Overall applications dip, led by refinances

Mortgage application with coins and calculator
Aaban / Shutterstock

Mortgage applications overall slipped 0.3% in the week ending Nov. 13, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported Wednesday.

Requests for refi loans fell 2% compared to the previous week, but were still up a staggering 98% compared to the same time last year. Refinance mortgages accounted for 69.8% of total applications, slightly less than the previous week’s 70%.

“The average refinance loan balance of $291,000 last week was the lowest since January,” notes Joel Kan, the MBA’s forecaster. “Many borrowers with higher loan balances may have acted earlier on in the current refinance wave.”

But lots of homeowners are still on the sidelines. Some 18.5 million mortgage holders are in a good position to refinance and save around $300 monthly, the mortgage data firm Black Knight said earlier this month. The researchers say 2.5 million could even save $500 or more every month by refinancing.

Good refi candidates — those with a solid credit score and at least 20% home equity — may need to hurry to lock in one of the best rates while they're still available.

Bill Gates made a splash in 2017 when he bought $520 million worth of U.S. farmland, and he’s continued to invest since. What’s in it for Gates?

Read More

Mortgage rates edge higher

Young and happy couple dressed in white shirts standing together with cups near the window at home
RossHelen / Shutterstock

Mortgage rates have ticked up to 2.99%, according to the MBA’s weekly survey, up slightly from the previous week’s 2.98%.

After months of historic lows, rates could be starting to climb. They already jumped sharply after drug company Pfizer announced an effective COVID-19 vaccine could be just months away.

Low rates are continuing to lure buyers into the housing market. Applications for new mortgages — called “purchase loans” — spiked last week.

“The purchase market recovered from its recent weekly slump, with activity increasing 3 percent and climbing above year-ago levels for the 26th straight week,” says Kan.

“Housing demand remains supported by the ongoing recovery in the job market, and an increased appetite from households seeking more space because of the pandemic,” he adds.

Whether you’re buying or refinancing, compare a minimum of five rate quotes to find the lowest mortgage rate possible for someone in your area and with your credit profile. Studies have found you can save thousands of dollars by getting at least five mortgage offers.

Use those same comparison shopping skills to buy your homeowners insurance at the best possible rate.

Are you thinking about saving? Well, stop thinking about it!

Take the change out of your piggy bank and make it work for you.

Acorns is a financial wellness tool that automatically rounds up your card purchases to the nearest dollar and puts those savings into an investment account. It takes the worrying out of investing and matches you with one of five investment portfolios.

Take five minutes to sign up for Acorns today and collect a $10 bonus.

About the Author

Ethan Rotberg

Ethan Rotberg

Former Reporter

Ethan Rotberg was formerly a staff reporter at MoneyWise. His background includes nearly 15 years as a writer, editor, designer and communications professional. He loves storytelling, from feature writing to narrative podcasts. His work has appeared in the Toronto Star, CPA Canada and Metro, among others.

What to Read Next

Looking For Passive Income? There's One Option Right Below Your Feet

One company’s innovative approach makes farmland investing easier and more accessible.

What is a mortgage?

Yes, a mortgage is a big deal, but it's probably not as complicated as you think.

How to Get a Mortgage: Follow These 9 Steps

It's a lengthy, complicated process, so just keep your eyes on the prize: your new home.

States and cities are the new source of pandemic stimulus — is money available where you live?

There’s a catch: Critics say the relief to help with high prices could have an unintended downside.


The content provided on MoneyWise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.