Real Estate

Weekly mortgage applications sink as coronavirus sets back homebuyers


An “Open House” sign is displayed in the front yard of a home for sale in Columbus, Ohio.

Ty Wright | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Consumers are fast losing confidence in this spring housing market, given the economic upheaval from the coronavirus. Higher mortgage rates aren’t helping either.

Both combined to cause a 17.9% drop in mortgage applications last week compared with the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s seasonally adjusted index. 

Refinance activity had bounced back the week before, after a sharp drop in rates, but those rates didn’t hold. 

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances of up to…


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