Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

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Adam DeSanctis
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 16, 2019) - Mortgage applications increased 0.5 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending October 11, 2019.  
 
The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 0.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 1 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 4 percent from the previous week and was 199 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 4 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 4 percent compared with the previous week and was 12 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
 
"The ongoing interest rate volatility is impacting a borrowers' ability to lock in the lowest rate possible. Despite a slight rise in mortgage rates last week, refinance applications increased 4 percent and were 199 percent higher than a year ago," said Joel Kan, Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "Purchase applications slowed for the second week in a row. While near term economic uncertainty is still a factor, other fundamental issues, such as a lack of housing inventory in many markets, is preventing purchase activity from meaningfully rising. However, purchase applications were still much higher than a year ago. This is a reminder that the purchase environment in 2019 continues to be stronger than in 2018." 
 
The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 62.2 percent of total applications from 60.4 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 5.5 percent of total applications.
 
The FHA share of total applications increased to 11.3 percent from 10.3 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 12.9 percent from 12.3 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications decreased to 0.4 percent 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) increased to 3.92 percent from 3.90 percent, with points decreasing to 0.35 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) remained unchanged at 3.90 percent, with points decreasing to 0.23 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 increased to 3.77
percent from 3.75 percent, with points decreasing to 0.19 from 0.29 (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 3.32 percent from 3.35 percent, with points increasing to 0.31 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 5/1 ARMs increased to 3.37 percent from 3.25 percent, with points decreasing to 0.23 from 0.34 (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.