Record low mortgage rates attract more refinancings

Mortgage rates are plummeting to record lows, attracting hoards of applications for new mortgages and mortgage refinancings.

The volume of applications filed for mortgages jumped a seasonally adjusted 48 percent last week compared with the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly survey.

The survey’s refinance Index increased 62.6 percent from the week before. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 83.2 percent of the total applications from 76.9 percent the previous week.

Applications for the week ended Dec. 19 ran 124.6 percent ahead of the mortgage activity seen during the same week last year, according to the MBA.

The 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage fell to an average of 5.14 percent for the week ending Dec. 24, down from last week’s 5.19 percent average, according to the MBA survey, released today.

"Interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages eased for the eighth straight week and set another record low since Freddie Mac’s survey began in 1971," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac chief economist, in a news release.

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