Sep 25, 2019

U.S. mortgage rates rise while applications and home prices slow

Animated illustration of a house teetering on top of a stack of wobbling paper.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The housing market continued to slow as mortgage applications fell 10.1% from last week, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) weekly survey.

Why it matters: The MBA survey released this morning follows weak numbers from the Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, which rose just 2% month-over-month in July and did not rise at all on a monthly basis after seasonal adjustments.

  • This represents the slowest rate of home price appreciation since 2012.

The intrigue: Despite a fall in U.S. Treasury yields and the Fed cutting overnight interest rates last week, the average U.S. 30-year mortgage rate ticked up above 4%, MBA's data showed.

  • "[D]espite falling yields, mortgage rates ticked up again and have risen 20 basis points over the past two weeks,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting.
  • “The increase in rates led to fewer refinances, and activity has now dropped 17 percent over the last two weeks.”

Go deeper: Millennials are relandscaping the housing market

Go deeper