MBA: Mortgage applications fall 2.7%

Refinance Index also retreats 5%

Mortgage applications moderately fell for the week ending Jan. 18, 2019, according to the newest data from the Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

MBA Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting Joel Kan said mortgage application activity cooled off last week after two consecutive weeks of sizable increases.

On an unadjusted basis, the Market Composite index retreated 2.7% from the previous week.

“Both purchase and refinance applications saw declines but remained at healthy levels, with the purchase index remaining close to a nine-year high, and the refinance index hovering near its highest level since last spring,” Kan continued. “Reversing the recent downward trend, borrowers saw increasing rates for most loan types last week, as better-than-expected unemployment claims, easing trade tensions and stabilization in the equity markets ultimately led to a rise in Treasury rates.”

The Refinance Index fell 5% from the previous week while the unadjusted Purchase Index rose 4% from a week ago and is 13% higher than the same week in 2018. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index fell, decreasing 2% from the week before.

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 44.5% of total applications, falling from 46.8% the previous week.

The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity fell backwards to 8.3% of total applications.

The Federal Housing Administration's share of mortgage apps slid from last week’s 10.9% to 10.5% and the Veterans Affairs' share of applications decreased, retreating from 10.4% the previous week to 10.3% this week.

The Department of Agriculture's share of total applications fell from 0.5% the previous week to 0.4% this week.

The MBA reported that mortgage interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) slightly increased from the previous week, rising from 4.74% to 4.75%.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $484,350) increased from last week’s 4.53% to 4.59% this week.  

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA moderately rose to 4.82% this week from 4.76% last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages inched backwards from 4.13% last week to 4.12% this week.

Lastly, the average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs moved forward to 4.12%, increasing from to 4.08% last week.  

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