Trump’s first housing move tanks mortgage applications 3.2%
The Trump administration’s nominee for secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Ben Carson, said he wanted to examine the cut further, along with the fiscal health of the FHA’s insurance fund, and make sure a cut in premiums wouldn’t increase taxpayer risk.
“Following the decision to suspend a proposed decrease in the FHA mortgage insurance premium, FHA refinance applications dropped more than 25 percent, while FHA purchase applications fell almost 6 percent,” said Michael Fratantoni, chief economist for the MBA.
Adding to overall borrower costs last week was the first jump in mortgage rates of 2017. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($424,000 or less) increased to its highest level since December, 4.39 percent, from 4.35 percent, with points increasing to 0.34 from 0.30 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans.
Applications to refinance a home loan fell 1 percent for the week, seasonally adjusted but are nearly 32 percent below year-ago levels. Refinance volume dipped below 50 percent of overall applications and hit its lowest since July 2015. Mortgage rates jumped decisively following the presidential election, pulled back slightly at the start of the new year and are now heading higher once again.