Wednesday, April 29, 2020

MBA: Mortgage Applications Decreased, Purchase Applications up 12% Week over Week

by Calculated Risk on 4/29/2020 07:00:00 AM

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

Mortgage applications decreased 3.3 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending April 24, 2020.

... The Refinance Index decreased 7 percent from the previous week and was 218 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 12 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 13 percent compared with the previous week and was 20 percent lower than the same week one year ago.
...
“The news in this week’s release is that purchase applications, still recovering from a five-year low, increased 12 percent last week to the strongest level in almost a month. The ten largest states had increases in purchase activity, which is potentially a sign of the start of an upturn in the pandemic-delayed spring homebuying season, as coronavirus lockdown restrictions slowly ease in various markets,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “California and Washington continued to show increases in purchase activity, with New York seeing a significant gain after declines in five of the last six weeks.”

Added Kan, “Contributing to the uptick in purchase applications was that mortgage rates fell to another record low in MBA’s survey, with the 30-year fixed rate decreasing to 3.43 percent. However, refinance activity declined 7 percent, as rates for refinances likely remained higher than those for purchase loans. Lenders are still working through pipelines at capacity, and observed changes in credit availability for refinance loans have also in turn impacted rates.”
...
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($510,400 or less) decreased to 3.43 percent from 3.45 percent, with points increasing to 0.34 from 0.29 (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.

The refinance index has been very volatile recently depending on rates and liquidity.

But the index is way up from last year (over triple last year).

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

According to the MBA, purchase activity is down 20% year-over-year.

Purchase activity has fallen sharply, but was up 12% week over week.

Note: Red is a four-week average (blue is weekly).