Mortgage Applications Fall As Mortgage Rates Tick Up

In what may be a sign of just how sensitive borrowers are to fluctuations in mortgage rates, the Mortgage Bankers Association revealed mortgage applications declined further for the week ending on April 5, 2019, following a slight uptick in mortgage rates.

Per the latest data from the MBA’s weekly Mortgage Applications Survey, on an unadjusted basis, the Market Composite Index retreated 5.6% from the previous week.

Mortgage rates inched back up last week but remain substantially lower than they were in the second half of last year,” MBA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni said. “As quickly as refinance activity increased in recent weeks, it backed down again in response to the rise in rates.”

“However, this spring’s lower borrowing costs, coupled with the strong job market, continue to push purchase application volume much higher,” Fratantoni continued. “Purchase applications are now up more than 13% compared to last year at this time.”

The Refinance Index fell backwards 11% from the previous week and the unadjusted Purchase Index moved forward 1% from a week ago and is also 13% higher than the same week in 2018. Lastly, the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 1% from the week before.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of this week’s mortgage application data:

  • The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 44.1% of total applications, falling from 47.4% the previous week.
  • The adjustable-rate mortgage share of activity fell to 7.6% of total applications.
  • The Federal Housing Administration‘s share of mortgage apps grew to 9.6% from last week’s 8.8%.
  • The Veterans Affairs‘ share of applications moved forward to 11.1% from last week’s 10.4%.
  • The Department of Agriculture‘s share of total applications held steady from last week’s 0.6%.
  • Mortgage interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) increased from 4.36% to 4.4%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $484,350) increased from last week’s 4.21% to 4.28%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA moderately held its ground from last week’s 4.41%.
  • The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose to 3.83% from 3.78% the week prior.
  • The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 3.78% from last week’s 3.77%.

Posted on on 4/10/19.