MBA: Mortgage apps reiterate the difficulties of this spring-buying season

Applications drop again

The spring-buying season is supposed to be the hottest buying season all year, yet industry reports keep revealing that this year, spring isn’t close to booming.

Once again, mortgage applications dropped, falling 3.4% from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending April 29. This comes after last week’s decline of 4.1%.

While the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index was flat and only decreased 0.1% from one week earlier, the Refinance Index decreased 6% from the previous week.

The refinance share of mortgage activity also dipped even further, decreasing to 52.9% of total applications from 54.4% the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity increased to 5.3% of total applications.

The Federal Housing Administration’s share of total applications slightly grew to 13.5% from 12.3% the week prior, as the Veteran Affairs’ share of total applications decreased to 11.5% from 12.2% the week prior. The United States Department of Agriculture’s share of total applications marginally dropped to 0.7% from 0.8% the week prior.

Average mortgage rates remained fairly stagnant, with the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) increased to 3.87% from 3.85%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) moved up to 3.79% from 3.78%

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 3.69% from 3.66%.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.13% from 3.09%, while the average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 2.91% from 3.02%.

The latest appraisal volume report, another indicator of market strength that gives a different perspective from mortgage applications since fallout is less for appraisals, also painted a rough picture for peak home-buying season.   

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