Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey

Real Estate In-Depth | May 2019

WASHINGTON—Mortgage applications increased 2.7% from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending May 3, 2019.

The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, increased 2.7% on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the index increased 3% compared with the previous week. The Refinance Index increased 1% from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 4% from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 5% compared with the previous week and was 5% higher than the same week one year ago.

“We saw a good week for the spring homebuying season, as a 5% increase in purchase applications—both weekly and year-over-year—drove the results,” said Joel Kan, MBA’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting. “Average loan amounts also stayed elevated, with government purchase applications rising to the highest in the survey. Even with slower price appreciation in higher-priced markets, home prices are still rising enough to push average loan sizes higher.”

Added Kan, “With purchase activity increasing and mortgage rate movements mostly unchanged, the refinance share of applications were at their lowest level since last November.”

The refinance share of mortgage activity decreased to 37.9% of total applications from 38.8% the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 6.4% of total applications.

The FHA share of total applications remained unchanged from 9.5% the week prior. The VA share of total applications increased to 11.1% from 10.9% the week prior. The USDA share of total applications remained unchanged from 0.6% the week prior.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($484,350 or less) decreased to 4.41% from 4.42%, with points increasing to 0.47 from 0.46 (including the origination fee) for 80% loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate remained unchanged from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances (greater than $484,350) decreased to 4.27% from 4.31%, with points remaining unchanged at 0.23 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA increased to 4.44% from 4.39%, with points increasing to 0.56 from 0.47 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate increased from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages remained unchanged from 3.81%, with points increasing to 0.42 from 0.40 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate remained unchanged from last week.

The average contract interest rate for 5/1 ARMs increased to 3.88% from 3.81%, with points decreasing to 0.26 from 0.54 (including the origination fee) for 80% LTV loans. The effective rate decreased from last week.