Wednesday, September 23, 2015

MBA: Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest Weekly Survey, Purchase Applications up 27% YoY

by Bill McBride on 9/23/2015 07:04:00 AM

From the MBA: Rate Decreases Drive Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

Mortgage applications increased 13.9 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending September 18, 2015. The previous week’s results included an adjustment for the Labor Day holiday. ...

The Refinance Index increased 18 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 9 percent from one week earlier to its highest level since June 2015. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 20 percent compared with the previous week and was 27 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

“We saw significant rate volatility last week surrounding the FOMC meeting, and rate declines toward the end of the week likely drove applications from both prospective home buyers and borrowers looking to refinance. The 30-year fixed rate remained unchanged over the week even though there was substantial intra-week fluctuation, but we saw rate decreases in other loan products like the 15-year fixed, 5/1 ARM, and 30-year jumbo,” 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) remained unchanged at 4.09 percent, with points increasing to 0.45 from 0.42 (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.

Refinance activity remains low.

2014 was the lowest year for refinance activity since year 2000, and refinance activity will probably stay low for the rest of 2015 (after the increase earlier this year).

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

According to the MBA, the unadjusted purchase index is 27% higher than a year ago.