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Coronavirus jitters slow home buying but demand is still high

The race to refinance or buy a home slowed a bit last week as interest rates ticked up over uncertainty about the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mortgage applications dropped 8.4% as compared to a week earlier, according to the latest survey from the Mortgage Bankers Association. Applications to refinance dropped 10%.

“The ongoing situation around the coronavirus led to further stress in the financial markets late last week, with unprecedented volatility,” Joel Kan, the MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting said in a statement. “This drove mortgage rates back up to their highest levels since mid-February.”

But, not counting a spike that occurred two weeks ago, the number of people seeking mortgages was still the highest it’s been since October 2012, with refinancing representing nearly 75% of all applications, Kan said.

Home owners rush to refinance:A ‘traffic jam’ hits home refinancing as owners rush to take advantage of record-low rates

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