Wednesday, May 01, 2019

MBA: Mortgage Applications Decreased in Latest Weekly Survey

by Calculated Risk on 5/01/2019 07:00:00 AM

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

Mortgage applications decreased 4.3 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending April 26, 2019.

... The Refinance Index decreased 5 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 1 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
...
“Mortgage rates were lower last week – with the 30-year fixed rate declining to 4.42 percent – as concerns over global growth, particularly in Germany, outweighed more positive domestic news on first quarter GDP growth and business investment,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Applications to refinance and purchase a home both fell, but purchase activity still remained slightly above year ago levels. The drop in refinances were driven by fewer FHA and VA loan applications, which typically lag the movement of conventional loans.”

Added Kan, “The ARM share of applications decreased to 6.2 percent, its lowest share since August 2018. So far in 2019, we continue to see a preference for 7/1 ARMs, which account for around 36 percent of all ARM applications, followed by 10/1 and 5/1 ARMs. This is another indication that the few borrowers who choose to apply for ARM loans are electing to reap the benefit of lower rates, as well as some rate stability.”
...
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) decreased to 4.42 percent from 4.46 percent, with points increasing to 0.46 from 0.44 (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 1% year-over-year.