Wednesday, April 09, 2014

MBA: Mortgage Purchase Applications Increase, Refinance Applications Decrease

by Bill McBride on 4/09/2014 07:01:00 AM

From the MBA: Mortgage Purchase Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications decreased 1.6 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending April 4, 2014. ...

The Refinance Index decreased 5 percent from the previous week and is at its lowest level since the end of 2013. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 3 percent from one week earlier. ...

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) remained constant at 4.56 percent, with points increasing to 0.33 from 0.31 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
emphasis added
Mortgage Refinance Index Click on graph for larger image.


The first graph shows the refinance index.

The refinance index is down 75% from the levels in May 2013.

With the mortgage rate increases, refinance activity will be significantly lower in 2014 than in 2013.


Mortgage Purchase Index The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index.  

The 4-week average of the purchase index is now down about 19% from a year ago.

The purchase index is probably understating purchase activity because small lenders tend to focus on purchases, and those small lenders are underrepresented in the purchase index - but this is still very weak.