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MBA: Refinance applications heat up as purchase applications continue to cool

Refinance applications reach the highest level in a month

Mortgage applications fell 1.1% from last week, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending July 17, 2019.

Despite this decrease, on an unadjusted basis, the Index increased a whopping 24% from the previous week.

Mortgage rates increased across the board, with the 30-year fixed rate mortgage rising to its highest level in a month to 4.12%, which is still below this year’s average of 4.45%,” said Joel Kan, MBA vice president of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Coming out of the July 4th holiday, applications were lower overall, with purchase activity slipping almost 4%.”

That being said, Kan notes that refinance applications reached the highest level in a month, as gains were primarily driven by FHA refinance applications.

The Refinance index rose 2% from the previous week and the unadjusted Purchase Index spiked a 21% from a week ago and remained 7% higher than the same week in 2018. Lastly, the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index slid 2% from the week before.

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

  • The refinance share of mortgage activity ticked up to 50% from last week’s 48.7%.
  • The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity fell to 4.9% of total applications.
  • The Federal Housing Administration‘s share of mortgage apps increased to 10.6% from last week’s 10.1%.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs‘ share of applications moved backward to 12.9% from last week’s 13.2%.
  • The Department of Agriculture‘s share of total applications retreated from last week’s 0.7% to 0.6%.
  • Mortgage interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) increased from last week’s rate of 4.04% to 4.12%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $484,350) moderately increased to 4.07% from last week’s 4.03%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA rose from last week’s 3.97 to 4.01%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages grew from last week’s 3.42 to 3.48%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs slightly increased to 3.56% from last week’s 3.58%.

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