MBA: Yet another mortgage rate drop spurs increase in applicants

Market Composite Index ticks up 2%

Last week, the nation’s mortgage rates fell to another three-year low, prompting many Americans to return to the market, according to The Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly Mortgage Applications Survey.

According to the MBA, mortgage applications increased 2% for the week ending on Sept. 6, 2019. This means on an unadjusted basis, the index moved forward 2% from the previous week.

“Mortgages rates continued to decline over the holiday-shortened week, with the 30-year fixed rate decreasing five basis points and remaining near three-year lows,” MBA Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting Joel Kan said. “Refinances were essentially unchanged, up just 0.4 percent, but August overall was the strongest month of activity so far in 2019. Purchase applications rose around 5%, with increases for both conventional and government applications.”

The Refinance Index rose 0.4% from the previous week and was 169% higher than the same time period in 2018. The unadjusted Purchase Index fell 8% from a week ago, but remained 9% higher than the same week a year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index rose 5% from the week before.

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

  • The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 60% from last week’s 60.4%.
  • The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity fell to 5.6 of total applications.
  • The Federal Housing Administration‘s share of mortgage apps dipped to 9.3% from last week’s 10.2%.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs‘ share of applications moved backward to 11.3% from last week’s 11.9%.
  • The Department of Agriculture‘s share of total applications retreated from last week’s 0.6% to 0.5%.
  • Mortgage interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) decreased from last week’s rate of 3.87% to 3.82%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $484,350) declined from last week’s 3.94% to 3.84%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 3.76% from last week’s 3.8%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages slid from last week’s 3.29% to 3.28%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 3.42% from last week’s 3.4%

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