Post holiday demand in housing and indications of a strong economy led to an increase in mortgage applications this week. The Market Composite Index, a weekly measure of mortgage loan application volume reported by the MBA, increased 4.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from a week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the index increased 32 percent compared with the previous week.
The Refinance Index increased 4 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 3 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 35 percent compared with the previous week and was 7 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 52.2 percent of total applications from 52.9 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 5.2 percent of total applications.
“Call it fear or call it patience but overall rates are still low enough for consumers to apply for new loans. With interest rates starting to look like they are poised to rise we may see a number of fence sitters decide to finally refinance out of ARM or take advantage of some appreciation in home value,” said Brian Surgener, SVP Strategy and Analytics,at BBMC Mortgage (a division of the Bridgeview Bank Group) in his comments on the increase in mortgage applications.
The report included the following highlights:
- The FHA share of total applications increased to 11.7 percent from 11.1 percent the week prior.
- The VA share of total applications decreased to 10.7 percent from 11.4 percent the week prior.
- The USDA share of total applications increased to 0.8 percent from 0.7 percent the week prior.
- The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($453,100 or less) increased to 4.33 percent, from 4.23 percent, its highest level since March 2017.
- The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $453,100) increased to 4.25 percent, from 4.16 percent, its highest level since March 2017.
- The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 4.30 percent, from 4.16 percent its highest level since March 2017.
- The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.77 percent, from 3.66 percent its highest level since January 2014.
- The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 3.62 percent, from 3.50 percent, its highest level since April 2011.