Mortgage Applications Down Again in MBA Weekly Survey

MBA NewsLink Staff

July 17, 2019


Mortgage applications fell again last week as mortgage rates rose, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported this morning in its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 12.

Last week's results included an adjustment for the Fourth of July holiday.

The Market Composite Index fell by 1.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased by 24 percent compared to the previous week.

The unadjusted Refinance Index increased by 2 percent from the previous week and was 87 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 50.0 percent of total applications from 48.7 percent the previous week.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased by 4 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased by 21 percent compared to the previous week and was 7 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

The FHA share of total applications increased to 10.6 percent from 10.1 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 12.9 percent from 13.2 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications decreased to 0.6 percent from 0.7 percent the week prior.

"Mortgage rates increased across the board, with the 30-year fixed rate mortgage rising to its highest level in a month to 4.12 percent, which is still below this year's average of 4.45 percent," said Joel Kan, MBA Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "Coming out of the July 4 holiday, applications were lower overall, with purchase activity slipping almost 4 percent. Refinance applications increased, with activity reaching its highest level in a month, driven mainly by FHA refinance applications. Historically, government refinance activity lags slightly in response to rate changes."

Kan added buyer interest at the start of the second half of the year continues to outpace year ago levels, with activity last week up 7 percent.

MBA reported the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) increased to 4.12 percent from 4.04 percent, with points increasing to 0.38 from 0.37 (including origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio 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) increased to 4.07 percent from 4.03 percent, with points decreasing to 0.21 from 0.27 (including 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 FHA increased to 4.01 percent from 3.97 percent, with points decreasing to 0.28 from 0.30 (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 increased to 3.48 percent from 3.42 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.32 (including origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages increased to 3.58 percent from 3.56 percent, with points decreasing to 0.27 from 0.28 (including origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The ARM share of activity decreased to 4.9 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.

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