Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

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Adam DeSanctis
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 13, 2019)Mortgage applications increased 9.6 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending November 8, 2019.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 9.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 9 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 13 percent from the previous week and was 188 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 5 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 2 percent compared with the previous week and was 15 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

"Mortgage applications increased to their highest level in over a month, as both purchase and refinance activity rose despite another climb in mortgage rates. Positive data on consumer sentiment, and growing optimism surrounding the U.S. and China trade dispute, were behind last week's rise in the 30-year fixed mortgage rate to 4.03 percent," said Joel Kan, Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "Refinance applications jumped 13 percent to the highest level in five weeks, as conventional, FHA, and VA refinances all posted weekly gains. With rates still in the 4 percent range, we continue to expect to see moderate growth in refinance activity in the final weeks of 2020."

Added Kan, "Last week was a solid week for homebuyers. Purchase applications increased 2 percent and were 15 percent higher than a year ago. Low supply and high home prices remain a key characteristic of this fall's housing market, which is why the largest growth in activity continues to be in loans with higher loan balances."

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 61.9 percent of total applications from 59.5 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 4.9 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications increased to 13.1 percent from 11.8 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 12.7 percent from 12.0 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications decreased to 0.5 percent 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 4.03 percent from 3.98 percent, with points decreasing to 0.31 from 0.37 (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 3.98 percent from 3.97 percent, with points decreasing to 0.22 from 0.24 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate remained unchanged from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 3.85 percent from 3.79 percent, with points increasing to 0.28 from 0.21 (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 3.43 percent from 3.38 percent, with points decreasing to 0.28 from 0.31 (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 decreased to 3.40 percent from 3.43 percent, with points decreasing to 0.17 from 0.21 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased 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.