Wednesday, May 20, 2015

MBA: Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest Weekly Survey

by Bill McBride on 5/20/2015 07:01:00 AM

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

Mortgage applications decreased 1.5 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending May 15, 2015. ...

The Refinance Index increased 0.3 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 4 percent from one week earlier, to the lowest level since April. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 4 percent compared with the previous week and was 11 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage rates increased last week, and Treasury rates increased to a recent high at mid week before falling at the end of the week. Overall purchase activity fell for the week, along with conventional refinance volume, but government refinance volume increased. The level of purchase applications remained 11 percent higher than the same week last year, but the drop this week may indicate borrowers being wary of the recent run up in mortgage rates,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s Chief Economist.
...
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) increased to 4.04 percent, its highest level since December 2014, from 4.00 percent, with points decreasing to 0.32 from 0.36 (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 would take much lower rates - below 3.5% - to see a significant refinance boom this year.

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

According to the MBA, the unadjusted purchase index is 11% higher than a year ago.