Wednesday, November 20, 2019

MBA: Mortgage Applications Decreased in Latest Weekly Survey

by Calculated Risk on 11/20/2019 07:00:00 AM

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

Mortgage applications decreased 2.2 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending November 15, 2019. This week’s results include an adjustment for the Veterans Day holiday.

... The Refinance Index decreased 8 percent from the previous week and was 152 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 7 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 8 percent compared with the previous week and was 7 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
...
“U.S. and China trade anxieties and protests in Hong Kong pulled U.S. Treasuries lower last week, and the 30-year fixed mortgage rate followed the same path, dipping below 4 percent,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Despite lower rates, mortgage applications decreased 2.2 percent, driven by an 8 percent slide in refinance activity. Rates have stayed in the same narrow range of around 4 percent since July, so we may be starting to see the expected slowdown in refinancing as the pool of eligible homeowners shrinks.”

Added Kan, “Purchase applications were 7 percent higher than a year ago, which adds another solid data point to the recent increases in new home sales and housing starts. There may be signs that housing inventory is starting to meaningfully rise, which will help with affordability and provide more choices for potential homebuyers.”
...
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) decreased to 3.99 percent from 4.03 percent, with points increasing to 0.33 from 0.31 (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, but 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 7% year-over-year.