Mortgage

MBA: Refinance applications now make up half of all mortgage applications

Applications increase overall

As mortgage applications ticked slightly higher, the share of refinance applications finally inched its way back up to half of all mortgage applications, according to the latest report from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

According to the MBA’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending Sept. 1, the refinance share of mortgage activity increased to its highest level since January 2017, making up 50.9% of total applications. This is slightly up from 49.4% the previous week.

The refinance share or mortgage activity has slowly been creeping its way back up to half of all mortgage applications, staying in the high 40s for awhile now.

Meanwhile, the adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 7.2% of total applications.

As a whole, mortgage applications increased 3.3% from one-week earlier after falling two weeks straight.

The Refinance Index increased 5% from the previous week, while the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 1% from one week earlier.

The Federal Housing Administration’s share of total applications decreased to 9.6% from 9.7% the week prior, and the Veterans Affairs’ share of total applications decreased to 9.7% from 10.0% the week prior.

However, the Department of Agriculture’s share of total applications remained frozen at 0.7%.

Mortgage rates also dropped to record lows for the week. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($424,100 or less) decreased to its lowest level since November 2016, 4.06%, from 4.11%.

Similarly, the average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $424,100) decreased to its lowest level since November 2016, 3.96% from 4%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to its lowest level since November 2016, 3.98%, from 4.02%, while the average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to its lowest level since November 2016, 3.34%, from 3.36%.

Lastly, the average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to its lowest level since November 2016, 3.14%, from 3.26%. 

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