MBA: Mortgage Apps Showing Steady Rise

MBA: Mortgage Apps Showing Steady Rise

May 27, 2020
Man filling out application. Credit:
The Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey showed a 2.7% increase in mortgage apps over last week, for the week ending on May 22, 2020. The refinance index showed a small 0.2% decrease for the same period. It was 176% higher than the same week in 2019. The MBA reports the seasonally adjusted purchase index jumped 9%, the sixth consecutive jump and a full 54% increase since April.
"The housing market is continuing its path to recovery as various states reopen, leading to more buyers resuming their home search. Purchase applications increased 9% last week—the sixth consecutive weekly increase and a jump of 54% since early April. Additionally, the purchase loan amount has increased steadily in recent weeks and is now at its highest level since mid-March," said Joel Kan, MBA's associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. "Despite mortgage rates hovering near MBA's all-time survey low, refinance activity was essentially flat but still 176% higher than last year. Conventional refinance applications increased 2%, while government refinancing was down almost 7%." 
The refinance share of total mortgage application dipped from 64.3% to 62.6%, while the share of adjustable-rate mortgages increased to 3.4% of total mortgage applications. The FHA share decreased to 11.2% from 11.5%, the VA share dropped from 13.4% to 12.4% and the USDA share of total applications fell just 0.1% to 0.6%. 
In terms of refis, it was expected that more homeowners would take advantage of record-low rates, as last week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency deemed that GSE borrowers in forbearance can apply for refinancing and new purchase mortgages once their loans are current, waiving a previous mandatory wait of 12 months.