There was a healthy degree of upward motion in the latest mortgage application data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) tracking of the week ending Jan. 24.
The Market Composite Index increased 7.2 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier, while the unadjusted index took a slight one percent dip. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased five percent from one week earlier and the unadjusted index was up by two percent—the latter was also 17 percent higher than the same week one year ago. The Refinance Index increased eight percent from the previous week and was 146 percent higher than the same week one year ago, but the refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 60.4 percent of total applications from 61.6 percent the previous week.
Among the federal programs, the FHA share of total applications decreased to 10.7 percent from 11.3 percent the week prior and the VA share of total applications decreased to 11.7 percent from 13.8 percent while the USDA share of total applications remained unchanged at 0.5 percent.
“Mortgage applications continued their strong start to the year, as borrowers acted on the drop in mortgage rates last week,” said MBA’s Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting Joel Kan. “Rates were driven lower by investors’ increased concern about the economic impact from China’s coronavirus outbreak, in addition to existing concerns over trade and other geopolitical risks.”
Kan added that the 30-year fixed rate wat at its lowest level since November 2016. “Thanks to low rates and the healthy job market, purchase activity continues to run stronger than in 2019.”