that rates will move toward 6 percent by the end of the year. Similarly, with rates remaining elevated, there is very little incentive right now for rate/term refinances.”