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MBA: Average loan size for purchase applications hits all-time high

Latest report also shows ARMs hit highest level since October 2014

Model house on money

The average loan size for purchase mortgage applications hit an all-time high last week, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The data comes courtesy of the MBA’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending March 3, 2017, which showed that the average loan size for purchase applications was $313,300.

That’s the highest that figure has been during any week since the MBA began conducting its weekly application survey in 1990.

Overall, the MBA’s report showed that mortgage applications increased 3.3% from the previous week.

The report also showed that the Refinance Index increased 5% from the previous week to the highest level since December 2016. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index also increased 2% from one week earlier.

Additionally, the report showed that the refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 45.4% of total applications, up from 45.1% the previous week.

The increase pulls the refinance share out of the doldrums, as last week’s total refinance share of 45.1% was the lowest that figure had been since November 2008.

The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity also increased to 7.7% of total applications, which marks the highest level since October 2014.

Comparing the different loan options, the Federal Housing Administration’s share of total applications decreased to 11.8% from 12.3% the week prior.

The Veteran Affairs' share of total applications decreased to 11.6% from 11.7% the week prior, while the United States Department of Agriculture’s share of total applications remained frozen at 0.9%.

The MBA report also showed that the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) increased to 4.36%, up from 4.3%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $424,100) also increased, climbing to 4.27% from 4.23%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 4.18% from 4.07%, while the average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased from 3.51% to 3.57%.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs also rose from 3.35% to 3.48%.

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