Mortgage

MBA: Despite historically low interest rates, mortgage applications actually drop

Refinances up slightly, but purchases down

In a week that saw mortgage interest rates hit the lowest level in three years, mortgage applications actually dropped, according to the latest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The MBA’s latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey showed that mortgage applications fell 1.6% for the week ending May 13, 2016 over the previous week’s totals.

The MBA report shows that the Market Composite Index, which is a measure of mortgage loan application volume, dropped 1.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier.

On an unadjusted basis, the Index fell 2% compared with the previous week.

The MBA’s report showed that the Refinance Index increased 1% from the previous week, while the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 6% from one week earlier, falling to the lowest level since February 2016.

The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 6% compared with the previous week, but was 12% higher than the same week one year ago.

Considering the state of mortgage rates, it’s not a surprise that the refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 54.7% of total applications, rising from 52.8% in the previous week.

The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity decreased to 5.5% of total applications.

The Federal Housing Administration’s share of total applications decreased to 12.6% from 13% the week prior. The Veteran Affairs’ share of total applications increased to 12.2% from 11.7% the week prior, while the United States Department of Agriculture’s share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.7%.

According to the MBA report, the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) remained unchanged at 3.82%.

The MBA’s report also showed that the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) also remained unchanged at 3.74%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 3.63% from 3.64%, while the average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.02% from 3.06%.

And finally, the average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 2.94% from 2.93%.

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