Weekly U.S. mortgage refinancing activity fell last week to its lowest since June as home borrowing costs advancing to their most expensive level in about three months, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported on Wednesday. The trade group’s seasonally adjusted index on refinancing activity declined 8 percent in the week ended Sept. 16 to its lowest level since the week of June 24. The average contract interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances of $417,000 or less increased to 3.70 percent, which was its highest since 3.75 percent in the week ended June 24, the Washington-based group said.
Temporarily, MBA’s seasonal adjusted index on applications for loans to buy a home, which is seen as a measure on future housing activity, fell 7 percent from a week earlier. This week’s domestic housing data were mixed. The government reported on Tuesday housing starts declined more than expected by 5.8 percent to an annualized 1.14 million units last month. Analysts responsible for the decline on the flooding in Texas and Louisiana, which interfered into construction in the South.
Next, the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo announced on Monday their index on their members’ confidence increased to 65 points in September, matching its strongest level since October 2015. This in comparison with a downwardly adjusted 59 in August. The MBA’s index on overall mortgage activity declined 7.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from a week prior. The refinance share of mortgage activity jumped to 63.1 percent last week, compared with 62.9 percent the previous week.