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Mortgage Apps on the Rise Again

Phil Hall
Feb 20, 2019
More people are pursuing mortgage applications, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) for the week ending Feb. 15

More people are pursuing mortgage applications, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) for the week ending Feb. 15.
The Market Composite Index was up by 3.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, while the unadjusted index took a seven percent upswing. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased two percent from one week earlier and the unadjusted index was seven percent higher—the latter was also three percent above the same level from one year ago. The Refinance Index increased six percent from the previous week, but the refinance share of mortgage activity dropped slightly to 41.7 percent of total applications from 41.8 percent the previous week.
Among the federal programs, the FHA share of total applications decreased to 10.2 percent from 11 percent the week prior and the VA share of total applications decreased to 10.1 percent from 10.9 percent, while the USDA share of total applications increased to 0.7 percent from 0.6 percent.
“Mortgage rates held steady on mixed economic news, as core inflation remained firm, while retail sales in December were much weaker than expected,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s Associate Vice President of Industry Surveys and Forecasts. “However, overall application activity picked up over the week. After four consecutive declines, purchase applications increased almost two percent over the week and 2.5 percent compared to a year ago, showing some promise as we edge closer to the spring homebuying season. Most rates remained close to 10-month lows, which allowed some borrowers with an incentive to refinance to capitalize. The 30-year fixed rate was essentially unchanged at 4.66 percent.”

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