Wednesday, March 26, 2014

MBA: Mortgage Purchase Applications Increase, Refinance Applications Decrease

by Calculated Risk on 3/26/2014 07:01:00 AM

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

Mortgage applications decreased 3.5 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 21, 2014. ...

The Refinance Index decreased 8 percent from the previous week, including an 8.1 percent decline in conventional refinance applications and a 5.8 percent decline in government refinance applications; the government refinance index dropped to the lowest level since July 2011. In contrast, the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 3 percent from one week earlier, driven mainly by a 4.0 percent increase in conventional purchase applications....

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) increased to 4.56 percent, the highest level since January 2014, from 4.50 percent, with points increasing to 0.29 from 0.26 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) increased to 4.45 percent from 4.39 percent, with points increasing to 0.27 from 0.19 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent 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 72% 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.