Mortgage Applications Decrease in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

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Adam DeSanctis
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 24, 2019) - Mortgage applications decreased 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 19, 2019.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 7.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 6 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index decreased 11 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 4 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 3 percent compared with the previous week and was 3 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

"The 30-year fixed mortgage rate has risen 10 basis points in three weeks, and is now at its highest level in over a month. Borrowers remain extremely sensitive to rate changes, which is why there has been a 28 percent drop in refinance applications over this three-week period. Purchase activity also declined, but remains almost 3 percent higher than a year ago," said Mike Fratantoni, MBA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. "Borrowing costs have recently drifted higher because of ebbing geopolitical concerns, as well as signs of strengthening in the U.S. economy, including the recent data pointing to robust retail sales."

Added Fratantoni, "The strong economy and job market is keeping buyer interest high, but rising mortgage rates could add pressure to the budgets of some would-be buyers."

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 39.4 percent of total applications from 41.5 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 6.4 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications increased to 9.9 percent from 9.4 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 11.3 percent from 11.6 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.6 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) increased to 4.46 percent from 4.44 percent, with points increasing to 0.44 from 0.42 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $484,350) increased to 4.35 percent from 4.33 percent, with points increasing to 0.25 from 0.23 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 4.49 percent from 4.43 percent, with points increasing to 0.57 from 0.56 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.87 percent from 3.84 percent, with points decreasing to 0.44 from 0.45 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 3.92 percent from 3.88 percent, with points increasing to 0.28 from 0.19 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

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.