Mortgage applications rose 7.2% from last week, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey. This week’s results also include an adjustment for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, the release said.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 7.2% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier.

On an unadjusted basis, the index decreased by only 1% compared to the previous week.

But, both the purchase and refinance indices were above last year’s figures, with refis running far ahead of last year.

According to the MBA, the Refinance Index increased 8% from the previous week and was 146% higher than the same week last year.

The unadjusted Purchase Index was up 2% compared with the previous week and was 17% above where it was one year ago.

Joel Kan, the MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, said that these results are an indication that 2020 is starting out strong.

“Mortgage applications continued their strong start to the year, as borrowers acted on the drop in mortgage rates last week. Rates were driven lower by investors’ increased concern about the economic impact from China’s coronavirus outbreak, in addition to existing concerns over trade and other geo- political risks,” Kan said

“With the 30-year fixed rate at its lowest level since November 2016, refinances jumped 7.5%,” Kan continued. “Purchase applications grew 2% and were more than 16% higher than the same week last year. Thanks to low rates and the healthy job market, purchase activity continues to run stronger than in 2019.”

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

  • The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 60.4% from last week’s 61.6%.
  • The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity increased to 4.7% of total applications.
  • The Federal Housing Administration’s share of mortgage apps decreased to 10.7% from last week’s 11.3%.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs share of applications decreased to 11.7% from 13.8% last week.
  • The Department of Agriculture’s share of total applications held steady at 0.5%.
  • Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($510,400 or less) decreased from 3.87% from 3.81%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $510,400) decreased to 3.78% from 3.87%
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 3.82% from 3.78%
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.24%, falling to the lowest level since November 2016.
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 3.15% from 3.29%.

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