April Mortgage Activity At Highest Level Since 2010

by Peter Ricci

The mortgage markets have been on a bumpy ride the last five years; are the latest numbers from the Mortgage Bankers Association, though, a positive sign?

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Mortgage applications rose 4.8 percent last week to their highest level since May 2010, according to the Mortgage Banker Association’s (MBA) latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey. Meanwhile, conventional mortgages hit their highest mark since 2009, refinancing activity remained quite strong and interest rates retained their historic lows.

Do any of those stats, though, point to a more inclusive mortgage marketplace? After all, the vast majority of mortgages (82 percent, in fact) still require credit scores of at least 700, and though a recent survey on lender sentiments tracked a big jump in lender confidence, the mortgage markets remain tricky for many consumers.

Katie Buitrago, the senior policy and communications associate for the Chicago-based Woodstock Institute, said that any comparison to the 2010 mortgage markets signify only incremental progress, considering 2010 was, in its own right, a year of tight lending standards as well.

“I still think its’s a pretty challenging market to get a mortgage,” Buitrago said, adding that the average credit scores for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac-guaranteed loans are in excess of 760.

For a fuller look at the MBA’s latest mortgage survey, see our infographic below.

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