MBA: Mortgage Applications Increased in Latest Weekly Survey
Mortgage applications increased 2.4 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending May 17, 2019.
... The Refinance Index increased 8 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 2 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 3 percent compared with the previous week and was 7 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
“Mortgage rates fell for the fourth straight week, with the 30-year fixed rate mortgage hitting its lowest level since January 2018, leading to a rebound in refinances. The refinance index increased 8 percent to its highest level in over a month, and once again there was an increase in average refinance loan sizes, as borrowers with larger balances responded accordingly to lower rates,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Purchase activity declined again, but remained around 7 percent higher than a year ago. We’re keeping a close eye on whether there may be some adverse effects of the ongoing global trade disputes on overall demand. Some potential homebuyers may be delaying their home search until there’s more certainty.”
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) decreased to 4.33 percent from 4.40 percent, with points increasing to 0.43 from 0.40 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
Click on graph for larger image.
The first graph shows the refinance index since 1990.
Once mortgage rates fell more than 50 bps from the highs of last year, a number of recent buyers were able to refinance. But it would take another significant decrease in rates to see a further increase in refinance activity.
The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index
According to the MBA, purchase activity is up 7% year-over-year.