Despite a still-bleak housing market and interest rates creeping up, mortgage applications rose earlier this month, according to new data from a housing group.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage applications, which includes both purchase and refinance loans, for the week ending April 3 increased 4.7 percent to 1,250.6, Reuters reported on April 8.
Good news also came in the form of the quality of buyers, which was high, Cameron Findlay, chief economist at Charlotte-based LendingTree.com told Reuters, basing that estimation on high credit scores and low loan-to-value rations.
So how low are interest rates?
Reuters reports that borrowing costs on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.73 percent, compared to 5.78 percent a year ago.
All this comes as the U.S. housing market faces its worst downturn since the Great Depression, Reuters said, with many experts hoping a real estate stabilization was underway.
Incentives such as the first-time homebuyer credit are also affecting demand, Bob Walters, chief economist at Quicken Loans, told Reuters.
Refinancing is also on the move.
According to the MBA, refinancing increased 3.2 percent to 6,813.5.
Fixed 15-year mortgage rates averaged 4.49 percent, up from 4.45 percent the previous week. Rates on one-year ARMs increased to 6.23 percent from 6.20 percent.
This article was submitted by Kathleen O’Connor, a contributing writer for Biz2Credit. Biz2Credit is a small business marketplace that provides entrepreneurs with the latest industry news and financial advice. Send all questions to email@example.com.