Wednesday, April 24, 2019

MBA: Mortgage Applications Decreased in Latest Weekly Survey

by Calculated Risk on 4/24/2019 07:00:00 AM

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

Mortgage applications decreased 7.3 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending April 19, 2019.

... The Refinance Index decreased 11 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 4 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 3 percent compared with the previous week and was 3 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
...
“The 30-year fixed mortgage rate has risen 10 basis points in three weeks, and is now at its highest level in over a month. Borrowers remain extremely sensitive to rate changes, which is why there has been a 28 percent drop in refinance applications over this three-week period. Purchase activity also declined, but remains almost 3 percent higher than a year ago,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “Borrowing costs have recently drifted higher because of ebbing geopolitical concerns, as well as signs of strengthening in the U.S. economy, including the recent data pointing to robust retail sales.”

Added Fratantoni, “The strong economy and job market is keeping buyer interest high, but rising mortgage rates could add pressure to the budgets of some would-be buyers.”
...
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) increased to 4.46 percent from 4.44 percent, with points increasing to 0.44 from 0.42 (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.

Once mortgage rates fell more than 50 bps from the highs of last year, a number of recent buyers were able to refinance.  But it would take another significant decrease in rates to see a further increase in refinance activity.

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

According to the MBA, purchase activity is up 3% year-over-year.