Wednesday, June 05, 2019

MBA: Mortgage Applications Increased in Latest Weekly Survey

by Calculated Risk on 6/05/2019 07:00:00 AM

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

Mortgage applications increased 1.5 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending May 31, 2019. This week’s results included an adjustment for the Memorial Day holiday.

... The Refinance Index increased 6 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 2 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 14 percent compared with the previous week and was 0.5 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
...
Mortgage rates dropped to their lowest level since the first week of 2018, driven by increasing concerns regarding the ongoing trade tensions with China and Mexico,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “Some borrowers, particularly those with larger loans, jumped on the opportunity to refinance, bringing the index and average refinance loan size to their highest levels since early April. Additionally, refinances for FHA and VA loans jumped by 11 percent.”

Added Fratantoni, “Coming out of the Memorial Day holiday, and likely impacted by the financial market volatility caused by the trade tensions, purchase application volume declined for the week. Potential homebuyers may be more cautious given the heightened economic uncertainty.”
...
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) decreased to 4.23 percent from 4.33 percent, with points decreasing to 0.33 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 a further 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 0.5% year-over-year.