Wednesday, April 15, 2020

MBA: Mortgage Applications Increased, Purchase Applications down 35% YoY

by Calculated Risk on 4/15/2020 07:00:00 AM

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

Mortgage applications increased 7.3 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending April 10, 2020.

... The Refinance Index increased 10 percent from the previous week and was 192 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 decreased 1 percent compared with the previous week and was 35 percent lower than the same week one year ago.
...
“The 30-year fixed mortgage rate decreased last week to the lowest level in MBA’s survey at 3.45 percent. The decline in rates – despite Treasury yields rising – is a sign that the mortgage-backed securities (MBS) market is stabilizing and lenders are successfully working through their lending pipelines,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Refinance activity has experienced a volatile four-week period, but did increase 10 percent last week. Refinancing will continue to be beneficial for the many borrowers able to lower their monthly payments during this time of economic distress.”

Added Kan, “Purchase applications decreased less than 2 percent last week – the fifth straight weekly decline. Compared to the first week of March, the purchase index was down around 35 percent, as the economic downturn and nationwide mitigation practices to slow the spread of COVID-19 have disrupted the spring homebuying season. The purchase market is still expected to rebound, as long as the public health measures to reduce the pandemic’s spread are successful and result in a broader recovery.”
...
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($510,400 or less) decreased to 3.45 percent from 3.49 percent, with points increasing to 0.29 from 0.28 (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.

Note the Fed has stepped up buying of MBS last month and that helped with liquidity.

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

According to the MBA, purchase activity is down 35% year-over-year.

Purchase activity has fallen sharply.

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