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MBA: Mortgage applications flip 180 degrees

Refinance activity drops as purchase activity soars

The frenzy surrounding mortgage applications in the wake of Brexit is starting to wane as refinance applications post a slight drop in the latest report for the week ending July 15 from the Mortgage Bankers Association. Instead, a different category is starting to shine: purchase applications.

After news came out that British voters decided to leave the European Union, mortgage interest rates plummeted to new lows, opening up the door for many borrowers to refinance. Purchase applications, though, didn't move too much.  

But in a turn of events, purchase applications actually surged in the latest report, rising 23% compared with the previous week.

Even when Brexit pushed rates lower and applications soared, purchases application only rose 4% from the previous week.

Meanwhile, this week’s 1.3% decline in mortgage applications is quite the change from last week’s 7.2% increase and the previous week’s 14.2% surge.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 64.2% of total applications from 64% the previous week, while the adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 5.1% of total applications. However, the Refinance Index decreased 1% from the previous week.

The Federal Housing Administration’s share of total applications decreased to 9.9% from 10% the week prior, as the Veteran Affairs’ share of total applications decreased to 11.2% from 12.1% the week prior. The United States Department of Agriculture share of total applications decreased to 0.5% from 0.6% the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) increased to 3.65% from 3.60%.

Similarly, the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) increased to 3.66% from 3.61%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA remained frozen at 3.53%

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 2.90% from 2.88%, while the average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 2.86 percent from 2.78%. 

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