Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

CONTACT
Adam DeSanctis
adesanctis@mba.org
(202) 557-2727

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 12, 2018) - Mortgage applications rose 1.6 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending December 7, 2018.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 1.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 1 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 2 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 3 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 2 percent compared with the previous week and was 4 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

"Mortgage rates fell across the board last week, driven by a similar slide in Treasuries. Trade fears dominated investors' concerns, and this was amplified by data released by the U.S. Commerce Department showing a widening trade deficit," said Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "The 30-year fixed mortgage rate decreased 12 basis points over the week back below 5 percent, representing the largest single week drop since 2017."

Added Kan, "As a result of these recent rate declines, we saw another weekly increase in refinance applications, along with a rise in the average refinance loan size. Larger loans tend to react more readily for a given change in mortgage rates. Meanwhile, purchase application activity also increased over the week and was up more than three percent compared to a year ago."

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 41.5 percent of total applications, the highest level since March 2018, from 40.4 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 7.6 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications increased to 10.8 percent from 10.2 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 10.2 percent from 10.0 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications increased to 0.7 percent from 0.6 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($453,100 or less) decreased to 4.96 percent, the lowest level since September 2018, from 5.08 percent, with points increasing to 0.48 from 0.44 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $453,100) decreased to 4.80 percent, the lowest level since September 2018, from 4.89 percent, with points increasing to 0.33 from 0.30 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The
effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 4.97 percent, the lowest level since September 2018, from 5.05 percent, with points decreasing to 0.55 from 0.62 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 4.41 percent, the lowest level since September 2018, from 4.50 percent, with points decreasing to 0.44 from 0.60 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 4.24 percent from 4.33 percent, with points increasing to 0.34 from 0.21 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

Please Note:
MBA Offices will be closed Monday, December 24, 2018 and will reopen on Wednesday, January 2, 2019. Results for the week ending December 21, 2018 will not be released on December 26, 2018. Release of the survey will resume on Thursday, January 3, 2019 at 7:00 a.m. with results for the two weeks prior.

If you would like to purchase a subscription of MBA's Weekly Applications Survey, please visit www.mba.org/WeeklyApps, contact mbaresearch@mba.org or click here.

The survey covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100.