MBA: Mortgage applications reverse course from last week’s surge

By Housing News

Mortgage applications retreated 5% from last week, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

This means on an unadjusted basis, the index fell 5% for the week ending on Dec. 13, 2019.

Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s senior vice president and chief economist, said mortgage rates were mostly unchanged, even as a potential trade deal between the U.S. and China caused rates to inch forward at the end of last week.

“With rates showing little meaningful movement, both refinance and purchase activity took a step back,” Fratantoni said. “As we move into the slowest time of the year for home sales, purchase application volume is declining but continues to outperform year-ago levels, when rates were much higher. Purchase activity was 10% higher than a year ago.”

According to the MBA, the Refinance Index fell 7%, while the unadjusted Purchase Index dropped 6% and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index slid 2% from the week before.

Here is a more detailed breakdown of this week’s mortgage application data:

  • The refinance share of mortgage activity slid to 62.2% from last week’s 62.4%.
  • The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity fell to 4.6% of total applications from the previous week’s 5%.
  • The Federal Housing Administration’s share of mortgage apps declined to 13.7% from last week’s 13.9%.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs share of applications rose to 12.9% from last week’s 12.4%.
  • The Department of Agriculture share of total applications remained unchanged from last week’s 0.5%.
  • Mortgage interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) remained unchanged from last week’s rate of 3.98%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $484,350) increased from last week’s 3.9% to 3.96%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA held steady at last week’s 3.79%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages grew from last week’s 3.37% to 3.4%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs fell to 3.28% from last week’s 3.52%.


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