The number of applications rose and mortgage rates continued to stay low, despite yet another announcement from the Federal Reserve that it would further taper its stimulus down to just $65 billion per month.

According to the most recent numbers from the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage applications rose 0.4 percent in the week ending Jan. 31, 2014 compared to the week before. New applications to refinance a home jumped three percent during that time, while applications to purchase fell a full four percent.

Although the applications to purchase a new home fell, the declining numbers are typical for this time of year and are not a cause for concern. Between the unpredictable weather and the holidays, many Americans are not out searching for new homes.

Experts have also noted that mortgage rates for refinances are also slightly higher than historical norms, which is why the jump in refinances has not been as large.

“A 4.4 percent rate is not enough incentive to motivate people to refinance,” Michael Fratantoni, chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association, told CNBC. “The most rate-sensitive borrowers have rates below 4 percent. Folks above that level have already passed on rates better than today’s levels, indicating that something else is preventing them from refinancing, likely lack of equity or lack of income.”

Although many experts feared that mortgage rates would increase as the Federal Reserve Bank announced that it would reduce the stimulus, the rates actually dropped.

According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.32 percent in the week ending Jan. 30. This average was done from 4.39 percent the week before, which marked the fourth consecutive week of declining rates.

Even with the recent tapering of the stimulus, mortgage rates have remaining largely affordable, and the housing market is continuing its slow climb back to normal.

For more information on new home mortgages, contact Academy Mortgage by calling 770-778-8500 or visit

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