Applications Up in MBA Weekly Survey

MBA NewsLink Staff

November 28, 2018

Mortgage applications increased from one week earlier as home buyers took advantage of lower interest rates, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported this morning in its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending November 23.

This week's results include an adjustment for the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Market Composite Index increased by 5.5 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased by 29 percent compared to the previous week.

The (unadjusted) Refinance Index increased by 1 percent from the previous week. The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 37.9 percent of total applications from 38.5 percent the previous week.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased by 9 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased by 28 percent compared to the previous week and was 2 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 9.6 percent from 10.7 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 9.9 percent from 10.6 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.7 percent the week prior.

"After several weeks of market volatility, 30-year fixed mortgage rates decreased four basis points to 5.12 percent last week," said MBA Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni. "Homebuyers responded, with purchase applications 1.7 percent higher than a year ago, and after adjusting for the Thanksgiving holiday, they increased almost 9 percent from the previous week."

Fratantoni noted the rise in purchase activity was led by conventional purchase applications, which surged by nearly 12 percent, while government purchases were essentially unchanged over the week. "This also pushed the average loan size for purchase applications higher, which likely meant there were fewer first-time homebuyers in the market last week," he said.

MBA reported the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($453,100 or less) decreased to 5.12 percent from 5.16 percent, with points decreasing to 0.46 from 0.48 (including origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio 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 $453,100) remained unchanged at 4.88 percent, with points increasing to 0.31 from 0.29 (including origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate remained unchanged from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by FHA increased to 5.11 percent from 5.08 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.63 (including 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 remained unchanged at 4.53 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.51 (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 mortgage increased to 4.29 percent from 4.24 percent, with points decreasing to 0.42 from 0.51 (including origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The ARM share of activity increased to 7.9 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.

Share this article