Wednesday, August 07, 2019

MBA: Mortgage Applications Increased in Latest Weekly Survey

by Calculated Risk on 8/07/2019 07:00:00 AM

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

Mortgage applications increased 5.3 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending August 2, 2019.

... The Refinance Index increased 12 percent from the previous week and was 116 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 2 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 2 percent compared with the previous week and was 7 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
...
“The Federal Reserve cut rates as expected last week, but the bigger influence on the financial markets was the beginning of a trade war with China. The result was a sharp drop in mortgage rates, which will likely draw many refinance borrowers into the market in the coming weeks,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “The 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell to its lowest level since November 2016, and the drop resulted in an almost 12 percent increase in refinance application volume, bringing the index to a reading over 2,000 – its highest over the same time period. We fully expect that refinance volume will jump even higher this week given the further drop in rates.”

Added Fratantoni, “Lower mortgage rates did not pull more homebuyers into the market, as purchase volume slipped a bit last week, but still remains around 7 percent ahead of last year’s pace.”
...
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) decreased to 4.01 percent from 4.08 percent, with points increasing to 0.37 from 0.34 (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.

Mortgage rates have declined from close to 5% late last year to around 3.6% this week (expect a further drop in rates in the MBA survey next week).

We should see a further increase in refinance activity next week.

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

According to the MBA, purchase activity is up 7% year-over-year.