MBA: Mortgage applications can’t seem to get ahead

Refinance Index drops to lowest level in 18 years

Mortgage applications fell 1.8% from last week, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending September 7, 2018. The MBA noted that this week's numbers include an adjustment for the Labor Day holiday. 

On an unadjusted basis, the Mortgage Composite Index dropped 13% from the previous week.

The Refinance Index slid 6% from the previous week, dropping to its lowest level since December 2000. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 11% from last week but is still 4% higher than the same week in 2017, and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index dipped 1% from one week prior.

The refinance share of mortgage activity fell slightly from last week’s 38.9% to 37.8% of total applications, and the adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity increased to 6.4% of total applications.

The Federal Housing Administration share of mortgage apps climbed from last week’s 10.2% to 10.4%, and the Veterans Affairs' share of applications increased to 10.5% from 10% the previous week.

The Department of Agriculture share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.8% from the week before.

The MBA reported mortgage interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($453,100 or less) inched forward from 4.8% last week to 4.84% this week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $453,100) increased from 4.67% last week to 4.72% this week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased from 4.79% last week to 4.84% this week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages moved forward from 4.23% to 4.28% this week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs reversed course slightly this week, decreasing to 4.07% this week, down from 4.09% last week.

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