Real Estate

Mortgage demand plunges, as interest rates rise


A ‘For Sale’ sign stands in a vacant lot near new homes in Dunlap, Illinois.

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

After a brief reprieve in the first half of December, mortgage interest rates shot up again to end the year, weighing on mortgage demand.

Mortgage application volume was down 13.2% at the end of last week from two weeks earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. The MBA was closed last week due to the holidays.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming balances ($647,200 or less), for loans with a 20% down payment, increased to 6.58% from 6.34% two weeks prior. At the end of 2021, the rate was…


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