Wednesday, October 16, 2019

MBA: Mortgage Applications Increased in Latest Weekly Survey

by Calculated Risk on 10/16/2019 07:00:00 AM

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

Mortgage applications increased 0.5 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending October 11, 2019.

... The Refinance Index increased 4 percent from the previous week and was 199 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 4 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 4 percent compared with the previous week and was 12 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
...
“The ongoing interest rate volatility is impacting a borrowers’ ability to lock in the lowest rate possible. Despite a slight rise in mortgage rates last week, refinance applications increased 4 percent and were 199 percent higher than a year ago,” said Joel Kan, Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Purchase applications slowed for the second week in a row. While near term economic uncertainty is still a factor, other fundamental issues, such as a lack of housing inventory in many markets, is preventing purchase activity from meaningfully rising. However, purchase applications were still much higher than a year ago. This is a reminder that the purchase environment in 2019 continues to be stronger than in 2018.””
...
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) increased to 3.92 percent from 3.90 percent, with points decreasing to 0.35 from 0.37 (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.

With lower rates, we saw a sharp increase in refinance activity.   Mortgage rates would have to decline further to see a huge refinance boom.

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

According to the MBA, purchase activity is up 12% year-over-year.