MBA: Mortgage applications rise 2%

30-year fixed-rate falls for the third consecutive week

Mortgage applications climbed 2% for the week ending Nov. 30, 2018, according to new data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

Notably, the results for the week ending November 23, 2018, included an adjustment for the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Treasury rates continued to slide last week, driven mainly by concerns over slowing global economic growth and U.S. and China trade uncertainty,” MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting Joel Kan said. “The 30-year fixed-rate fell for the third week in a row to 5.08% and has declined a total of nine basis points over this span.”

On an unadjusted basis, the Mortgage Composite index increased 2% from the previous week.

“Application activity increased over the week for both purchase and refinance loans, and were 10% and 7% higher, respectively, than the week before the Thanksgiving holiday,” Kan continued. “Additionally, we saw a decrease in the average loan size for purchase applications to the lowest since December 2017.”

According to Kan, this might be an indication that there are fewer jumbo borrowers, or first-time buyers are having better success reaching the market.

The Refinance Index increased 6% from the previous week, and the unadjusted Purchase Index spiked 36% from last week and was 0.2% higher the same week in 2017. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index inched forward 1% from the previous week.

The refinance share of mortgage activity grew to 40.4% of total applications, up from 37.9% the week before. The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity decreased to 7.4% of total applications.

The Federal Housing Administration share of mortgage apps increased from last week’s 9.6% to 10.2%, and the Veterans Affairs' share of applications also grew, climbing from 9.9% the previous week to 10% this week.

The Department of Agriculture share of total applications slid, falling from 0.7% last week to 0.6% this week.

The MBA reported that mortgage interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($453,100 or less) decreased to 5.08% from 5.12% the previous week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $453,100) slightly increased from last week’s 4.88% to 4.89% this week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA fell from 5.11% last week to 5.08% this week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell, slid from 4.53% last week to 4.5% this week.

Lastly, the average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs grew, reaching 4.33%, up from 4.29% last week.

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