Mortgage Applications Increase in MBA Weekly Applications Survey

MBA NewsLink Staff

September 11, 2019

Mortgage applications increased from one week earlier as mortgage interest rates continued to hover at three-year lows, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending September 6.

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

The Market Composite Index increased 2.0 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased by 9 percent compared to the previous week.

The unadjusted Refinance Index increased by 0.4 percent from the previous week and was 169 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 60.0 percent of total applications from 60.4 percent the previous week.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased by 5 percent from one week earlier.
The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased by 8 percent compared to the previous week and was 9 percent higher than the same week one year ago.

The FHA share of total applications decreased to 9.3 percent from 10.2 percent the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 11.9 percent from 11.3 percent the week prior. The USDA share of total applications decreased to 0.5 percent from 0.6 percent the week prior.

"Mortgages rates continued to decline over the holiday-shortened week, with the 30-year fixed rate decreasing five basis points and remaining near three-year lows," said Joel Kan, MBA Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. "Refinances were essentially unchanged, up just 0.4 percent, but August overall was the strongest month of activity so far in 2019."

Kan noted purchase applications saw increases for both conventional and government applications. "Purchase activity was 9 percent higher than last year, continuing the trend seen most of the year of solid year-over-year gains," he said.

MBA reported the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) decreased to 3.82 percent from 3.87 percent, with points increasing to 0.44 from 0.34 (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 $484,350) decreased to 3.84 percent from 3.94 percent, with points increasing to 0.34 from 0.24 (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 3.76 percent from 3.80 percent, with points decreasing to 0.31 from 0.32 (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 decreased to 3.28 percent from 3.29 percent, with points increasing to 0.47 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 increased to 3.42 percent from 3.40 percent, with points increasing to 0.48 from 0.27 (including origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The ARM share of activity decreased to 5.6 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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