Wednesday, December 12, 2018

MBA: Mortgage Applications Increased in Latest Weekly Survey

by Calculated Risk on 12/12/2018 07:00:00 AM

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

Mortgage applications rose 1.6 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending December 7, 2018.

... The Refinance Index increased 2 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 3 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 2 percent compared with the previous week and was 4 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
...
“Mortgage rates fell across the board last week, driven by a similar slide in Treasuries. Trade fears dominated investors’ concerns for another week, and this was amplified by data released by the U.S. Commerce Department showing a widening trade deficit,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “The 30-year fixed mortgage rate decreased 12 basis points over the week back below 5 percent, representing the largest single week drop since 2017.”

Added Kan, “As a result of these recent rate declines, we saw another weekly increase in refinance applications, along with a rise in the average refinance loan size. Larger loans tend to react more readily for a given change in mortgage rates. Meanwhile, purchase application activity also increased over the week and was up more than three percent compared to a year ago.”
...
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($453,100 or less) decreased to 4.96 percent, the lowest level since September 2018, from 5.08 percent, with points increasing to 0.48 from 0.44 (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 up 4.0% year-over-year.