Refinance applications have reached an 18-year low while mortgage applications crept backwards 0.1% for the week ending November 16, 2018, according to new data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

“Treasury rates declined last week, as equity markets continued to see large swings amidst investor concerns over global economic growth,” MBA Director of Economic and Industry Forecasts Joel Kan said. “As a result, mortgage rates inched back across most loan types, including the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage, 5/1 ARM, and 30-year jumbo mortgage rate.”

On an unadjusted basis, the Mortgage Composite index slightly retreated 0.1% from the previous week.

The Refinance Index declined 5% from the previous week, reaching its lowest level since December 2000. The unadjusted Purchase Index fell 1% from last week and was 5% below the same week in 2017.

However, the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 3% from one week prior.

“The 30-year fixed rate mortgage also declined, stopping a run of six straight weekly increases,” Kan continued. “Mortgage applications saw mixed results last week. Purchase applications increased to their highest level in five weeks, but despite the pause in rates, refinance activity dropped again and remained at its lowest level since 2000.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity fell 38.5% of total applications, down from 39.4% the week before. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity also decreased, dropping to 7.3% of total applications.

The Federal Housing Administration share of mortgage apps increased from last week’s 10.6% to 10.7%, and the Veterans Affairs' share of applications climbed to 10.6%, rising from 10.1% the previous week.

The Department of Agriculture share of total applications held its ground, remaining at 0.7% from the prior week.

The MBA reported that mortgage interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($453,100 or less) slightly decreased to 5.16% from 5.17% the previous week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $453,100) also dropped, falling .10% from 4.98% last week to 4.88% this week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA did not budge, also staying at 5.08% this week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages moved backwards from 4.57% to 4.53% this week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs declined, reaching 4.24%, down from 4.45% last week.

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