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Mortgage Applications Up Again

Phil Hall
Jun 26, 2019
Photo credit: Getty Images/max_carpenter

Spring came to a close with mortgage application activity in full bloom, according to Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) data for the week ending June 21.
The Market Composite Index was up by 1.3 percent on a seasonally-adjusted basis from one week earlier, while the unadjusted index saw a one percent uptick.
The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 1.3 percent on a seasonally-adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index increased one percent compared with the previous week. But this was not due to purchase activity: The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased one percent from one week earlier, while the unadjusted index dropped by two percent—although the latter was also nine percent higher than the same week one year ago. The Refinance Index increased three percent from the previous week, as the refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 51.5 percent of total applications from 50.2 percent the previous week.
Among the federal programs, the FHA share of total applications increased to 9.6 percent from 9.4 percent the week prior while the VA share of total applications increased to 12.5 percent from 11.9 percent and the USDA share of total applications increased to 0.6 percent from 0.5 percent.
“Markets last week reacted to a more dovish FOMC statement and forecast, with Treasury yields falling after the meeting,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. “Mortgage rates dropped again for most loan types, which led to an increase in refinance activity, partly driven by a nine percent jump in VA applications. The 30-year fixed rate has now dropped in three of the last four weeks, and at 4.06 percent, reached its lowest level since September 2017. Despite these lower rates, purchase applications decreased two percent, but were still considerably higher (nine percent) than a year ago. Now at almost the half-way mark of 2019, we have generally seen a stronger purchase market than last year, despite still-tight existing inventory and insufficient new construction.”

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