Real Estate

Mortgage refinance demand plunged 15% last week, but could now reverse


Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Mortgage rates rose decisively again for most of last week, causing a massive drop in mortgage demand, but late in the week everything changed with the news of the Covid omicron variant.

Last week the average rate on the 30-year mortgage with conforming loan balance ($548,250 or less) increased to 3.31% from 3.24%, with points rising to 0.43 from 0.36 (including the origination fee) for loans with a 20% down payment, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. That is the highest rate since April of this year. The rate was 39 basis points lower one year ago.

The increase in rates caused applications to refinance a home loan to drop 15% for the…


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