Wednesday, March 20, 2019

MBA: Mortgage Applications Increased in Latest Weekly Survey

by Calculated Risk on 3/20/2019 07:00:00 AM

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

Mortgage applications increased 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 March 15, 2019.

... The Refinance Index increased 4 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 0.3 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 1 percent compared with the previous week and was 1 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
...
“Mortgage rates declined once again, as concerns about the slowing global economy and status of Brexit continued to drive investors’ demand for U.S. Treasuries, ultimately pushing yields lower,” said Joel Kan, Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Rates for most loan types were at their lowest levels in over a year, with the 30-year fixed mortgage rate falling to 4.55 percent – its lowest reading since last February. Although lower rates sparked a 3.5 percent increase in refinance applications, purchase activity was up only slightly last week and from a year ago.”

Added Kan, “Entry-level housing supply remains weak and is likely hindering some would-be first-time buyers from finding a home. This – along with faster growth in the higher price tiers – is why the average loan application size has risen to a new high for three straight weeks.”
...
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) decreased to 4.55 percent from 4.64 percent, with points decreasing to 0.42 from 0.47 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
emphasis added
Mortgage Refinance IndexClick on graph for larger image.


The first graph shows the refinance index since 1990.

Rates would have to fall further for a significant increase in refinance activity.

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

According to the MBA, purchase activity is up 1% year-over-year.