Mortgage app volume ticks up for 2nd straight week

by Francis Monfort09 Mar 2018

The volume of mortgage applications increased slightly during the week ending March 2, the second straight week of volume increases, according to the Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey released by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA).

The MBA’s Market Composite Index, which measures loan application volume, ticked up 0.3% on a seasonally adjusted basis and jumped 13% on an unadjusted basis. The Refinance Index climbed 2%, while the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index slipped 1%. The unadjusted Purchase Index grew 13% and was 1% higher compared to the same period in 2017.

Refinances accounted for 41.8% of total applications, remaining unchanged from the previous period. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity increased to 7.3%, its highest level since June, from 6.7% in the prior survey.

The share of FHA applications slipped to 10.1% from 10.3%, while the VA share fell to 9.9% from 10.7%. The USDA share of total applications increased to 0.9% from 0.8%.

Changes in average contract interest rates for various mortgage types were mixed during the period.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with conforming loan balances averaged 4.65%, its highest level since January 2014, up from 4.64% in the previous period. Points for 80% loan-to-value ratio loans, including the origination fee, fell to 0.58 from 0.63. The average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances decreased to 4.56% from 4.57%, with points increasing to 0.52 from 0.51.

The average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages backed by the FHA was steady week over week at 4.68%, with points rising to 0.79 from 0.75. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.11%, its highest level since April 2011, climbing from 4.07%. Points increased to 0.64 from 0.59. The average rate for 5/1 ARMs fell to 3.81% from 3.85%, with points decreasing to 0.46 from 0.59.

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