Mortgage applications declined during the week ending Jan. 18, according to new data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).
The Market Composite Index was down by 2.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier while the unadjusted index dipped by 0.3 percent. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased two percent from one week earlier, while the unadjusted index was up four percent—the latter was also 13 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The Refinance Index decreased five percent from the previous week and the refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 44.5 percent of total applications from 46.8 percent one week earlier.
All of the federal programs saw week-over-week declines: The FHA share of total applications decreased to 10.5 percent from 10.9 percent, the VA share of total applications decreased to 10.3 percent from 10.4 percent and the USDA share of total applications decreased to 0.4 percent from 0.5 percent.
“Mortgage application activity cooled off last week after two consecutive weeks of sizeable increases. Both purchase and refinance applications saw declines but remained at healthy levels, with the purchase index remaining close to a nine-year high, and the refinance index hovering near its highest level since last spring,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Reversing the recent downward trend, rates increased for most loan types last week, due to better-than-expected unemployment claims, easing trade tensions and stabilization in the equity markets.”
Separately, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reported home prices in November were up 0.4 percent from October and up 5.8 percent from one year earlier. For the nine census divisions, seasonally adjusted monthly price changes from October to November ranged from a -0.8 percent drop in the Pacific division to 1.1 percent increase in the South Atlantic division, while all divisions saw 12-month increases ranging from 4.5 percent in the West South Central division to 7.4 percent in the Mountain division.