Thursday, December 26, 2019

MBA: Mortgage Applications Decreased in Latest Weekly Survey

by Calculated Risk on 12/26/2019 07:00:00 AM

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

Mortgage applications decreased 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 December 20, 2019.

... The Refinance Index decreased 5 percent from the previous week and was 128 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 5 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 7 percent compared with the previous week and was 5 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
...
“The 10-Year Treasury yield increased last week amid signs of stronger homebuilding activity and solid consumer spending, leading to a rise in conventional conforming and jumbo 30-year mortgage rates to just under 4 percent. With this increase, conventional refinance application volume fell 11 percent,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “Refinance applications for government loans did increase, even though rates on FHA loans picked up. The change in the mix of business has kept the average refinance loan size smaller than we had seen earlier this year.”

Added Fratantoni, “We are in the slowest time of the year for the purchase market. Purchase application activity declined after the seasonal adjustment, but still remains about 5 percent ahead of last year’s pace. The increase in construction activity will bolster housing inventories, which should be a positive for purchase volumes going into 2020.”
...
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) increased to 3.99 percent from 3.98 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.33 (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 5% year-over-year.