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The upside to the sell off in stock markets is lower interest rates for the housing market. A drop in rates last week boosted mortgage applications for both refinances and home purchases, and interest rates continues to slide.
Total mortgage application volume for the week ending October 3rd rose 3.8 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Refinance applications were 5 percent higher than the previous week, and purchase applications were 2 percent higher. On an annual basis, however, refinance applications are down 32 percent and purchase applications are down nearly 8 percent.
"The purchase index reached its highest level since July," noted Michael Fratantoni, chief economist for the MBA. "The increase was led by a 3.7 percent increase in government purchase volume for the week."
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 4.30 percent from 4.33 percent for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans, according to the MBA. With continued weakness in the stock market Tuesday, rates continued to drop, now nearing their lowest level of the year.