Wednesday, November 13, 2019

MBA: Mortgage Applications Increased in Latest Weekly Survey

by Calculated Risk on 11/13/2019 07:00:00 AM

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

Mortgage applications increased 9.6 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending November 8, 2019.

... The Refinance Index increased 13 percent from the previous week and was 188 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 5 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 2 percent compared with the previous week and was 15 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
...
“Mortgage applications increased to their highest level in over a month, as both purchase and refinance activity rose despite another climb in mortgage rates. Positive data on consumer sentiment, and growing optimism surrounding the U.S. and China trade dispute, were behind last week’s rise in the 30-year fixed mortgage rate to 4.03 percent,” said Joel Kan, Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Refinance applications jumped 13 percent to the highest level in five weeks, as conventional, FHA, and VA refinances all posted weekly gains. With rates still in the 4 percent range, we continue to expect to see moderate growth in refinance activity in the final weeks of 2020.”

Added Kan, “Last week was a solid week for homebuyers. Purchase applications increased 2 percent and were 15 percent higher than a year ago. Low supply and high home prices remain a key characteristic of this fall’s housing market, which is why the largest growth in activity continues to be in loans with higher loan balances.”
...
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) increased to 4.03 percent from 3.98 percent, with points decreasing to 0.31 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, 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 15% year-over-year.