Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

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Adam DeSanctis
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 12, 2020)Mortgage applications increased 1.1 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending February 7, 2020.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 1.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 3 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 5 percent from the previous week and was 207 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 6 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 0.3 percent compared with the previous week and was 16 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

"The mortgage market continues to be active in early 2020, as applications increased for the third straight week. Rates also rose, but still remained close to their lowest levels since October 2016," said Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "The refinance index climbed to its highest level since June 2013, and refinance loan sizes also increased as a result of an active jumbo lending market."

Added Kan, "Last month was the strongest January for purchase applications since 2009, which is perhaps a sign that mild weather brought out prospective buyers earlier than normal. Despite a decline last week, purchase activity was still up almost 16 percent from a year ago."

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 65.5 percent of total applications from 64.5 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 6.2 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications increased to 9.7 percent from 9.6 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 10.1 percent from 10.2 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.4 percent the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($510,400 or less) increased to 3.72 percent from 3.71 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.28 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate remained unchanged from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $510,400) increased to 3.75 percent from 3.70 percent, with points decreasing to 0.17 from 0.19 (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 3.84 percent from 3.80 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.26 (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 3.20 percent from 3.19 percent, with points increasing to 0.27 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 5/1 ARMs decreased to 3.21 percent from 3.23 percent, with points decreasing to 0.13 from 0.15 (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.