Real Estate

Mortgage refinancing surges, but high home prices stop buyers


A house for sale on December 17, 2020 in Scituate, Massachusetts.

Matt Stone | MediaNews Group | Getty Images

Mortgage rates fell for the first time in nearly a month, and that lit a fire under current borrowers who may have thought they missed the boat on refinancing their loans.

Applications to refinance jumped 11% last week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. Demand was 59% higher than a year ago. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 71.4% of total applications from 70.7% the previous week.

The move was spurred by a decline in interest rates. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages…


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