Wednesday, January 21, 2015

MBA: "Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey"

by Bill McBride on 1/21/2015 07:00:00 AM

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

Mortgage applications increased 14.2 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 16, 2015. ...

The Refinance Index increased 22 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 3 percent from one week earlier.
...
“Mortgage application volume increased last week to its highest level since June 2013, led by a 22 percent increase in refinance application volume. This increase was largely due to mortgage rates dropping to their lowest level since May 2013. However, the recent reduction in FHA mortgage insurance premiums also played a role: FHA refinance applications increased 57 percent last week. Even with this increase, refinances made up only 48 percent of FHA volume, compared to 73 percent for VA, and 77 percent for conventional loans,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Chief Economist.

Conventional purchase applications were down about 3 percent for the week on a seasonally adjusted basis, but up 5 percent relative to last year at this time. FHA purchase applications were down 1 percent for the week on a seasonally adjusted basis.”

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 3.80 percent, the lowest level since May 2013, from 3.89 percent, with points increasing to 0.29 from 0.23 (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.

2014 was the lowest year for refinance activity since year 2000.

It looks like 2015 will see more refinance activity than in 2014, especially from FHA loans!

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

According to the MBA, the purchase index is up 5% from a year ago.