MBA: Mortgage applications reverse course, decrease

Most interest rates rise to highest level since September 2016

Mortgage applications erased all of the previous report’s increase and posted a decline for the week ending Oct. 7.

The latest Mortgage Bankers Association latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey recorded that mortgage applications decreased 6% from one week earlier.

The decline is a change from the meager changes of the past two weeks, even though the drop is still in the single digits.

While both refinance applications and purchase applications decreased, the Refinance Index decreased the most, dropping 8% from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 3% from one week earlier.

As a result, the refinance share of mortgage activity also declined and fell to 62.4% of total applications from 63.8% the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 4.1% of total applications.

The Federal Housing Administration share of total applications slightly increased to 10.9% from 10% the week prior, as the Veteran Affairs share of total applications increased to 12% from 11.4% the week prior. The United States Department of Agriculture share of total applications remained at 0.7% from the week prior.

All the following except the average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs reached their highest levels since September 2016.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) increased to 3.68%, from 3.62%, while the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) similarly increased to 3.67%, from 3.60%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 3.54%, from 3.50%.

In addition, the average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to its highest level since September 2016, 2.97%, from 2.93%.

The only one that did not move, the average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs, remained unchanged at 2.92%.

This report echoes similar lackluster results in appraisal volume, which recently reported that so far, the fourth quarter is continuing the slow volume levels witnessed for most of the past two months.

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