Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

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Adam DeSanctis
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 27, 2019)Mortgage applications increased 1.5 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending November 22, 2019. This week's results are being compared to the week of Thanksgiving 2018.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 1.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 11 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 4 percent from the previous week and was 314 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 1 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 4 percent compared with the previous week and was 55 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

"Mortgage rates stayed below 4 percent for the second straight week and borrowers responded positively, with mortgage applications rising 1.5 percent on the back of increases in both refinance and purchase activity," said Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "Refinances have been strong this month, but we are starting to see the average pace slow compared to the peak experienced in August through October."

Added Kan, "The annual increase in refinance and purchase activity was even more prominent in this report because Thanksgiving was a week earlier last year. However, with roughly five weeks of reporting data left in 2019, the mortgage market is on track for its best year for originations since 2007."

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 62.0 percent of total applications from 59.5 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 4.8 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 11.7 percent from 13.0 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 14.1 percent from 12.9 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.5 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) decreased to 3.97 percent from 3.99 percent, with points decreasing to 0.30 from 0.33 (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 $484,350) decreased to 3.87 percent from 3.93 percent, with points increasing to 0.29 from 0.28 (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 3.79 percent from 3.80 percent, with points decreasing to 0.23 from 0.32 (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 3.38 percent from 3.40 percent, with points decreasing to 0.27 from 0.31 (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 3.42 percent from 3.51 percent, with points decreasing to 0.22 from 0.23 (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.