Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

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Adam DeSanctis
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 29, 2020)Mortgage applications increased 7.2 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 24, 2020. This week's results include an adjustment for the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 7.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 1 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 8 percent from the previous week and was 146 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 17 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

"Mortgage applications continued their strong start to the year, as borrowers acted on the drop in mortgage rates last week. Rates were driven lower by investors' increased concern about the economic impact from China's coronavirus outbreak, in addition to existing concerns over trade and other geopolitical risks," said Joel Kan, MBA's Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "With the 30-year fixed rate at its lowest level since November 2016, refinances jumped 7.5 percent. Purchase applications grew 2 percent and were 17 percent higher than the same week last year. Thanks to low rates and the healthy job market, purchase activity continues to run stronger than in 2019."

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 60.4 percent of total applications from 61.6 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 4.7 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 10.7 percent from 11.3 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 11.7 percent from 13.8 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 ($510,400 or less) decreased to 3.81 percent from 3.87 percent, with points increasing to 0.28 from 0.27 (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 $510,400) decreased to 3.78 percent from 3.87 percent, with points decreasing to 0.2 from 0.21 (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 3.82 percent from 3.78 percent, with points increasing to 0.27 from 0.25 (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 decreased to 3.24 percent from 3.25 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.22 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate remained unchanged from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 3.15 percent from 3.29 percent, with points decreasing to 0.12 from 0.25 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week. 

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