Mortgage Applications Rise in MBA Weekly Survey

MBA NewsLink Staff

May 08, 2019

Mortgage applications rose for the first time in five weeks as key interest rates dropped slightly, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported this morning in its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending May 3.

The Market Composite Index increased by 2.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased by 3 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 38.8 percent the previous week to its lowest level since November.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased by 4 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased by 5 percent compared to the previous week and was 5 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

"We saw a good week for the spring home buying season, as a 5 percent increase in purchase applications--both weekly and year-over-year--drove the results," said MBA Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting Joel Kan. "Average loan amounts also stayed elevated, with government purchase applications rising to the highest in the survey. Even with slower price appreciation in higher-priced markets, home prices are still rising enough to push average loan sizes higher."

The FHA share of total applications remained unchanged from 9.5 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 11.1 percent from 10.9 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.6 percent the week prior.

MBA reported the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) decreased to 4.41 percent from 4.42 percent, with points increasing to 0.47 from 0.46 (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) decreased to 4.27 percent from 4.31 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.23 (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 increased to 4.44 percent from 4.39 percent, with points increasing to 0.56 from 0.47 (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 3.81 percent, with points increasing to 0.42 from 0.40 (including origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate remained unchanged from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages increased to 3.88 percent from 3.81 percent, with points decreasing to 0.26 from 0.54 (including origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The ARM share of activity increased to 6.4 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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