Application Activity Flat; Purchase Apps Maintain Big Annual Edge

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Mortgage application activity during the week ended June 28 was largely unchanged from the week that preceded it.  The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said its Market Composite Index, a measure of total volume, dipped 0.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis compared to the week ended June 21 and was 0.3 percent lower on an unadjusted basis.

The Refinance Index decreased 1 percent from the previous week and the share of applications that were for refinancing was down from 51.5 percent to 51.0 percent. Both the seasonally adjusted and the unadjusted Purchase Indices gained 1 percent and the unadjusted index was 10 percent higher on an annual basis.

“Purchase applications picked up slightly last week, as conventional and government activity were each up around 1 percent,” Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting, said.  “Furthermore, in continuation of the gradual growth trend seen throughout the first half of 2019, purchase activity was almost 10 percent higher than a year ago.  A still-strong job market, improving affordability and lower mortgage rates continue to support growth.”

Added Kan, “Conventional refinances dropped slightly over the week, but there was a pick-up in government refinances, with FHA activity jumping 17 percent. Additionally, the average loan amount for government refinance applications reached another survey high at $282,500. In a week of mixed mortgage rate movements across the various loan types, the 30-year fixed rate finished slightly higher than last week, but was still close to lows last seen in 2016.”

 

Refi Index vs 30yr Fixed

 

 

Purchase Index vs 30yr Fixed

 

 

The average size of all loans was $330,100 while the size of loans for home purchase continues a slight downward trend. The average was $323,200.                      

The FHA share of total applications increased to 10.1 percent from 9.6 percent the previous week and the VA share inched up to 12.8 percent from 12.5 percent. The USDA share was unchanged at 0.6 percent.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs) with loan balances at or below the conforming limit of $484,350 was 4.07 percent, up 1 basis point from the prior week.  Points increased to 0.36 from 0.35 and the effective rate was higher.  

The average contract interest rate for jumbo 30-year FRM, loans with origination balances above the conforming limit, was unchanged at 4.00 percent, although points ticked up to 0.25 from 0.24. The effective rate was also unchanged.   

The average contract interest rate for 30-year FRM backed by the FHA decreased to 3.97 percent from 4.01 percent and points dropped to 0.30 from 0.36. The effective rate moved lower.  

Rates averaged 3.42 percent with 0.32 point for the 15-year FRM and the effective rate increased.  The previous week the rate was 3.40 percent, with 0.31 point.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) decreased to 3.46 percent from 3.50 percent, and points eased back to 0.26 from 0.29. Despite the lower effective rate, the ARM share of activity dropped sharply, to 5.2 percent of total applications from 6.5 percent the prior week.

MBA’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey been conducted since 1990 and covers over 75 percent of all U.S. retail residential applications Respondents include mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts.  Base period and value for all indexes is March 16, 1990=100 and interest rate information is based on loans with an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio and points that include the origination fee.

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