By Matthew Vann
U.S. home mortgage applications rose for two consecutive weeks, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
The MBA said there was a 15 percent increase in mortgage application activity, including home purchases and refinancing, for the week ending January 11.
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, however, remained unchanged at 3 percent. Such record-low interest rates encourage homeowners to refinance their current mortgages and attract new buyers as well. Tough credit restrictions, however, still bar some potential borrowers from filing mortgage applications.
The news comes a week after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced new lending guidelines to ensure that mortgage borrowers can afford to repay their loans.
MBA agrees that the goal of this regulation, ensuring that borrowers receive loans that they can repay, is in everyone’s best interest,” said Debra Still, the MBA chairwoman. “Our concern has always been that we balance this goal with other housing policy objectives, particularly the objective to ensure the availability of mortgage credit to qualified borrowers.”