Mortgage Applications Down Again in MBA Weekly Survey

MBA NewsLink Staff

July 31, 2019


Mortgage applications fell again last week from one week earlier, although refinance applications ticked up slightly as key interest rates held steady, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported this morning in its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 26.

The Market Composite Index decreased by 1.4 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased by 1 percent compared to the previous week.

The unadjusted Refinance Index increased by 0.1 percent from the previous week and was 84 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 50.5 percent of total applications from 49.8 percent the previous week.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased by 3 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased by 3 percent compared to the previous week and was 6 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

The FHA share of total applications remained unchanged at 11.3 percent from the week prior. The VA share of total applications decreased to 12.6 percent from 13.1 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.6 percent from the week prior.

"While purchase activity was still up 6 percent from a year ago, the index has now decreased for three straight weeks and reached its lowest point since March," said MBA Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting Joel Kan. "Despite healthy demand, inadequate supply levels continue to hold back some would-be buyers."

Kan noted rate movements were mixed. "Refinance applications were essentially flat, but the components told different stories," he said. "Conventional refinances were up 1.1 percent, but government refinances were down almost 3 percent, led by a drop in VA applications."

MBA reported the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) remained unchanged at 4.08 percent, with points increasing to 0.34 from 0.33 (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 $484,350) remained unchanged at 4.04 percent, with points decreasing to 0.22 from 0.25 (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 3.94 percent, the lowest level since September 2017, from 3.98 percent, with points decreasing to 0.29 from 0.31 (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 increased to 3.48 percent from 3.45 percent, with points decreasing to 0.26 from 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 decreased to 3.52 percent from 3.57 percent, with points increasing to 0.31 from 0.27 (including origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The ARM share of activity remained unchanged at 4.7 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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