Wednesday, May 21, 2014

MBA: Mortgage Refinance Activity increases as Mortgage Rates Decline

by Bill McBride on 5/21/2014 07:01:00 AM

From the MBA: Refinance Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications increased 0.9 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending May 16, 2014. ...

The Refinance Index increased 4 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 3 percent from one week earlier. ...
...
“Renewed concerns about the state of the global economy, particularly in Europe, led to a flight to quality to US Treasury securities, thereby pushing interest rates down in the US,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Chief Economist. “Rates on conforming loans hit 6 month lows and jumbo rates hit 12 month lows. Refinance volume picked up somewhat as a result, but it still remains more than 65 percent below last year's pace. Purchase volume continues to run more than 10 percent below last year's pace."

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 4.33 percent, the lowest rate since November 2013, from 4.39 percent, with points decreasing to 0.20 from 0.22 (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 73% from the levels in May 2013 (one year ago).

As expected, with the mortgage rate increases, refinance activity is very low this year.


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

According to the MBA, the unadjusted purchase index is down about 12% from a year ago.


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