Mortgage Application Volume Reacts to Rising Rates

News

The on and off refinancing boomlet that has sporadically driven mortgage
application volume since the first of the year went missing again during the
week ended February 6. The Mortgage Bankers Association said that its Market
Composite Index, a measure of application volume, retreated from the previous
week’s activity as did most of the index components as interest rates rose from
near record lows.

The Composite Index was down 9.0 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis
compared to the week ended January 30 and it lost 7 percent on an unadjusted
basis.  The Refinance Index, declined 10
percent as the refinancing share of all mortgage applications dropped from 71
to 69 percent.

The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased by 7 percent from a week
earlier and the unadjusted index was 1 percent lower than both the previous
week and the same week in 2014.

 

Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

 

 

Purchase Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

 

The FHA share of total applications
increased from 13.1 percent to 14.1 percent while the VA applications lost 2
basis points to take an 8.3 percent share. 
USDA applications made up 0.7 percent of the total compared to 0.6
percent the previous week. 

Interest rates as a whole continued to bounce
back off of the spring 2013 levels they had reached in early January.  The average contract interest rate for
30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with conforming loan balances ($417,000
or less) increased to 3.84 percent, the highest level since January 9, 2015,
from 3.79 percent.  Points increased to 0.31 from 0.29 and the
effective rate increased. 

Jumbo 30-year FRM, loans with balances
over $417,000, had an average interest rate of 3.90 percent with 0.19
point.  A week earlier the average rate
had been 3.82 percent with 0.22 point. 
The effective rate increased as well. 

Interest rates for FHA backed 30-year FRM rose
on average by three basis points to 3.72 percent.  Points increased from 0.07 to 0.13 and the effective
rate increased.

The average contract
interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate
mortgages increased to 3.15 percent
from 3.14 percent, with points
decreasing to 0.29 from 0.31. The effective rate remained unchanged from the
prior week.

The share of adjustable rate mortgage
(ARM) applications rose slightly from a 5.3 percent share to 5.7 percent and
the average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs went from 0.03 percent to 3.07
percent.  Points increased to 0.44 from
0.39 and the effective rate also rose

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

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