Applications Down in MBA Weekly Survey

MBA NewsLink Staff

April 04, 2018

Mortgage applications fell last week even as key interest rates held steady, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported this morning in its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 30.

The Market Composite Index decreased by 3.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased by 3 percent compared to the previous week.

The Refinance Index decreased by 5 percent from the previous week. The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to its lowest level since September 2008, 38.5 percent of total applications, from 39.4 percent the previous week.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased by 2 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased by 2 percent compared to the previous week and was 5 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

The FHA share of total applications increased to 10.1 percent from 9.9 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications remained unchanged at 10.3 percent. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.8 percent.

"Heading into the holiday weekend, mortgage application volume fell a bit both for purchase and refinance volume," said MBA Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni. "Mortgage rates were little changed for the week, despite the increase in financial market volatility. Potential homebuyers may be a little rattled by the swings in the stock market the past few weeks, but the job market continues to strengthen, which should power demand through the spring season. The main uncertainty remains whether enough listings will be available to meet this demand."

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($453,100 or less) remained unchanged at 4.69 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.43 (including origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio 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 $453,100) decreased to 4.56 percent from 4.60 percent, with points decreasing to 0.27 from 0.36 (including 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 FHA decreased to 4.74 percent from 4.75 percent, with points decreasing to 0.54 from 0.56 (including 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 remained unchanged at 4.09 percent, with points decreasing to 0.42 from 0.46 (including origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages decreased to 3.87 percent from 3.92 percent, with points decreasing to 0.28 from 0.46 (including origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The ARM share of activity decreased to 6.5 percent of total applications.

The survey covers more than 75 percent of all U.S. retail and consumer direct residential mortgage applications and has been conducted weekly since 1990. Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts.

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