Mortgage Apps Continue to Ride Wave of Low Rates – NMP Skip to main content

Mortgage Apps Continue to Ride Wave of Low Rates

NationalMortgageProfessional.com
Jan 21, 2015

Feeding of record low rates to start 2015, mortgage applications increased 14.2 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending Jan. 16, 2015. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 14.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased 17 percent compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 22 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased three percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased three percent compared with the previous week and was three percent higher than the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage application volume increased last week to its highest level since June 2013, led by a 22 percent increase in refinance application volume. This increase was largely due to mortgage rates dropping to their lowest level since May 2013. However, the recent reduction in FHA mortgage insurance premiums also played a role: FHA refinance applications increased 57 percent last week. Even with this increase, refinances made up only 48 percent of FHA volume, compared to 73 percent for VA, and 77 percent for conventional loans,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s chief economist. “Conventional purchase applications were down about 3 percent for the week on a seasonally adjusted basis, but up 5 percent relative to last year at this time.  FHA purchase applications were down one percent for the week on a seasonally adjusted basis."

Conventional refinance applications increased 21 percent relative to the previous week, while government refinances increased 29 percent. The increase in government refinances was driven by a 57 percent surge in applications for FHA loans, which also boosted the FHA share of refinance applications to 5.2 percent from 4.1 percent the prior week.

The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 74 percent of total applications, the highest level since May 2013, from 71 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 6.4 percent of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications increased to 8.0 percent this week from 7.5 percent last week. The VA share of total applications decreased to 9.4 percent this week from 9.7 percent last week. The USDA share of total applications decreased to 0.6 percent from 0.8 percent last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 3.80 percent, the lowest level since May 2013, from 3.89 percent, with points increasing to 0.29 from  0.23 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $417,000) decreased to 3.86 percent, the lowest level since May 2013, from 3.88 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.23 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA decreased to 3.66 percent, the lowest level since May 2013, from 3.71 percent, with points increasing to 0.15 from -0.05 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.  The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased to 3.10 percent, the lowest level since May 2013, from 3.16 percent, with points decreasing to 0.29 from 0.30 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs decreased to 2.87 percent, the lowest level since June 2013, from 2.94 percent, with points decreasing to 0.41 from 0.46 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

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