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MBA: Mortgage applications rise thanks to falling mortgage rates

The Market Composite Index rose 1.3% last week

Declining mortgage rates once again spurred an increase in mortgage applications, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

On an unadjusted basis, the Market Composite Index rose 1.3% for the week ending June 21, 2019, according to MBA's weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

MBA Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting Joel Kan said the nation’s markets reacted to a more dovish FOMC statement and forecast, with Treasury yields falling after the meeting.

“Mortgage rates dropped again for most loan types, which led to an increase in refinance activity, partly driven by a 9% jump in VA applications,” Kan said. “The 30-year fixed rate has now dropped in three of the last four weeks, and at 4.06%, reached its lowest level since September 2017. Despite these lower rates, purchase applications decreased 2%, but were still considerably higher (9%) than a year ago.”

The Refinance index climbed 3% from the previous week and the unadjusted Purchase Index fell 2% from a week ago but remained 9% higher than the same week in 2018. Lastly, the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index ticked slid 1% from the week before.

Here's a more detailed breakdown of this week's mortgage application data:

  • The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 51.5% from last week’s 50.2%.
  • The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity increased to 6.5% of total applications.
  • The Federal Housing Administration's share of mortgage apps ticked up from last week’s 9.4% to 9.6%.
  • The Veterans Affairs' share of applications increased to 12.5% from last week’s 11.9%.
  • The Department of Agriculture's share of total applications moved forward from last week’s 0.5% to 0.6%.
  • Mortgage interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) decreased from last week’s rate of 4.14% to 4.06%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $484,350) declined from last week’s 4.04% to 4%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA dropped from last week’s 4.12% to 4.01%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.40% from 3.50% the week prior.
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 3.5% from last week’s 3.45%.

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