Total mortgage application volume dropped 2.8 percent in the last two weeks of 2017, as optimism over the new tax bill resulted in higher interest rates.
CNBC's Diana Olick says that overall, interest rates did not make any major moves during 2017, and not much is expected for 2018. The Federal Reserve may continue to raise its lending rates, but mortgage rates are influenced by other factors, like volatile international markets. She added that refinance volume isn't likely to increase dramatically in 2018, as many homeowners have already refinanced at record-low rates.
After jumping 9 basis points during the third week of December, the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances of $424,100 or less remained unchanged for the last week of the year at 4.25 percent, with points increasing to 0.36 from 0.35, including the origination fee, for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio loans. That was the highest rate since April.