MBA: Mortgage applications rise despite slight decline in refinances

The Market Composite Index rose 0.6% last week

Last week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.05%, spurring a slight decline in refinance demand. Despite this retreat, the Mortgage Bankers Association indicates mortgage applications increased by 0.6%.

This means on an unadjusted basis, the index inched forward 0.3% for the week ending on October 25, 2019.

“The 10-year Treasury rate rose slightly last week, as markets expected more progress toward a trade deal between the U.S. and China,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s vice president of economic and industry forecasting. “Mortgage rates increased for the second straight week as a result, with the 30-year fixed-rate climbing to 4.05% – the highest level since the end of July.”

Mortgage applications were mostly unchanged, with purchase activity rising 2% and refinances decreasing less than 1%, Kan said.

According to the MBA, the seasonally adjusted and unadjusted Purchase Indexes both rose 2% from the previous week. However, the unadjusted Purchase index is now 10% higher than the same week a year ago.

Kan said considering how much lower rates are compared to the end of 2018, purchase applications should continue showing solid year-over-year gains.

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

  • The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 58% from last week’s 58.5%.
  • The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity rose to 5.2% of total applications.
  • The Federal Housing Administration’s share of mortgage apps fell to 12% from last week’s 12.1%.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs share of applications moved backward to 11.8% from last week’s 13.5%.
  • The Department of Agriculture’s share of total applications increased 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) ticked up from last week’s rate of 4.02% to 4.05%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $484,350) increased from last week’s 3.96% to 4.01%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA rose to 3.83% from last week’s 3.79%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages grew from last week’s 3.39% to 3.4%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 3.43% from last week’s 3.29%.

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