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Mortgage Application Activity Inches Up Slightly

Phil Hall
Oct 30, 2019
Photo credit: Getty Images/phototechno

There was minimal upward movement in the latest survey of mortgage applications, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) for the week ending Oct. 25.
The Market Composite Index increased 0.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, while the unadjusted index was up by 0.3 percent. Both the seasonally adjusted and unadjusted Purchase Index were two percent higher from one week earlier, while the latter was also 10 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The Refinance Index dipped by one percent from the previous week–although it was 134 percent higher than the same week one year ago–and the refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 58.0 percent of total applications from 58.5 percent the previous week.
Among the federal loan programs, the FHA share of total applications decreased to 12.0 percent from 12.1 percent the week prior and the VA share of total applications decreased to 11.8 percent from 13.5 percent, while the USDA share of total applications increased to 0.6 percent from 0.5 percent.
“The 10-year Treasury rate rose slightly last week, as markets expected more progress toward a trade deal between the U.S. and China,” said Joel Kan, associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. “Mortgage rates increased for the second straight week as a result, with the 30-year fixed rate climbing to 4.05 percent–the highest level since the end of July. Mortgage applications were mostly unchanged, with purchase activity rising two percent and refinances decreasing less than one percent. Purchase applications continued to run at a stronger pace than last year, finishing a robust 10 percent higher than a year ago. Considering how much lower rates are compared to the end of 2018, purchase applications should continue showing solid year-over-year gains.”

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