Wednesday, January 22, 2020

MBA: Mortgage Applications Decreased in Latest Weekly Survey

by Calculated Risk on 1/22/2020 07:00:00 AM

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

Mortgage applications decreased 1.2 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 17, 2020.

... The Refinance Index decreased 2 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 increased 4 percent compared with the previous week and was 8 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
...
“Mortgage applications dipped slightly last week after two weeks of healthy increases, but even with a slight decline, the total pace of applications remains at an elevated level. The purchase market has started 2020 on a strong note, running 8 percent higher than the same week a year ago,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Refinance applications remained near the highest level since October 2019, as the 30-year fixed rate was unchanged at 3.87 percent, while the 15-year fixed rate decreased to its lowest level since November 2016. Even with more positive developments surrounding the U.S. and China trade negotiations and healthy retail sales data, investors seemed cautious and maintained their demand for safer U.S. Treasuries, which kept yields lower. Our expectation is that rates will stay along this same narrow range.”
...
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($510,400 or less) remained unchanged at 3.87 percent, with points decreasing to 0.27 from 0.32 (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 8% year-over-year.