Are Higher Interest Rates Damaging the Housing Recovery?

The housing recovery is often considered one of the strongest areas of the economy, but rising interest rates continue to weigh on mortgage applications.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s latest report, for the week ending June 28, loan application volume plunged 11.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. That’s the seventh weekly decline in eight weeks, and comes after a 3 percent drop in the previous week. The figures include both refinancing and home purchase demand, and cover more than 75 percent of all domestic retail residential mortgage applications.

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The industry group’s refinance index also dropped 16 percent to reach its lowest level since July 2011. The unadjusted purchase index declined 4 percent, but is still 12 percent higher than the same time last year.

Overall, the refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 64 percent of total applications, its worst level since May 2011.