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MBA: Purchase applications surge to new high

Highest level since October 2015

Purchase applications took front and center in the latest report from the Mortgage Bankers Association, with applications reaching the second-highest level since May 2010.

According the MBA’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending April 8, 2016, the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 8% from one week earlier, its highest level since October 2015.

On the other side, the Refinance Index also surged, rising 11% from the previous week to its highest level since February 2016.

Mortgage applications as a whole increased 10% from one week earlier.

“Helped by a persistently strong job market and low rates, applications for both conventional and government home purchase loans increased last week. The purchase index was at its second-highest level since May 2010. Applications to refinance also increased as the 30-year contract rate decreased to its lowest level since January 2015,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s chief economist.

The refinance share of mortgage activity grew to 54.9% of total applications, up from 54.5% the previous week, while the adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity increased to 5% of total applications.

The Federal Housing Administration’s share of total applications decreased to 10.8% from 11.3% the week prior. The Veteran Affairs’ share of total applications decreased to 11.9% from 12.2% the week prior, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s share of total applications remained unchanged to 0.8%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) dipped to 3.82% from 3.86%, marking the lowest level since January 2015.

Similarly, the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) decreased to 3.74% from 3.76%, the lowest rate since February 2016.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 3.66% from 3.73%, which is the lowest rate since April 2015.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages remained unchanged at 3.10%, while the average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 2.94% from 2.94%. 

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