New mortgage activity inched higher this past week with jumbo loans leading the gain. The boost in jumbo business was fueled by a drop in the spread between jumbo and conforming pricing. Demand for government-insured loans and adjustable-rate mortgages, however, turned lower. A sudden surge in long-term Treasury yields today points to higher mortgage rates and lower overall demand next week. The volume of pricing inquiries pulled by the average originator was up 2 percent from last week, putting the U.S. Mortgage Market Index from Mortech Inc. and Mortgage Daily for the week ended July 27 at 241. Compared to a year earlier, business increased 5 percent. At the head of the pack were jumbo loan inquiries, which increased 8 percent from the week ended July 20. The share of total activity that was for loans in excess of $417,000 grew to 9.1 percent from 8.6 percent seven days earlier.
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