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Mortgage Applications Down 3.1 Percent

Phil Hall
Sep 04, 2019
Photo credit: Getty Images/Natee Meepian

Mortgage application activity was on the decline in the latest data report from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) for the week ending Aug. 30.
The Market Composite Index was down by 3.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier while the unadjusted index took a four percent drop. The seasonally-adjusted Purchase Index rose by four percent from one week earlier and the unadjusted index inched up one percent–the latter was also five percent higher than the same week one year ago. However, Refinance Index dragged down the week’s activity with a seven percent tumble from the previous week–although it was also 152 percent higher than the same week one year ago–while the refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 60.4 percent of total applications from 62.4 percent the previous week.
Among the federal programs, the FHA share of total applications decreased to 10.2 percent from 10.5 percent the week prior, while the VA share of total applications increased to 11.3 percent from 9.9 percent and the USDA share of total applications increased to 0.6 percent from 0.5 percent.
“Ongoing trade tensions between the U.S. and China led to volatile, yet declining Treasury rates last week, causing the 30-year fixed mortgage rate to fall to 3.87 percent, its lowest level since November 2016,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. “Despite lower borrowing costs, refinances were down from their recent peak two weeks ago, but still remained over 150 percent higher than last August, when rates were almost a percentage point higher.”

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