Mortgage apps decline as rates increase

by Francis Monfort23 Feb 2018

Mortgage application volume fell during the week ending Feb. 16 as most average contract interest rates rose, according to the Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey released by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The MBA’s Market Composite Index, which measures loan application volume, declined 6.6% on a seasonally adjusted basis and fell 3% on an unadjusted basis.

The Refinance Index dropped 7%, while the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index slipped 6%. The unadjusted Purchase Index ticked up 1% and was 3% higher compared to the same period in 2017.

The refinance share of mortgage activity was 44.4% of total applications, falling to its lowest level since July from 46.5% in the prior period. Adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) applications accounted for 6.4% of total applications.

The share of FHA applications declined to 9.9% from 10.1%, while the VA share decreased to 10% from 10.1%. The 0.8% share of USDA applications remained unchanged week over week.

Average rates for both conforming and jumbo 30-year fixed rate mortgages increased to their highest levels since January 2014. Rates for mortgages with conforming loan balances averaged 4.64%, up from 4.57%, with points for 80% loan-to-value ratio loans increasing to 0.61 from 0.59. Mortgages with jumbo loan balances recorded an average 4.62% rate, up from 4.55%, with points increasing to 0.5 from 0.47.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage backed by the FHA and the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage saw average rate jump to their highest level since April 2011. Rates for mortgages backed by the FHA averaged 4.58%, up from 4.54%, with points decreasing to 0.71 from 0.73. The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.02%, from 4%, with points increasing to 0.66 from 0.65.

The 5/1 ARM posted the only decline during the period to 3.72% from 3.74%, with points increasing to 0.39 from 0.37.

Related stories:
Refi app activity share sinks as total volume ticks up
Mortgage app volume declines as rates rise


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