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MBA: Mortgage applications continue to rise on falling mortgage rates

The Market Composite Index rose 1.5% last week

Last week, the nation’s mortgage rates remained below 4% for the second consecutive week, driving a 1.5% increase in application volume, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

This means on an unadjusted basis, the index dropped 1.5% for the week ending on Nov. 22, 2019.

The MBA indicates this week’s results are being compared to last year’s Thanksgiving week, which saw a 5.5% increase in applications.

“Mortgage rates stayed below 4% for the second straight week and borrowers responded positively, with mortgage applications rising 1.5% on the back of increases in both refinance and purchase activity,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. “Refinances have been strong this month, but we are starting to see the average pace slow compared to the peak experienced in August through October.”

According to the organization, the Refinance Index rose 4% from the previous week and was a whopping 314% higher than the same week in 2018. The unadjusted Purchase Index grew 4% from a week ago, the remaining 55% higher than last year’s rate, and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index moved forward 1% from the week before.

“The annual increase in refinance and purchase activity was even more prominent in this report because Thanksgiving was a week earlier last year,” Kan said. “However, with roughly five weeks of reporting data left in 2019, the mortgage market is on track for its best year for originations since 2007.”

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

  • The refinance share of mortgage activity increased 62% from last week’s 59.5%.
  • The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity increased to 4.8% of total applications.
  • The Federal Housing Administration’s share of mortgage apps declined to 11.7% from last week’s 13%.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs share of applications rose to 14.1% from last week’s 12.9%.
  • The Department of Agriculture’s share of total applications remained unchanged from last week’s 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 3.99% to 3.97%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $484,350) retreated from last week’s 3.93% to 3.87%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 3.79% from last week’s 3.8%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell from last week’s 3.4% to 3.38%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs dropped to 3.42% from last week’s 3.51%.

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