Purchase Apps Pick Up Some Slack From Falling Refi Volume


Mortgage applications
declined again during the week ended February 20.  The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said
that its Market Composite Index, a measure of application volume, was down 3.5
percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from the week ended February 13.  There was also an adjustment to the data to
account for the Presidents’ Day Holiday which fell during the week.  On a non-adjusted basis the volume was down
12 percent from the previous week.

Refinancing activity
continued to retreat
.  The Refinance Index decreased
8 percent from the previous week and the refinancing
share of applications fell from 66 percent to 62 percent, the fourth decline in
five weeks. 

The seasonally adjusted
Purchase Index increased 5 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index lost 2 percent compared with the previous week and was 2 percent
lower than during the same week
in 2014. 

Refinance Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

Purchase Index vs 30 Yr Fixed

The share of FHA-backed applications
increased 1 basis point to 15.3 percent and the VA share was 9.6 percent
compared to 8.0 percent the prior week. 
USDA/RHA applications remained unchanged at a 0.9 percent share.

Both the average contract interest rate
and the effective rate increased for most products surveyed by MBA’s Weekly
Mortgage Application Survey. 

The contract rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) increased
to an average of 3.99 percent from 3.93 percent, with points
decreasing to 0.33 from 0.35.

The rate for a jumbo 30-year FRM with loan balances greater than $417,000
increased to 4.09 percent from 3.92 percent, with points
decreasing to 0.21 from 0.28.

FHA-backed 30-year FRM had a rate of 3.82 point with 0.15 point compared to 3.73 percent with 0.12 point.

The average contract
interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate
mortgages increased
to 3.28 percent from 3.24 percent, with points decreasing to 0.30 from 0.35.  

The adjustable-rate
mortgage (ARM) share of activity
decreased to 5.2 percent of total applications from 5.3 percent the
previous week.  The average contract
interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 3.28 percent from 3.09 percent,
with points decreasing to 0.31 from 0.47.

MBA’s application survey
has been conducted weekly since 1990 among mortgage bankers, commercial banks,
and thrifts.  The survey covers over 75 percent
of all U.S. retail
residential mortgage applications.   Base period and value for all indexes
is March 16, 1990=100 and rate
information presumes mortgages with an 80 percent loan-to-value ratio with
points including the origination fee.

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