Wednesday, November 21, 2018

MBA: Mortgage Applications Decreased Slightly in Latest Weekly Survey

by Bill McBride on 11/21/2018 07:00:00 AM

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

Mortgage applications decreased 0.1 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending November 16, 2018. This week’s results do not include an adjustment for the Veterans’ Day holiday.

... The Refinance Index decreased 5 percent from the previous week to its lowest level since December 2000. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 3 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 1 percent compared with the previous week and was 5 percent lower than the same week one year ago.
...
“Treasury rates declined last week, as equity markets continued to see large swings amidst investor concerns over global economic growth. As a result, mortgage rates inched back across most loan types, including the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, 5/1 ARM, and 30-year jumbo mortgage rate. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage also declined, stopping a run of six straight weekly increases,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Mortgage applications saw mixed results last week. Purchase applications increased to their highest level in five weeks, but despite the pause in rates, refinance activity dropped again and remained at its lowest level since 2000.”
...
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($453,100 or less) decreased to 5.16 percent from 5.17 percent, with points decreasing to 0.48 from 0.55 (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 since 1990.

Refinance activity will not pick up significantly unless mortgage rates fall 50 bps or more from the recent level.

Mortgage Purchase IndexThe second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index

According to the MBA, purchase activity is down 5% year-over-year.